Chapter 11. The Ethics of the Gutter

The former CEO of a Fortune 500 company had just built himself an ocean-side summer home and was playing tennis at a nearby club in the summer of 2002. When one of his opponents asked him during a break about corporate ethics, he replied, laughing, “Corporate ethics? There aren’t any. It’s an oxymoron.”

Do What’s Right: Why Ethics Are Very Important

In Chapter 8 we asked how is it that regulators and boards of directors failed in their oversight of corporate financial reporting. In this chapter we ask how is it that self-restraint and personal ethics failed to do what other checks and balances didn’t.

Key observers have stressed that individual ethics are the financial system’s ultimate line of defense. For example, ...

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