Author Topic: Corporate Heroin  (Read 1842 times)


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Corporate Heroin
« on: April 22, 2016, 09:27:11 AM »
Here is an article explaining the benefits to corporations of encouraging antimustachian behavior:

M. Todd Henderson & James C. Spindler, "Corporate Heroin: A Defense of Perks, Executive Loans, and Conspicuous Consumption," 93 Georgetown Law Journal 1835 (2004).


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Re: Corporate Heroin
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 09:50:50 AM »
This article was written in 2004, and reflects a na´ve faith and optimism in the banking and investment industry. It's almost refreshing to look back at the pre-meltdown days and coo about how cute economists and other pundits were back then, with their child-like faith in the goodness of human nature and the moral reliabilities of bankers and business managers. Even after the Enron and Arthur Andersen scandals, academics still clung to the belief that the shenanigans were somehow unique instead of being a reflection of the industry norm. It wasn't until the Madoff scandal, the housing collapse, and the subprime mortgage bubble that people started to understand that Gordon Gecko wasn't a caricature.

I found it interesting that the behavior the authors describe as "cheating" is not in fact illegal behavior so much as a willingness to put personal gain (and the firm's short-term gain) ahead of the customer's best interests. Yet subsequent world events showed that predatory behavior is normal and customary in the investment industry. Anybody who thinks a broker has his or her best interests at heart is delusional.

The writers describe a person who is indifferent to being fired or blackballed as potentially dangerous, because they can afford to follow a standard of ethics that isn't the same as the one dictated by the company. They also describe the golden handcuffs phenomenon pretty well. However I'd dispute the notion that firing or blackballing is how companies discipline unethical employees, when in reality it's how they retaliate against people who aren't unethical enough.