System Failure: Ethical Meltdown Burns Wall Street

"Phony earnings, inflated revenues, conflicted Wall Street analysts, directors asleep at the switch--this isn't just a few bad apples we're talking about here," writes Fortune magazine. "This, my friends, is a systemic breakdown. Nearly every known check on corporate behavior--moral, regulatory, you name it--fell by the wayside, replaced by the stupendous greed that marked the end of the bubble. And that has created a crisis of investor confidence the likes of which hasn't been seen since--well, since the Great Depression." And the crisis hasn't even peaked yet. According to the June 24 Holmes Report, a PR industry newsletter, "A majority of top corporate ethics officers predict at least a half dozen more major business ethics scandals will break during the next 12 months, and some of these executives expect more than 20 such cases."