Investors not only ones losing faith (Editorial, June 15, 2002)

By John Hobel
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/15/2002

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We can add to that stock options absolutely corrupt.

Deceitfully driving up stock prices, cashing in shares when the price is high and running for the hills as bankruptcy looms is apparently a modus operandi among too many CEOs and top executives. Thanks to the business heads at WorldCom, Adelphia, Enron and Andersen, public confidence in the truthfulness of corporate accounting has eroded. With the stability of the economic system at a stake, regaining investor trust — more specifically investor money — will require government to introduce appropriate controls and send scores of execs and accountants to prison to discourage shifty practices.

But investor confidence is not the only trust that has been damaged. Employees — not just those at firms destroyed by unscrupulous executives but workers everywhere — have been left shaking their heads at the behaviour of the executives who manage above them.