Sunday 2013-05-19

Corporate Crime by Marshall Clinard and Peter Yeager

This was originally published in 1980, and only marginally updated as most of the data comes from their work covering the manufacturing firms in the S&P 500 for the time period 1974-1976. Which isn't as interesting as a longitudinal survey where we can explore correlations.

We have attempted to give a balanced view of the issues in presenting the arguments on various sides, as in the case of the arguments for and against government regulation. Objectivity in social science research is difficult, however, due to the personal values of social scientists, yet we have made every effort to be objective in every aspect of this research.
-- Preface
In 1979, nine major oil companies were sued by the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice for illegal overcharges in excess of $1 billion. The companies were accused of either charging too much for products derived from natural gas liquids or "banking" excessive costs on their ledgers in order to boost consumer costs later... In contrast, the largest robbery in the history of the United States occurred in 1978 and involved the theft of $4 million from the Lufthansa airport warehouse in New York City.
-- Corporations and Illegal Behavior
( Why not total all crimes by kind by corporates and compare that to all crimes by kind by individuals? Or at least compare them to RICO crime amounts? )
Corporate crime provides an indication of the degree of hypocrisy in society. It is hypocritical to regard theft and fraud among the lower classes with distaste and to punish such acts while countenancing upper-class deception and calling it "shrewd business practice".
-- Corporations and Illegal Behavior
( In the 1970's, this was even-handed? How times have changed.... )