Businessmen Behaving Badly

Do you want to know how you stop corporate abuse?

Stop lying.

Do you want to know how you stop corporate greed?

Stop stealing.

And do you want to know how you stop rubber stamp boards?

Stop having them rubber-stamping.

I know it sounds incredibly simple, but behind all this talk of commissions, rules, regulations, oversight and hindsight, is this simple commandment: Don't be a jerk.

How difficult is this? Don't be a crook and don't act like one.

I mean, this isn't rocket science.

We can police people better, but that doesn't make them better people.

We have to teach ethics first and business principles second.

It's sad but true. These abuses are the by-product of a culture that said you could do anything you wanted, and get away with it. A culture that admired the ingenuity of a guy who could parse what the meaning of is is, but not what the meaning of life is.

I say this: Life is short, go long.

Wall Street is fleeting. Main Street is not.

So to corporate America, let me say this: Try not to impress your broker friends, but your true friends.

And to the financial community, I say this: Remember who butters your bread — the very slobs some of you chose to ignore — us.

We can't make you behave. But for those of you who don't, we can make you go to jail.

Far more of you are decent than deceitful, hard-working than hard-nosed.

I want the quiet ones to speak up and show the bums up. It needn't take a good commission to do that, all it takes is a good heart. And it has to begin now.

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