Aug. 4, 2002
WorldCom's collapse continued last week with the spectacle of two former executives surrendering to the FBI and being led away in handcuffs. Both made bail one at $10 million and one at $2 million. These are not poor schmucks from the country we're talking about here. They were very highly paid business professionals who, you have to think, knew what they were doing as the company hid $3.8 billion in expenses from investors and regulators.
Word is that law enforcement types are applying pressure, trying to get to former CEO Bernie Ebbers and find out what he knew, if anything, about WorldCom's accounting shenanigans. And, this latest illustration of corporate greed has spilled over into politics with Congress passing and the President signing a corporate responsibility act.
Let us re-state the obvious today: Corporations must deal honestly with the people who invest in them. They must be open and honest in their accounting procedures. WorldCom violated these fundamental principles and someone(s), at some point, should pay the price.