In a recent column in the New York Daily News, columnist Stanley Crouch celebrated the 25-year conviction of WorldCom chairman Bernie Ebbers for looting the company he founded. He mentioned that, among other things, this sends a message to all those lower-level criminals who use fat-cats getting off scot-free as rationalization for their activities.
I like this because it's a reminder to those fat cats that corporations are not their personal piggy banks for them to raid at their leisure. When WorldCom was a small company (I'm assuming it was once a sole proprietorship) Ebbers could take what he wanted to his heart's content, as long as he could explain his actions to the IRS, if called upon to do so, in a way that would keep him from landing in jail. What these guys don't seem to get (or not care about) is that once these companies go public, they're just that: PUBLIC. The old head honcho can't do whatever he wants without fear of repercussions.
Sad thing is, even though Ebbers is facing the music, though the 80-year-old founder of Adelphia has already faced the music, even though Ken Lay will face the music, overpaid idiots with dollar signs in their eyes will continue to do the same things, hoping against hope that the IRS, the SEC, and everybody else looks the other way, then acting shocked when they don't.
Reminds me of the title of one of Brand Nubian's old raps: "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down." It may seem odd to refer to these "gentlemen" as punks, but when they keep doing these "stupid human tricks" knowing what the penalties are, what else is there to call them?