Bad corporate behavior, including avaricious management-led buyouts and options backdating, is undermining the trust that is the bedrock of capitalism, Ben Stein writes in The New York Times. What once appeared to be a sterling system whereby people have worked hard and succeeded has since been tarnished by scandal and self-dealing. And among the offenses that Mr. Stein sees being perpetrated are backdating and management buyouts, both of which he says fleece shareholders.
These misdeeds and many, many more are hammer blows at the granite foundation of trust we built in the 1940s and ’50s. How long democratic capitalism can survive these blows before it gives in and gives birth to revolution or to an out-and-out aristocracy, I am not sure.
Each day’s newspaper, it seems, brings more tidings of unrestrained selfishness and self-dealing and rafts of powerful people saying it’s good for us to be robbed if only we truly understood the system.
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