Wall Street: How Hard a Wrist Slap?


Regulators and law-enforcement officials are now struggling to hammer out penalties that Wall Street firms will have to pay to compensate for past indiscretions, such as issuing misleading research reports or having their analysts recommend stocks to investors that the analysts knew weren't good bets (see BW Online, 12/16/02, "Wall Street's Fine Mess"). What punishment do you think would fit the crime? That's the subject of this BusinessWeek Online Reader Survey, which as always is unscientific, since anyone who wishes to can participate.

Do you think the appropriate penalty for a firm that consciously

misleads investors should include:

Fines

Jail time for those responsible

Both

Neither

Not sure

In such an instance, should the fines levied be:

Negotiated by regulators and the companies that cheated

Based on the amount of money investors lost as a result of the misleading information

Assessed against individual wrongdoers, but not against their companies

Don't know

How large a fine do you think is appropriate for big-name Wall Street

firms that misled tens of thousands of investors?

Less than $100 million

$100 million to $500 million

$500 million to $1 billion

More than $1 billion

Not sure

Should regulators avoid levying fines so high that they leave the firms financially vulnerable?

No

Yes

Not sure

Do you think hefty fines against Wall Street firms will deter

them from engaging in unethical practices in the future?

Yes

No

Not sure

When you look for a broker or investment bank, do you take into

account its history of wrongdoing and fines?

No

Yes

Not sure

Based on what you've read in the news, which of the following companies do you think did the most harm to investors in 2002:

Merrill Lynch

Enron

Citigroup

WorldCom

Tyco

Adelphia Communications

Until now, how good a job do you think federal and state regulators have done at keeping brokerages and investment banks on the straight and narrow?

Very good

Reasonably good

Reasonably bad

Very bad

Not sure

If you would like to be notified by e-mail of the results of this poll, please enter your e-mail address below.

Your e-mail address is:


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus