Here’s an ethical (and business) dilemma:
Would you steal $200,000 if you knew that, if you were caught, the only penalty you faced would be a $5,500 fine?
Do the following moral/financial calculation(s) with me.
Keep 97% of what you stole.
Face no jail time, don’t admit guilt, and continue doing business as usual.
Hmm . . . tough choice — especially for someone on Wall Street.
Business as Usual — Still
Add five (!) zeroes . . . and the above is a fair summary of what just transpired in Goldman Sachs’ $550 million settlement with the SEC (for the math-challenged, $20 billion is just what Goldman Sachs made last year — more than enough to cover the SEC’s $550 million fine).
And people are now hailing the SEC as “newly aggressive,” “a re-energized watchdog,” etc.???
P.S.: Guess whether Goldman Sachs’ stock went up or down after the foregoing was announced.