What’s the Wall Street lesson for Volkswagen executives? Too big to fail companies can rip-off the American public, executives can earn millions in additional compensation, and no one is held accountable for “corporate” decisions.
There is a glimmer that this travesty may not happen this time. The Justice Department is considering criminal indictments against the VW executives who made the decisions to sell cars that violated U.S. pollution laws. But, don’t hold your breath.There is a good chance no VW executives will actually go to jail. It will get down to political connections and a Justice Department that would rather fine corporations than prosecute politically connected executives.
But maybe, and this is a definite long-shot, the decisions made by VW executives to damage the environment and the health of millions of Americans is considered more egregious than Wall Street’s decisions to damage peoples’ ability to retire and be financially secure for the remainder of their lives. It is health versus money. Maybe it is easier to get money back.