Monday, July 30, 2012
Should Crimes of Capital Get Capital Punishment? – By Jason Zweig
Overheard in midtown Manhattan at the lunch hour:
“Another day, another financial scandal. New regulations, prosecution, getting hauled up in front of Congressional hearings – nothing seems to stop it.”
“Maybe we need to try something more drastic.”
“Well, there’s always the death penalty.”
Unfortunately, that’s been tried, too – and found wanting. Financial criminals throughout history have been beaten, tortured and even put to death, with little evidence that severe punishments have consistently deterred people from misconduct that could make them rich.
The history of drastic punishment for financial crimes may be nearly as old as wealth itself.