Sent: 6/13/2011 5:18:35 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: ERC white paper "Too Big To Regulate"
Dear Dr. Harned,
I am writing to comment on the Ethics Resource Center 2010 white paper Too Big To Regulate: Preventing Misconduct in the Private Sector .
My comments are from the perspective of my focus on the question of entity level liability versus officer and employee individual liability for achieving deterrence. The ERC's white paper brushes on this matter in a few places.
The white paper, towards its beginning, says recent events have raised "significant" questions about the effectiveness of government regulation and the ability of regulators to prevent misconduct. The paper sets forth eight such questions, the last of which is one of possible resignation, to wit: "Have we simply reached the point where regulating corporate conduct is an impossible job?"
It is possible that this last question need not be limited to referring to government regulation, and it could be legitimately asked about self-regulation as well.
The paper does a lot of circling around the government's enforcement approach and the corporation's self-regulatory approach. The paper covers numerous points and issues, variously supportive of and questioning of the two sides. The paper acknowledges that differences persist and calls on the two sides to continue to try to bridge the gap.
I think the white paper would have been better if there was more discussion of the question of entity level liability versus officer and employee individual liability for being better in regulating corporate conduct.