No. of Recommendations: 63
Executives prefer to plead incompetence (they did not know) rather than admit criminal activity. - pauleckler


You hit the nail right on the head. Examine any number of statutes and regulations governing business practices and, more often than not, you will find the phrase that "knowing and willful" misconduct is subject to criminal prosecution.

Proving "knowing and willful" misconduct is damn hard...practically impossible. That's why the phrase is so popular with all pro-business types, be they legislators or lobbyists for business interests.

When push comes to shove, the CEO's who are paid so handsomely for their "acumen", "brilliance", "sheer mastery of business", "the Masters of capital allocation", simply plead IGNORANCE. They'll state they never knew what was going on at levels "beneath them". Fingers will be pointed at underlings. Fingers will be pointed in many directions, but never at the CEO or the Board of Directors.

We can change all that, of course. We can write laws that hold CEO's and BOD's directly responsible (personally liable criminally and civilly) for harm done as a consequence of the actions of the corporation.

We can change all that, of course. But we won't.

We live in a plutocracy.
Print the post  


Live Video Event Monday!
The GP team is hosting a live video event on Monday at 4 p.m. ET. Don't worry if you can't make it — we'll have a replay and a transcript. Click for more!
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.