Why White-Collar Criminals Get Away With It

Jim Chanos recently remarked that we are in a golden age of fraud, highlighting that companies trade unaffected by credible public accusations for years before it finally catches up to them. But even after the house cards collapses, the executives in charge of these companies often go unpunished and shareholders are left holding the bag. In America, this wasn’t always the case. Pulitzer prize winning author and senior reporter and editor at ProPublica, Jesse Eisinger, penned the definitive historical account of this devolution in his book “The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives” and in this interview with short seller and investigator Quinton Mathews, managing member of QKM, the pair reexamine this history to explore how we got from regulatory institutions dishing out multi-year sentences in the Enron scandal to almost no prison time or charges being filed against bank executives in the GFC and the potential actions needed to remedy this broken system. Filmed on October 14, 2020. Key Learnings: Eisinger and Mathews highlight the hollowing out of the regulatory bodies charged with investigating and prosecuting these crimes and the misaligned incentivizes for ambitious young attorneys as the biggest problems. They concluded that increased funding for regulators and diversity in hiring of prosecutors are some of the many changes need to improve the system.

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