Regulators and law-enforcement officials are now struggling to hammer out penalties that Wall Street firms will have to pay to compensate for past indiscretions, such as issuing misleading research reports or having their analysts recommend stocks to investors that the analysts knew weren't good bets (see BW Online, 12/16/02, "Wall Street's Fine Mess"). What punishment do you think would fit the crime? That's the subject of this BusinessWeek Online Reader Survey, which as always is unscientific, since anyone who wishes to can participate.
Do you think the appropriate penalty for a firm that consciously
misleads investors should include:
Jail time for those responsible
In such an instance, should the fines levied be:
Negotiated by regulators and the companies that cheated
Based on the amount of money investors lost as a result of the misleading information
Assessed against individual wrongdoers, but not against their companies
How large a fine do you think is appropriate for big-name Wall Street
firms that misled tens of thousands of investors?
Less than $100 million
$100 million to $500 million
$500 million to $1 billion
More than $1 billion
Should regulators avoid levying fines so high that they leave the firms financially vulnerable?
Do you think hefty fines against Wall Street firms will deter
them from engaging in unethical practices in the future?
When you look for a broker or investment bank, do you take into
account its history of wrongdoing and fines?
Based on what you've read in the news, which of the following companies do you think did the most harm to investors in 2002:
Until now, how good a job do you think federal and state regulators have done at keeping brokerages and investment banks on the straight and narrow?
If you would like to be notified by e-mail of the results of this poll, please enter your e-mail address below.
Your e-mail address is: