I have no idea if Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, the two hedge fund managers arrested yesterday by the FBI are innocent or guilty of conspiracy and fraud or whether their chance of a fair trial has been prejudiced by their public humiliation in the form of the ‘perp walk’. But I do know that whilst, in the short-term this sort of thing is bad for trust in business, in the long term it is good that business people are seen to suffer personal consequences for ‘white collar crimes’. The US is much better than us in Europe about this and that is one reason I believe that business receives higher trust scores there than here. In Germany recently, the CEO of Deutsche Post received similar treatment, but this was an exception that proves the rule. The European way of quiet censure behind closed doors and through the old boy networks is simply not good enough and hurts the reputation of all businesses to save the faces of a criminal few.

[tags] Ralph Cioffi, trust, perp walk [/tags]