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This is a worthwhile book that might help clear up some of your bewilderment at why corporate crime cases so often turn out so unsatisfactorily.


My personal TL;DR from a couple of years ago if you don't have the time to read the book:

- It's very hard for prosecutors to secure a criminal conviction even in the most blatant cases of wrongdoing.

- Prosecutors care too much about their win rate to risk trials.

- Prosecutors have fallen into a trap where they're so dependent on the policy of offering generous non-prosecution or deferred-prosecution agreements if the company comes forward and volunteers evidence, they've become incapable of actually executing on a complex criminal investigation anymore.

- There's intense political pressure to not punish shareholders for management's misdeeds.

But the civil case seems so easy - failure to deliver the right stuff over most of a decade. Should be possible to bankrupt this company over contract fraud?

I enjoyed that book, I felt it kind of just "ended" though. It had some interesting history and insights but then the pages just kind of ran out

Sometimes real life lacks a satisfying conclusion?

Sensationalized dramas generally dont make it to the presses that way

One thing to add, the majority of the population supports this outcome (if you measure actions as more important than words).

> There's intense political pressure to not punish shareholders for management's misdeeds

Rightly so, IMO. I invest almost exclusively in index funds, which means there's a good chance I'm a shareholder and don't even know it. I like to think that it wouldn't make sense for me to be held responsible.

The reason your index funds return so much is that you're buying a share of ownership in the company. That includes upside but it also includes downside. If there were no downside you'd be getting exactly money market-like returns.

The downside of equities is not being sued as a shareholder of a crooked company, it's the risk and long-term exposure you bear from your share of ownership and the future cash flow of the company.

You're not held responsible. The company is. You just made a bad investment through bad fortune. You get to sue the company for losing you money.

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