How did the most trusted financial system in the world become the breeding ground for the massive corruption uncovered in the Enron and Worldcom scandals? The simple answer is greed. Greed so blinded CEO’s, auditors, and even members of Congress that they allowed a gang of rogue executives to rig the game and cheat investors out of $200 billion, wiping out the life savings of many unsuspecting Americans.
In Corporate Crooks, veteran USA Today investigative journalist Greg Farrell explains how this breakdown happened. The book shows how incentive compensation for CEOs, combined with the decline of the American auditing industry, led to a series of spectacular accounting frauds, not just at Enron and WorldCom, but at other companies as well.
Farrell details how a series of seemingly minor Congressional actions—from a law penalizing corporations for paying salaries in excess of $1 million to a Senate vote to scuttle a rule calling for the expensing of stock options—created the conditions that led to the accounting abuses that eventually brought gigantic corporations down.
Written in a straightforward, explanatory style, Corporate Crooks allows the average investor to understand the root causes of the biggest accounting frauds of the past five years. But understanding how these frauds took place isn’t enough. Farrell also arms readers with the knowledge they’ll need to judge whether the next fantastic, fast-growing company of the new economy is a genuine business success or another Enron waiting to implode.