What’s interesting about the rise in foreign subsidiaries being targeted is why they’re being targeted.
As the Conglomerate puts it “because some guilty pleas are company killers, [the U.S.] is getting [guilty pleas] from foreign subsidiaries. “
The reasoning for the increase is as follows:
- This is a total adaption of the government’s foreign corruption enforcement strategy, which has invovlved obtaining guilty pleas from foreign subs for a while now. And that just shows how big a deal foreign corruption cases are right now. They are literally setting the template for the regulation of the rest of Wall Street wrongdoing.
- Company guilty pleas are strange things. They either mean nothing – corporate persons don’t feel bad for being convicted, can’t be put in jail, and absent alternative consequences, would you rather your closely held corporation paid a fine, or stood up in court and said “I did it”? Or they mean far too much – an auditor like Arthur Andersen could literally no longer audit after it was convicted of a crime.
- Which is why I think truly serious prosecution is all about individual responsibility. This middle ground isn’t quite the get tough attitude that insistence on pleas from natural, rather than corporate, persons would be.