A Modest Proposal to Render Corporations Accountable

When a Corporation is found guilty of serious misconduct, it is sometimes fined. It is evident, however, that to levy fines on a Corporation hurts principally the shareholders and the customers of that corporation, and leaves entirely unscathed those Executives who ordered or failed to prevent the abuse.

I propose that when a corporation is fined, all members of the Board (executive and non-executive Directors) during the period when the offence took place, should be fined proportionately. The fines should be based on salary, bonus, and accrued pension fund, for the entire period of the offence. Fines should start, perhaps, at a tithe of this sum, and increase proportionately as the fine is to the profit or turnover of the corporation.

Not to do so brings great moral hazard. If those leaders who make illegal and damaging decisions pay no penalty for the wrong they do, what should we expect?