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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Friday, December 20, 2002

Pay It Backward

Wall Street firms to pay huge fines and change internal procedures. However, only one live, breathing person will face the music:

...regulators have foregone the opportunity to press charges against any of the chief executives involved, including Sanford Weill the head of Citicorp, who has found himself at the eye of the storm.

Sources indicated, however, that charges may yet be filed separately against Jack Grubman, the former star telecoms analyst at Citigroup. Regulators already plan to fine him $15m for a career of cozying up to important corporate clients of the bank and to bar him from the securities industry for life.

Civil and criminal indictments against individuals, and a reclaiming of several years of bonuses, would focus the minds of Wall Street execs much more closely than this shareholder-funded settlement. Agency costs, indeed.

UPDATE: The NY Times headline captures the spirit: Wall St. Deal Says Little on Individuals.

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