This is so far offtopic, you can’t even see WoW from this one if you used the Hubble.
Let’s talk for a moment about corporate greed, accounting scandals, corporate misuse of funds, and other assorted ‘creative accounting’ misdeeds.
Large multinational conglomerates, huge corporations that employ hundreds of thousands of people, research, manufacture or distribute thousands of products from dozens of divisions and branches around the world, and see cash or credit profit flow among accounts that pass well beyond 30 billion dollars each year. That’s 30 billion profit, and I don’t mean profit before income tax.
Is it any wonder corrupt CEOs and other company officers continue to believe that, with so much cash sloshing around so many divisions, in a system too complex for any one person to keep straight without an army of accountants, that they could just dip their hands in the bucket of corporate profit and siphon off whatever they’d like for their own use?
The names of the companies already brought low have become legendary.
Enron. Adelphia. WorldCom. Global Crossing.
The story of John Rigas, convicted former CEO and one of the founders of Adelphia, is a great example. Rigas was convicted for fraud in the embezzlement/looting of Adelphia’s funds on the order of 3.1 billion dollars. By all reports, both of his sons and a few friends were in on it with him.
Just yesterday, the papers held stories that a cellmate of Bernie Madoff, who had been convicted for 11 counts of fraud and sentenced to 150 years in prison, had revealed to this guy that he still had 9 billion dollars secreted away in hidden accounts that nobody knew about.
Why would a ridiculous claim like that be considered possible enough to hit the papers?
Maybe because it’s estimated that while the court appointed trustees officially acknowledge Mr. Madoff of having bilked his customers to the tune of 18 billion dollars, actual accounting analysis suggests the amount that really vanished from his customers accounts over the years comes closer to 65 billion.
65 beeellllllliiiiooooon dollars.
Seems beyond comprehension that a single man could steal more money than some countries have as their GDP, doesn’t it? Like, more money than the GDP of Costa Rica size ludicrous.
And yet, let’s face facts. As hated and reviled as these people are, as atrocious and silly as the lists of things these people bought with their stolen wealth may be, in the end they’re just pikers.
Chump change. Rank amateurs.
These idiots bought houses. Mansions. Gold plated toilets and $50,000 shower curtains.
There is one CEO whose exploits in looting their company, in misdirecting profits, in bilking shareholders of earned dividends goes beyond anything those toads could ever have dreamed.
A CEO who not only bought race cars, but had their own company finance the design and construction of a supercar for their own personal, exclusive use that makes the Vayron, the Daimler-Benz T80 and the 2009 SSC Ultimate Aero look like Honda Civics by comparison.
A CEO who not only had his own corporate LearJet, but had multiple custom high performance jet aircraft made for his own exclusive use from redirected company funds.
Hell, this CEO had his own, personal submarine, docking facility, multiple Cray supercomputers for private use, AND…
Hold onto your hats…
A custom satellite that he launched into space outside the control of any international space agency, and his own personal satellite control center. All under his own, exclusive, personal control.
And all deriving from funds drained from his publicly owned company over decades.
Best of all… this CEO has never been brought up on charges for all this spending. He’s never been held accountable to this day.
I am talking, of course, about one of the most amazingly larcenous CEOs in history; Bruce Wayne.
Let’s look at the public relations blurb put out about Wayne Corporation, reprinted from Wikipedia;
Based in Gotham City, Wayne Corp was founded in the seventeenth century as a merchant house and has grown to become one of the top 10 world multinational conglomerates. Today, Wayne Corp continues to achieve excellence across a wide range of industry sectors and markets, employing some 170,000 people in 170 countries. The current CEO & Chairman, Bruce Wayne, is a keen modernizer and is continuing to grow the business in the financial sector and high end technologies.
Sounds professional, right? Successful, progressive, a forward moving corporation for the new millennium.
But while you can see the surface signs of embezzlement from the documentaries Batman Begins and Batman: The Dark Knight, it’s only when you really get into the behind-the-scenes stories as related by the business journal DC Comics that you see the true scope of his crimes.
Despite employing over 170,000 employees stretched across 12 divisions, and being shared publicly, Bruce Wayne has long seen Wayne Corporation as nothing more than his own personal piggy bank, to be raided whenever he feels like a new toy.
The question was raised years ago, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”
Well, the answer is clear. Bruce Wayne is a white collar criminal on a scale hardly ever dreamed of before.
If you think Bernie Madoff is excoriated and derided now, just imagine if the list of baubles HE’D purchased with his ill gotten gains included his own personal submarine! A submarine, let’s be clear about this, with a custom bat logo welded onto the front.
So why is it that we hate Bernie Madoff, but we have nothing but love for Bruce Wayne? Why the double standard?
Hell, Bruce Wayne not only buys whatever he feels like and even has to make up new categories to find ways to spend billions of Wayne Corporation dollars, he even flys all over the world, stealing money from his corporate shareholders in order to woo and bed sexy starlets and vapid headed bimbos by the dozen, all supposedly to maintain a ‘billionaire playboy’ image created purely for public consumption to throw the law off his tracks.
So, how is it we love him so much?
Crime fighter defense.
Bruce Wayne steals money from his shareholders, sure, but he doesn’t really want to use it for selfish reasons.
No, not at all!
It’s not for himself, it’s to help him better fight crime.
Every time he takes one of those starlets to the sack in a luxurious penthouse apartment, and then afterwords ducks down to his billion dollar secret underground network of caves he installed under the Charitable Foundation he named after his mother, he’s not really enjoying it. Oh, no, not hardly.
He just does it because he has to, so he can fight crime better.
So, this raises an interesting question, doesn’t it?
In future cases against CEOs that redirect funds from their corporations for their own private use, why shouldn’t their defense attorneys use the “crime fighting” defense?
Clearly, you can explain it all away as long as you just make it clear to the jury, it was all done with the best of intentions for a wonderful, selfless cause!
Of course, risking your life day in and day out fighting wackos is a bit extreme when setting up a future legal defense strategy.
There is an alternative. Simply make huge donations to non-profit organizations, organize charitable foundations, and spend a lot of money under the table doing good works. Establish yourself as a clandestine benefactor, obsessed with doing the right thing… with other people’s money.
Once you get it set up and running, all that time you spend blowing money on fine whiskey and finer women was just to keep up the outward façade of self-centered arrogance, right? Wouldn’t want your corporate competition to think you were weak and ripe for a takeover, after all.
The crime fighter defense.
Please, let me see it used just once before I die.