Enron’s Fastow: “Within the Rules” Doesn’t Mean “Ethical”

business_ethics_highlights_2In tough, competitive games — like business — the rules of the game matter. The fact that a given move is within the rules counts for a lot, especially when the game (whether it’s football or high finance) explicitly allow for some rough behaviour that isn’t permitted in polite company. But as the Andew Fastow, former Chief Financial Office at Enron, points out, there’s plenty of shady behaviour that is technically permitted, but still unethical. >>>

LINK: Here’s a Simple Lesson on Business Ethics From the Former CFO of Enron (by Tracy Alloway in Bloomberg)

…The point he makes, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that business ethics can be a tricky thing. Practices that are perfectly legal and wide-spread can be unethical. While the off-balance sheet transactions that triggered Enron’s collapse were approved by the company’s lawyers, accountants and management, Fastow said, he nevertheless deserved to go to jail for misleading investors….

What do you think?

See also: What’s Legal Isn’t Always Ethical


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