Bush’s Crackdown on Corporate Fraud Needed

The Daily Mississippian Editorial Board

OUR VIEW – Stronger punishment is necessary for corporate criminals.

In the aftermath of the recent Enron and Worldcom scandals, President George Bush has signed into law a strong corporate fraud bill to combat future violators. The bill, authored by Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D, MD), quadruples the possible jail time that could be served by corporate criminals. Even though the penalties outlined in the bill will not be retroactive, it will hopefully discourage future CEO’s and CFO’s from “cooking the books.”

After drastic drops in the stock market and weak economic conditions, President Bush hopes to restore faith in our economy and his administration by taking this action. Bush’s administration has been under scrutiny for being too close to big business since the beginning of his term, but recent dips in his approval ratings lead one to believe that everyday Americans are very wary of the administration’s friendliness to large corporations.

By taking this action, President Bush hopes to strengthen America’s confidence in the Republican Party before many of the Party’s congressional seats slip over to other party candidates.

Even though such legislation is long overdue, Bush has taken a strong stance against corporations who mislead investors and the American public. Other elements of the bill include increased funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and creating a new board to oversee the accounting profession. “Auditors will be audited. The Accountants will be held to account,” according to Bush. This board will hopefully place controls over a troubled industry that prides itself on control and accurate record keeping.

The Dow Jones has suffered tremendously in the wake of Sept. 11 and confidence in the American economy must be restored. Legislation like this must be enforced and corporate villains must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. In order to restore integrity in corporate America, executives have to be held accountable for inappropriate or illegal actions taken to deceive investors. This bill along with similar legislative actions will play an integral role in future business practices. Every action necessary must be taken to convict corporate crooks and to ensure that these crooks face “hard time rather easy money.”