Corporate Conduct in the 1990s
Jay A. Sigler and Joseph E. Murphy
The 1980s have been viewed by many as an anything-goes era reflecting the deregulatory approach of the Reagan administration. We have witnessed dramatic examples of corporate lawbreaking including headline-grabbing insider trading cases and savings and loan fraud.
At the beginning of the 1990s it appears that the new theme may well be "the cops are back." In reaction to the perception of unbridled misconduct there are renewed calls for re-regulation and tougher enforcement against corporate America. This raises the question, however, of whether this essentially binary approach--deregulate or reregulate--is the only choice. Are we destined to continue a recurring pattern of free-market abuse inevitably followed by regulatory abuse?
We believe that there is a viable alternative and that it is time for an interactive or cooperative approach to corporate compliance with the law. In Interactive Corporate Compliance ( 1988), we proposed a new relationship between business and government that would rely less on litigating and more on encouraging self-regulatory efforts by business. For those corporations willing to work in this manner, government would assist and encourage their development of effective compliance programs. Judged by the experiences and practices described by the contributors to this book and by our discussions