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|Genre/Form:||True crime stories|
|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Soltes, Eugene, author.
Why they do it
New York : PublicAffairs, 2016
|All Authors / Contributors:||
|Description:||viii, 448 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm|
|Contents:||Prologue: Managing in the gray --
The struggle to criminalize. "Not...bucket-shop operators, dead-beats, and fly-by-night swindlers" : pillars of the community ; "Guys...don't drop out of windows for no reason" : creating the white-collar criminal --
Nature or nurture? Reasoning or intuition?. "Inherently inferior organisms" : bad people making bad decisions ; "I thought it was all going to pass" : a press release with consequences ; "If you don't take it then you will regret it forever" : the triumph of reason ; "I never once thought of the costs versus rewards" : intuitive decisions ; "I never felt that I was doing anything wrong" : overlooking harm ; "If there was something wrong with this transaction, wouldn't people have told me?" : the difficulty of being good --
The business of malfeasance. "You can't make the argument that the public was harmed by anything I did" : misleading disclosure ; "Unfortunately, the world is not black and white" : financial reporting fraud ; "You go from just being on top of the world" : insider trading ; "I thought we were freakin' geniuses" : deceptive financial structures ; "You couldn't stop because you would wreck everything" : the Ponzi scheme ; "When I look back, it wasn't as if I couldn't have said no" : Bernie Madoff --
Conclusion: Toward greater humility.
"Perplexed as to why people who seemingly had it all would risk it all just to acquire more, Eugene Soltes began an investigation into the mind of the corporate criminal. His journey into this netherworld included intense and lengthy personal interactions with the famous (such as Bernie Madoff, executives from Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, and McKinsey) as well as those who are lesser known--all of whom traded places of privilege for prison and disgrace. Based on intimate details from personal visits, interviews, letters and phone calls and fascinating psychological, sociological and historical insight, Why They Do It is a breakthrough look at a modern phenomenon. Soltes pushes beyond the explanation that these criminals were driven by psychological aberration, overconfidence, or excessive greed and ambition. Nor did they rationally calculate the costs and benefits of their crimes. Instead, these people were working in a "grey zone"--stepping over the line, often without careful calculation, letting their intuition and gut feel for what is right and wrong elude them. Based on innovative research and extended contact with close to 50 former executives--many of whom have never spoken about their crimes--Soltes provides insights such as why some saw the immediate effects of misconduct as positive; why executives often don't feel the emotions--angst, guilt, shame--most people would expect; and how acceptable norms in the business community can differ from those of the broader society. No one book has provided a complete picture of this phenomenon of the white-collar criminal. Why They Do It is an original, provocative, and compelling analysis of a complex disturbing trend that will, with the ever-increasing globalization of business, continue to worsen"--
"This is a must-read... I was fascinated by Soltes' book. He interviewed four dozen prisoners -- including Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford (Ponzi schemes), Scott London and Sam Waksal (insider