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View Diary: Large Zone Around Fukushima Will Be Uninhabitable For Decades, Japanese Will Finally Admit (247 comments)

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  •  I realize there's a bit of hyperbole here, but (17+ / 0-)

    I'd like to understand better what you mean by "death penalty".  Do you mean that the corporation should be dissolved, with the stock shares now worthless?  Well, then, who would get the assets?  Or would they be forfeited to the government who would hold a sale and the monies go as far as they can towards compensating victims?  The corporation assets would never come close to this kind of value.  So should they then not be allowed to be in business if they don't have the coverage (insurance, physical value?) in case this kind of disaster happens?  Should only governments be in a business like this?  Businesses are often valued in part upon the skills and intelligence of their workers, who would certainly not be sold to then pay back the victims.  What about the board of directors?  Would they have to forfeit their personal property to pay off the corporation's problems?  In my understanding, that's one of the primary reasons you incorporate in the first place - to shield company assets from personal assets.  At what level would you drill down before you stopped going after the wealth - all stockholders?  Only those with at least half a percent of the value of the overall company?  

    It's just a scattering of questions I have for you on this idea you propose.  I do think corporate boards should be held responsible if they break laws, but if they don't break them but just take advantage of loose laws, then I think it's also the responsibility of the government who either didn't pass the laws to close the loopholes or the regulators who didn't enforce the laws.  Which means it becomes all of our fault, and it's the personal profit/ public problem issue that we're seeing on Wall Street.  Japan happens to be a country where corporate board members actually are able to feel some responsibility for their failures and resign rather than just reach for more bailouts like they do here in the US.

    •  Excellent question ColoTim. I was mostly being (25+ / 0-)

      rhetorically hyperbolic out of frustration.

      But, I do think we need to alert stockholders, and maybe even bond-holders that they should expect to lose their assets in the event of corporate malfeasence.

      Only if stock and bond holders demand their management teams uphold the highest standards of integrity, will we see progress.

      This will not be sufficient, but, could be a step in the right direction.  

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 01:35:52 PM PDT

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    •  your questions (7+ / 0-)

      are good answers.

      400+ BILLIONAIRES PAY 50% TO 100%+ LESS TAX THAN THE 300,000,000 REST OF US. THEY HAVE RIGGED THE TABLE SPECIFICALLY FOR THEMSELVES AND AGAINST US. WE ARE TOO POOR TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SAME LOOPHOLES AND BENEFITS THEY HAVE BOUGHT OTHERS FOR.

      by theChild on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 02:47:54 PM PDT

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      •  a country's energy reserves, after all, (6+ / 0-)

        is truly something "too big to fail," unlike perhaps other fly-by-night operations we see.

        ("fly-by-night" sometimes meaning, corporations undergoing "name changes" in some futile attempt to duck under the public sentiment's radar.)

        400+ BILLIONAIRES PAY 50% TO 100%+ LESS TAX THAN THE 300,000,000 REST OF US. THEY HAVE RIGGED THE TABLE SPECIFICALLY FOR THEMSELVES AND AGAINST US. WE ARE TOO POOR TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SAME LOOPHOLES AND BENEFITS THEY HAVE BOUGHT OTHERS FOR.

        by theChild on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 02:49:40 PM PDT

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    •  The stockholders, at least owners of (9+ / 0-)

      common stock, are only liable up to the value of their stock.  In a dissolution or forfeiture situation, the bondholders lose their entire investment, unless they have credit default swaps on the bonds.  On the other hand, directors and high ranking employees are fully liable for acts of recklessness or negligence, as the limited liability aspect only extends to stockholders.  Other classes of shares, such as preferred, convertible or special issues are treated in accord with their character, whether more like stocks, or more like loans.
           Dissolution in bankruptcy would lead to a sale of assets and distribution among creditors depending on class, taxes and secured creditors usually being preferred over others.  
           Forfeiture of the corporate charter by the decision of a court would often lead to the seizure of the assets by the state, which could then decide to reimburse the harmed populace as a priority, or use bankruptcy principles, or a combination of these plan types.  This last is the most flexible, and would give the best chance of relief to the members of the public affected by the wrongful conduct of the corporation.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:40:30 PM PDT

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    •  At issue are the laws for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, HoundDog

      reckless corporate endangerment.

      I am not a lawyer.

      Limited liability is a different issue, and the situations discusssed in this diary are not properly covered by it.

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:21:58 PM PDT

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    •  the interesting thing is that corporation can (3+ / 0-)

      break laws with impunity and yet no one goes to jail.

      and yet, at some point, somebody within the corporation broke the law or the activity which was illegal wouldn't have happened.

      the problem is that if such behavior is being promoted, which it is at many, many corporations then there should be a death sentence.

      basically that means the board goes away

      upper management, goes away, if not to jail.  I mean if the CEO is firing people for obeying saftey regs, how is that not illegal ?

      lots of fines and confiscation of assets.

      and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the stockholders have to suffer.

      if anyone makes one red cent from the illegal dealings then it will happen again.  that's why it happens now.  a 500m fine for goldman ? who gives a shit, they made 6x that in one quarter.

      the govt should have confiscated their earnings, ALL OF THEM, for a minimum of one year.

      corporations have no rights, they are artificial constructs. are attitude should be to tolerate them, not coddle them.

      big badda boom : GRB 080913

      by squarewheel on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:34:02 PM PDT

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      •  Corporate officers are legally responsible (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        squarewheel, Russgirl

        for the actions of their corporations. It's just the good ol' boys taking care of one another that keeps them out of the hoosegow.

        "Our answer is more democracy, more openness, more humanity." ~Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg

        by Andhakari on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 04:50:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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