at 63, he's the oldest ceo of all the top 5 banks. Stumpf did't resign, he retired!
(Also, the original mistake was not a grammatical error, but rather a spelling one. If you're going to be pedantic at least get it right.)
Nothing personal because I'm sure you didn't intend to make things worse for everyone, but your attitude is exactly what's wrong with the US and with capitalism in general - the notion that once an organization is sufficiently large that it becomes hard to trace a chain of liability, then the liability must somehow evaporate and can't be assigned to any individual parties, but must be severally absorbed by the shareholders. Oh, but the shareholders think they don't bear any moral responsibility because it's an agency problem, they only vote on the candidates that the Board of Directors offer them for senior offices. Oh, but the board of directors can't be responsible because they're not involved in the day-to-day running of the bank...and so on.
If corporate status is no more than a means by which to redistribute legal liability so thinly that none of it can accrue to any one individual, then the notion of corporate personhood is broken. I would remind you that the whole reason personhood exists in the first place is to make some sort of accountability possible, otherwise it would be virtually impossible to sue any officers of a company for lack of knowing who engineered a given policy that might form the basis of a legal complaint.
Because prison is barbaric, and expensive and should be saved for hardened criminals. Nothing personal, but it's people like you who think throwing people in prison some kind of societal solution that we have overflowing prisons of petty criminals.
* Whether you consider the consumers or the low-level tellers who set up millions of shadow accounts to meet otherwise impossible performance goals to be the bottom layer, I think the point stands either way.
I'm perplexed by your use of the word 'hardened.' Perhaps you meant 'violent' but there are plenty of people in prison who had a clean record until they committed a violent crime of passion or suchlike, and likewise there are plenty of criminals whose criminality is unquestioned but who never engaged in any violent activity. Again you probably didn't intend this, but I can't help feeling that you're unconsciously making a class distinction between stereotypical blue collar heavies who help themselves or carry out break-ins, vs the sort of nice socially acceptable behavior of sitting at a desk signing corporate documents which will affect thousands or millions of people that the executive has never met and knows nothing about.
Look, I'm sure you just had some generic 'tough guy' in mind, but it's not like I'm demanding the guy get thrown into some hellhole and raped int he shower every day. I'd like if we could have humane prisons like some countries, far fewer people in them, and that they should form a representative cross-section of society.
Really, if you don't have some sort of institutional accountability then it just increases the incentives to do this sort of thing precisely because the upside benefits are so much larger than the downside risks. OK, Stumpf's professional reputation is in tatters and it's probably had a negative impact on his social life...but he can basically afford to spend the rest of his life on a yacht. People suffer worse consequences from divorce.
- Stolen TV (let's say $1000 burglary)
- Stolen car (let's say $15,000)
- $500MM fraud
I'll play anyway for funzies though. First offence?
All 3 should be a non-bankruptable fine with a floor that also scales with historical earnings and wealth. I can't give specific numbers because I think it should be set at figures large enough to act as a suitable deterrent which I don't know and would need to research. Since in a scenario where I'm magically put in charge of the legal system I would have the means and incentive to do that research, I think that's fair on my part. Potentially some public shaming involving stocks and vegetable throwing depending on its cost effectiveness as a deterrent as well.
I imagine the fine amount would be far greater for the fraud though, which would help with the lack of proportionality.
ETA: IS a non-bankruptable fne proportional if the fraud actually bankrupted many others? What if the consequence of the fraud on said victims then led them to further crimes which led them to a ruined life of pverty and squalor? Is a non-bankruptable fine still proportionate? What if it led to suicide, or armed robbery, or even murder...
I think one issue is the perception that some very rich people can afford to pay those large fines, which acts as less of a deterrent.
In this instance, prison would actually serve as a deterrence.
And in a vacuum, you're right. It would be somewhat unfair to drop the hammer, out of nowhere, on some unsuspecting CEO who just did "business as usual".
But that's no excuse; it just means we need to create a culture where this kind of thing becomes increasingly unacceptable, so that in the future executives will know what's expecting of them, and what the consequences can be.
The "unintended" consequences of unrealistic goal-setting should be patently obvious to anyone who's made it that far in business, and if it isn't, we should make it clear that it's something these people need to start thinking about.
In the case of Wells Fargo, this went on for a LONG time, was well-known, frequently reported on, and had a number of whistleblowers.
The CEO can't know what every last person in the organization is doing, but they should be incented to make it their business to a culture in place that doesn't permit this, nor the blacklisting of whistleblowers.
Where I'm from, there's a group af crimes such that if an employee at a company does them, the CEO will absolutely go to jail, even if they knew about it or not. For example, if your company produces toxic sludge as a byproduct, and someone at the company dumps it in nature instead of properly taking care of it, it's jailtime.
Unsurprisingly, compliance with some environmental protection laws are A+ at all companies. Personal liability works fantastically as a motivator for companies.
That's a kind of criminal collective responsibility, which I find repugnant whether it's a mother in Palestine being held criminally responsible for her son suicide bomber, or it's a CEO being held criminally responsible for the wrongdoings of some low-level employee that they did not direct and were even unaware of.
Personal liability is arguably OK here, but criminal liability like you describe ("goes to jail") is most certainly not, and I'm surprised that there are so-called enlightened legal jurisdictions that do this.
And just because something is an old concept in law doesn't mean it's right or moral.
(Semi-rantThe American justice system has Libra wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favour, regardless of money, wealth, fame, power, or identity. At its core, it's unjust. I've personally experienced it. As an engineer, I have a decent amount of wealth. Because of that, (and after doing lots of research), I was able to hire a well-renowned attorney who had my case dismissed. It wasn't necessarily the barrister's legal ability, it was his personal relationships with the court and specifically the DA.
There were a number of cases before mine. Many either had the defendant representing themselves or represented by a public defender. A number of them received harsh sentences for allegations that weren't as serious as I faced. All of them took the plea deal(which is itself unjust. It effectively punishes you for seeking a trial by jury) because they simply could not afford decent legal representation. The public defender had a stack of manila folders up to his eyeballs. It was obvious he didn't have the resources to mount an effective defense.
I guess it makes sense in a capitalist country that you get the justice you pay for. But I came to accept that it's not about justice. The only reason Madoff had the book thrown at him is because he ripped off a lot of rich and powerful people. Maybe if Stumpf were railroaded into a max federal prison, it would serve as an effective deterrence...unjust for him, but for the greater good of society.
> [your description of a horribly unjust legal system as you experienced it]
You really think the system you described is good for social stability? People aren't stupid, the ones who got the raw end of the deal noticed the same injustice you did.
In theory, this keeps CEOs from pleading ignorance as an excuse.
I remember learning pretty early on that life is not fair, and later on that the justice system is not fair. But dropping the hammer is the only way that the business as usual stops being usual.
Fine. Then the company should get the "death penalty" and be liquidated.
Especially for something like the banking sector where the federal government could replace a bank almost instantaneously, the "death penalty" should get dropped on companies that engage in malfeasance.
Say what? It takes months to years for the FDIC to wind up a small bank. What is your basis for saying that the government can replace a huge bank almost instantly?
(Or perhaps the correct question is: What is your definition of "replace"?)
Since the bank isn't actually insolvent, this is much less drastic than winding it up. Of course it's far more complex than I'm outlining here and might take 6 months or a year. But if corporations can always rely on 'too big to fail' then what good is enforcement? A corporate charter that can't ever be withdrawn is basically a license to commit crime in perpetuity by shuffling the personnel.
If we're giving out personal rights without any of the accompanying responsibilities then how do you expect people to maintain any respect for the legal system? It's rather obviously in decline, not least through episodes such as this.
I'm sure it's something that could be streamlined with enough practice.
Exactly. After all, corporations are people right? So let's actually treat them like we treat people.
The state of California did something like this, suspending Wells Fargo from bond-investment work, at the end of September:
Except they're not, and no one says they are.
All the court said was that groups of people don't lose rights they have as individuals.
So if A has right X
B has right X
C has right X
then A+B+C have right X
The "excuse" is that a bunch of employees did it against management's express instructions, and that management actually took action (albeit stupid ineffective action) to prevent it back in 2014.
This is not something that was remotely profitable for WF, this was employees lying to WF to hide the fact that they didn't meet their goals.
The scale of the fraud is enormous because it involved millions of accounts. That means millions of individual decisions to misuse customers' accounts for personal profit. The fact that it generated very little income for WF just means that it wasn't a very successful fraud. You don't get to evade criminal liability by saying that your criminal enterprise worked poorly and failed to run an impressive profit.
management actually took action (albeit stupid ineffective action)
Having instituted the policy to begin with, and with the knowledge of how such policies incentivize people, the management bears responsibility for not only the original problem but the ineffectiveness of the subsequent response. The CEO and his peers aren't some clueless kids that got into the C-suite and pushed random buttons on some big control panel, they're experienced managers with a deep knowledge of economics and institutional dynamics...in fact I'm probably selling them short, I'm sure their resumes tell a much more impressive story about their capabilities. So since they were good enough to hire into senior positions, they are surely good enough to take on the responsibility for the highly predictable outcome of their decisions.
The fraud was successful; it caused WF to continue paying underperforming salespeople. The fraud didn't make money for WF because WF was one of the victims - in fact, as far as money lost goes, probably the primary victim.
But the thing is, there is no evidence of any criminal organization or conspiracy. The criminals in this case - the 5,300 sales people - don't appear to have coordinated at all.
Are you sure we are commenting on the same story?
The CEO is culpable because of his "eight is great" mantra. The average citizen does not need multiple checking accounts and multiple credit cards. The entirely goal of the "eight is great" program was to use high pressure sale tactics to push services onto customers that they didn't need.
> At the end of last year, the average Wells Fargo retail customer had 6.3 products, according to the company. 
For retail customers this number is absurd. The CEO was fully aware of this. There were whistle-blowers, of course. They got fired.
This was a failure of corporate governance, a failure of internal checks and balances, and a complete moral failure of the chief executive.
So yes the CEO should be held accountable, and that should include jail time.
All banks have large internal audit departments precisely for the purpose of catching internal fraud. This is a long standing thing in banking and well established.
The idea that Wells Fargo's internal audit department missed several thousand employees carrying out the same kind of fraud over a period of years is entirely unbelievable.
So either the Internal audit team were in on it (extremely unlikely), internal audit were directed by management not to investigate this, or management ignored the reports for internal audit.
To me, its extremely likely that the later options there are more likely to be what happened.
I do miss the pretty lady tellers asking if there was anything else they could do to satisfy me. Not so much the guys.
Profitable or not, I stand by my statement.
The theory that the incentive structure discourages that sort of honest effort is much more plausible. The correct response, if that's what's going on, is to change the incentive structure. Prison being what it is, I'd far prefer a way to do that without sending anyone there, but there does need to be some kind of consequence.
The reward structure is a little one-sided:
* Things go well, CEO makes a lot of money and stays.
* Things don't go well, CEO makes a lot of money and leaves.
I suppose just making the fines high enough to actually punish the company should be enough.
The poster I was responding to was effectively making the argument that superiors responsibility for the actions of their subordinates varies inversely as a function of organisation size. Clearly that's ludicrous. The executive are responsible for control structure, management methods, reporting lines, KPI setting, and verification processes to ensure that the above are working properly. Further, and more importantly they set the tone for the ethics of the organisation both by what they focus on and by what they ignore.
> leaders of financial institutions are painfully aware that there are consequences
They were fined lousy 280m and the CEO was allowed to resign a full 3 years after it was first reported. Really, REEAAALLLY painful stuff there.
The ceo PERSONALLY made more money during the scam than entire bank was fined. really epic stuff here, I mean, Really, way to dish out the pain!
This is where the CEO was at fault. He didn't send the right signal that this type of behavior will result in a skewering. And he (and others at the top) deserved to lose their job as a result.
But to claim he was knowingly profiting from some sort of criminal conspiracy is unhelpful hyperbole.
Whether or not the people who created this internal culture and ignored the malicious behavior of thousands should be criminally liable is another issue. But he was certainly separated enough from it where anything beyond a shameful career ending is a bit much.
But this is criminal identity theft. all of us would expect real consequences for that kind of activity.
-"Why x matters"
-"What we know"
-"Number x will shock you!"
from all news headlines?
More worryingly, the bank also seems to have harassed and blacklisted whistleblower employees. No doubt it will have to pay a hefty settlement and class-action lawsuits, but again the CEO is guilty only failing to monitor bank culture. There was nothing malicious or criminal in his actions.
The number of fake accounts created by the bank - 1.5 million! - is irrelevant. I run a business and can create a billion customer accounts in seconds without harm to anyone else. What matters is how much damage the bank did to others - in this case the bank has already paid a fine proportional to that damage.
Instead of going after a hapless CEO and a company that has already paid a huge settlement for a relatively small error, Elizabeth Warren should focus her attention on banks which overinflated the value of their mortgages before selling them on to other banks or Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In such cases we're talking a fraud involving billions of dollars, that led to worldwide financial recession, and where perhaps the CEO had direct knowledge of the fraud.
[Disclosure: I own shares in Wells Fargo]
Book link: https://www.amazon.com/Bull-Horns-Fighting-Street-Itself/dp/...
Warren clearly thinks that Stumpf wasn't just doing a bad job, but that what he did and didn't do was criminal in some way (eg the talk of jail time, comparisons to Enron in the article). The CFPB settlement also indicates that there was wrongdoing, at least on the part of Wells Fargo the corporation.
Isn't the right thing to do to prosecute Stumpf in court? The testimony seemed to me to have no purpose other than to put Stumpf "on trial", and it led to damaged PR and his resignation, but it looked like a "trial" without due process protections like knowing what exact charges he was facing. Another missing protection I was particularly disturbed by was how often she would cut him off and not allow him to defend himself (yes, his answers were clearly evasive, but it still isn't fair to do that).
They can compel him to answer questions, and those answer can then be used by prosecutors.
Think about it. Who would benefit from putting a banker on public trial? I'll give you a guess, their initials are EW.
I would like to express to Sen Warren, and others, that a more fragmented & transparent financial system is important-- but much less than the broadband & tech sector.
Google has 1.6B users of a total of 3.8 internet users.
too big to fail is 42% of the world using "core" services from one institution.
The data is hard to find and I am on mobile but the consolidation of global broadband & wireless provideres attempted or closed between 2015-2016 was nearly 1 Trillion. A rollup of unprecedented levels.
* While this is Alexa's visits total, subsets of Google's 10-k (which doesnt break this out because they are facing heavy competition) adjust to uniques. If someone finds better data, I will adjust, but this seems to be the accepted active user base of google.
 due to their own reckless behavior / Capitalism on the upside, Socialism on the downside.
40% of the internet hitting Bing would potentially overwhelm it. Keep in mind the subprime mortgage crisis was several banks. Add microsoft and google, the world would panic.
Facebook sees 1/3 traffic of google. Just like a run on banks, people desperate for info would prob level news sites maybe even FB.
Consider that outside of content/services we have providers. Verizon down. At&t down. Overwhelm the other towers or broadband failure.
Leaving aside how disgusting it is that these are actively encouraged monopolies and kill innovation & competition, it is dangerous.
1% of Germany lost internet TODAY. Deutsche telkom hit with ddos. 5 Banks in Russia 2 weeks ago. Oct 21 we all remember what happened to dyn.
This isn't even hypothetical, literally getting worse daily.
This is not accurate. The _ability_ of an ISP to route packets is not affected if another ISP stops routing packets (their ability to rout packets is independent). There will be a change in bandwidth usage but not in ability.
If a TBTF bank goes down, it is entirely possible that other banks have financial contracts with it that are necessary to be fulfilled for the second bank to remain operational (their ability to route financial payments is dependent)
Here is my problem with banking, if naive, please inform me: Banking should be treated like any other base infrastructure. Financial infrastructure is critical. It is not ok for the foundation of modern commerce and civilization to be controlled by so few. We need to revamp our financial situation. period.
Then again, the establishment Republicans would probably be much more comfortable with Pence in the driver's seat, so who knows?
The consumer is left to either (a) pay the "idiot" tax of being stupid enough to sign up for a thieving bank, or (b) rely on the government to protect his best interests.
While I have severe misgivings about the efficiency and corruption of large government, I find it hard to argue that a perfect "free market" would be better for the consumer.
1. Those customers who were stolen from will get to participate in the mother of all class-action lawsuits. The settlement will be outlandish. Juries hate huge corporations that screw the little guy, and the lawyers on both sides know it.
If you don't trust the class action to provide you with an equitable settlement, you can opt out and sue them individually. No doubt many lawyers are already lining up for the easy money here.
I've never known a libertarian who opposes the existence of a legal system.
2. So far, no one has produced evidence that the CEO knew about this or allowed it to happen. Putting him in prison would therefore be unjust. The article claimed that his sales quotas were excessive, but the only source for that is the same employees who knowingly defrauded their employer. Relying on their honesty seems like a bad idea.
What we know for sure is that he had sales targets for his salesmen, which is not unethical or unusual. We also know that the vast majority of Wells Fargo salesmen did not resort to fraud to hit those targets.
Even if the sales targets were high, the employees should either step up to the challenge, request a transfer out of sales, or resign. There are no excuses for defrauding your employer, and claiming "my job was too hard, so I lied!" is cause for termination.
Nope, since they have a mandatory binding arbitration clause. See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/business/wells-fargo-asks-....
"mandatory binding arbitration clause"
(Binding contracts require competent parties on both sides).
You either aren't familiar with what the colloquialism "easy money" means or you are really underestimating the difficultly of going to court against a bank.
Either the CEO did know, or he should have known. The bank's internal audit teams must have known (they would have reviewed staff activities as they always do for fraud, and the idea that they had missed this for many years isn't tenable)
So either the internal audit teams were instructed not to report these issues, or senior management ignored their reports.
He signed his name to the financial reports.
"Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering," says Jobs
It's one thing to have one or two departments with illegal incentives. When the entire company is run using illegal incentives, the CEO has to know. Or, he should have known.
Quite frankly, the entire executive should be fired for cause, and sued by everyone.
In this case, the bank charged customers for services they never requested. That is fraud. It has nothing to do with "free markets" as defined by libertarians.
If you find some libertarian scholarship, you will also notice that libertarians see contract enforcement as a vital role of government. This would also be a breach of contract.
Libertarian != Anarchist :)
This "faith in the law" is libertarianism's biggest weakness, and the reason why the older I've gotten, the more appealing anarchism has become. The ways we see the law working in this case, are just the ways that law actually works. Screw the little guy and protect the big man? A feature, not a bug!
The reasonable way to oppose unfairness is to actually oppose unfairness, not to imagine that some contingent and evolved phenomenon called "law" is going to magically give us what we want. If utopia comes and police are devoted only to the enforcement of contract, those entrusted with interpreting contracts will be our rulers. Those in power, will exercise power. This recursion can't be defined out of existence.
But the original comment I responded to seemed to imply that the libertarian theory would allow this "free market" behavior, which is not the way libertarians see it.
That wasn't the case in this situation. Customers didn't have all of the information, and as a result, were taken advantage of.
In regards to the specific fraud component (signing up customers to services they didn't ask for), I think you've just seen the consequences of what happens. Share price tanks, CEO is forced to leave. Again, this comes down to access to information; when it became clear Wells Fargo were committing fraud, the market moved against it due to a reduction in good will/image/reputation. As a result of this information becoming public, fewer customers are likely to sign up to Wells Fargo, meaning the expected profits from this company are likely to be lower than expected previously.
The government has a role to keep information available, so society can make a decision about what it deems acceptable corporate practice.
"Economics has been subject to criticism that it relies on unrealistic, unverifiable, or highly simplified assumptions, in some cases because these assumptions simplify the proofs of desired conclusions. Examples of such assumptions include perfect information, profit maximization and rational choices."
Free markets are for efficiency, laws are safety.
On the other hand, a lack of enforcement against fraud and deception can also ruin a market. For a good example of this, American consumers do not have to check for counterfeit rice, while Chinese consumers do.
I don't think that adequately handles situations where the CEO creates an environment where the emergent behavior of low level employees is to create fake accounts, but it would possibly address the liability of the financial of the victims.
Edit: The business considers this complex, multi-variable equation and tries to extract as much profit as possible. In many cases, the consumer is apathetic. Personally, I signed up for a Wells Fargo account last week despite being completely aware of this news. As a joke, I almost asked the guy if I _already_ had an account!
If you want to be angry, look at how the government is failing you now. If you want to say that the "non-free market" you're living in is better, well, what happened here? The CEO just gets to retire and they have to pay a measly fine.
Oh and before anybody says "we don't live in a true free market", until we live under absolutely no system of government, nobody civilization has really ever lived under what is technically a free market. If you pay taxes or tribute or respect some sort of authority you live in a government and it is acting upon the market. I find that to be a useless definition.
Just look at the ridiculous situation with patents, trademarks and copyrights. All of them have long outgrown their original intention and has been so amplified and extended that they can be used to very effectively kill all smaller competition and milk consumers dry.
The argument that government is horrible has been used effectively again and again to make government horrible. Is has been stripped of cash to work effectively and become completely dependent on largess from the private enterprise to function. That attracts the most rotten people as politicians, thus ensuring that government never looks good. The last thing these people want is a well functioning government.
What I wanted to stop was this demonization of "the free market" and its wholesale "what would libertarians say nonsense" because it ignorantly ignores the nuances of the political philosophy and unfairly demonizes an economic system that is responsible for a lot of good things.
The issue with patents, well, that's an example of the government failing. Not the market.
> nobody (in) civilization has really ever lived under what is technically a free market.
So, we do or we don't?
Most, if not all Western countries are not free markets. They are often partially free, but definitely not completely free. And there are very few countries in the world right now, if any, which have a free market.
So no, he doesn't live in a free market.
Wells Fargo makes 86 billion in revenue per year. Even if 10 million accounts were made and each made a thousand dollars -- (incredibly generous) ... over the course of 5 years this accounts for 1 billion in revenue or 200 million dollars per year. Annualized it is much less than 1% and would not inflate the stock price.
These guys definitely made a mistake. It wasn't calculated fraud. It was bad incentive setting. Politicians like Warren don't intuitively understand how hard it is to actually control a group of thousands of middle-class workers and get them to do things.It is not easy to govern ... sadly politicians are the least knowledgable in what it takes and they hurt good people like Stumpf (I trust his leadership and qualities because he was appointed by Buffett).
WF stock dropped a bit prior to the hearing and I bought as much as I could. Luckily most of Wall Street is smarter than such politicians and it paid off. Thanks Senator Warren.
What I would like to see is politicians be held to the same accountability as these guys. That would be hilarious. I wonder how well Obamacare would do if we could actually measure results based on metrics.
Our society needs people that can blend business acumen with the spirit and heart of people like Elizabeth Warren. Only Buffet or Gates come to mind.
2) That the intention of the executives was to increase the stock price by leveraging the fake accounts rather than to increase real accounts whilst policing an incentive scheme that was harsh to the point that it resulted in bad behavior by low level workers.
My point is that the revenue impact from the addition of fraudulent accounts is so negligible that to equate it to "fraud" is misleading.
Any incentive scheme has cheaters, abusers and fraudsters. That is the norm in an organization that employees thousands of unskilled workers.
This is a case of an incentive scheme that was pushed too hard despite market realities -- to the point where people felt compelled to lie to keep their jobs (which was morally wrong on their part -- regardless of "how tough it is to find work" or "needing to put bread on the table"). Those people were fired. In order to understand if this was fraud or not we need to look at whether or not these incentive schemes generated an increase in LEGITIMATE accounts being created.
If this was the case then the incentive scheme worked and policing needed to be increased or modifications needed to be made to the management to prevent bad behavior.
If this was not the case -- then we have to ask why the management chose to push harsh incentive schemes knowing that it only created fraudulent accounts.
The type of black and white thinking that is going on in this thread (and elsewhere) is emotionally driven due to the size of Stumpf's paycheck. Most people are just not used to seeing $100mm dollars.
I would be very skeptical of articles like the one linked to above. Anyone who has lead a large organization that contains people that couldn't compete or got fired and angry has heard these types of gripes... they are a dime a dozen. My point is that Stumpf paid for his sins and I don't think we need to roast him further. I think Warren's appraisal of the situation is excessive.
Was not aware of this letter:
Oh come on, talk about sugar coating it!!! If you create crazy incentives of course it is FRAUD! If it wasn't CEOs could wash their hands of every possible fraud they might imagine by simply setting the right incentives to get the fraud done. You got an economy were people are lucky to hold onto a job and you are threatening them with getting fired if they don't meet your insane goals? That is like a tortured person answering whatever the torturer asks.
We see this stuff happening again and again. This is the new way of committing fraud. Engineer it so that the poor suckers at the bottom have to take all the heat. The poor suckers who have no golden parachute to fall back on when they are kicked out.
When you got 5000 employees caught doing this, the alarm bells should be ringing and you should realize you did something wrong instead of firing everybody. 5000 employees aren't all rotten apples who did something for their own gain. They gained nothing and put their reputation and job on the line for this so top management could line their pockets.
Makes me sick.
You are speaking like someone who has little experience with sales culture or sales incentive structures.
You also seem to be naive to the level of fraud, theft and lies that "working-class" people regularly commit. Get out of the kumbaya bubble and wake up to reality.
Workers do bad things all the time. They fired people when they caught them doing fraud. They never encouraged or enabled people to do fraud. They should have pushed for stronger top-down communication to state that they are investigating it and shutting it down.
I'm not saying these guys are angels. I'm saying that people are blowing this out of proportion comparing it to Enron.
That's my 2 cents. Take it or leave it.