The drumbeat of global economic woes continues: layoffs at giants like Microsoft, IBM, and Intel, more losses at bellwethers like Sony and Nokia, stagnation in the U.K. as the pound collapses, worst home construction year in decades, jobs disappearing in Asia as exports collapse, etc. Add to that continued bad behavior on the part of Wall Street – it was reported today that top Merrill Lynch management gave themselves large bonuses just days before the forced sale to BofA.
I am starting to become numb to the continued avalanche of bad news.
So, here’s something different. Today the Chinese courts have sentenced two men to death and a third to life in prison for their role in the tainted milk scandal. I certainly don’t believe that the Chinese legal system offers a model for us, but the idea of dealing harshly with white collar crime is one that we should consider.
As it stands, we don’t even require slaps on the wrist. I don’t think that it’s too much of a stretch to equate the severity of delivering tainted milk and collapsing an entire economy. Willful actions were taken in both cases with an understanding of the potential impacts of those actions.