A friend of mine sent me this graphic and asked “What does it mean that the 10 largest corporate accounting scandals ever all happened within the last 15 years?”
It means a few things. First, it’s harder to cover up scandals in the Internet age then it was in the past. Second, the more abstract the world’s economy becomes, the more opportunities for stealth accounting fraud. Third, the more wealth you have in the world, the more risk you’re going to see people taking with it. Fourth, Ayn Rand has been very influential.
This kind of data is the best argument against a completely regulated business environment. People in power are always going to take as much as they can get. And unless there are checks and balances (yes, government serves as a check against corporations, and corporations against governments) you’re going to see vast injustices. Stuff like this will become commonplace.
The trick is finding the right balance where entrepreneurs feel the freedom to take smart risks, but feel prohibited against making stupid, unjust risks that amount to no more than thievery.