If you are wondering how the current “Corporate Responsibility Crisis” could turn out, let’s revisit the Savings and Loan Crisis of the early 90’s. This is a two-part experiment today.
For background, go to Google and search using these keywords, “savings and loan crisis”. Or, just click here. Once you’ve refreshed yourself on the events, get ready to get angry, and go to Google and search using these keywords, “savings and loan Hurwitz Maxxam Pacific Lumber Company”. Or, just click here.
That’s right, this guy not only got away with looting $1.6 billion from an S&L, he used the proceeds to buy Pacific Lumber, with much of the remaining old-growth redwood forest acreage in the West, and started cutting it all down as fast as he could. To slow this down the government PAID HIM $380 million to save just the Headwaters old-growth acreage from clear-cutting.
I’ll be doing some research and will try to post some figures on just how many S&L looters went to jail, and how many of them had to even pay any of the money back. The S&L bailout was another huge transfer of taxpayer money to the very rich, and the selling off of the acquired assets to the well-connected for pennies on the dollar.
The outcome of the S&L crisis will not leave many of us feeling optimistic about the outcome of the “Corporate Responsibility Crisis”. I doubt that that ANY corporate execs are going to go to jail, or even have to pay any of the money back. Certainly no one from Enron has been charged with anything yet, or has given any of the money back. It’s more likely that the public outrage will be engineered into a situation where even more of our money will be channeled to the very wealthy.