The failure to prosecute large banks for deliberate and consistent illegal activity because ‘it may cause a failure of confidence in the organization’ has confirmed a culture of no consequences for careless, selfish and illegal actions. The establishment of the rule of law over all individual and corporate entities is a necessary step towards giving people confidence in the system again. The costs of this new enforcement should be borne solely by corporations in the form of an annual levy.
Crimes that involve theft of sums of money above a million dollars should carry increasingly severe penalties matched with similar physical crimes.
A business that affects hundreds of thousands or millions of people should be liable for punishment in accordance with the severity of the affect. If the actions of the business or individuals resulted in ten thousand families losing their homes, for instance, this should mean jail terms equivalent to murder being applied. In addition to lengthy jail terms, they should lose all monetary benefits they gained while working for that business – including repaying their salary. The aim is to create a significant deterrent for individuals considering committing these crimes and to provide resources to ensure that they will be actively prosecuted and punished severely.
- All executives who presided over the event should also be personally liable for the responsibilities associated with their position in the organization.
- The claim that you did not know information that your job requires you to know should result in return of all salary, bonuses and benefits paid to you by the company as punishment for negligence, followed by being restricted from acting in any management role in any organization for ten years. After ten years you must compulsorily disclose this conviction to a future employer.
There needs to be an analysis performed for each such crime to establish:
- The number of people affected
- The severity of it
- How deliberate and malicious it was
This should then allow a mapping to physical crimes to draw parallels between assault, manslaughter, murder and equivalent financial crimes at scale. Multiple ‘murders’ should result in imprisonment for life.
The second layer of punishment must be a system of corporate fines for offences that are calculated directly from revenue for the year prior to the offence being committed. For a first offence, the fine should be 10% of the average annual revenue for the last five years (excluding years the business did not operate). For each successive offence, the amount will increase by a further 10% such that the tenth offense would claim the entire annual revenue.
This dual level of punishment, both corporate and personal, should act as a sufficient deterrent for any company executive looking for short term profits at any cost.
Revenue raised from these penalties should go to funding the legal system handling these cases to ensure it is well supported to keep case times as low as possible. The aim is to make this a process that can be entirely completed as quickly as possible to let the decision be made and everybody to go back to their lives. Any excess revenue should be directed to either greater health and education services or a reduction to individual income tax rates.