202068

9780130286857

Profit without Honor: White Collar Crime and the Looting of America
Profit without Honor: White Collar Crime and the Looting of America
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  • ISBN-13: 9780130286857
  • ISBN: 0130286850
  • Edition: 2
  • Publication Date:
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR

AUTHOR

SUMMARY

In the short time that has passed since the first edition of this book was published in 1998, there have been--as one surely would expect--significant new developments in the study of white-collar crime. Promissory note sales scams, hardly a blip on the radar a few years ago, are now being called the number one fraud in the United States. Congressional hearings have exposed the flagrant deceit of the sweepstakes industry. The biggest embezzlement in American history and the biggest swindle ever uncovered have both occurred, as well as the largest price-fixing fine ever meted out. New environmental horror stories have surfaced involving an obscure deadly substance, beryllium. The disastrous Firestone tire debacle has outraged the nation, and a major bribery scandal has clouded the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Computer crime has continued to emerge as the nation's fastest growing category of crime. Two recent cyber-attacks have brought the Internet to its knees. One damaged an estimated 45 million PCs; the other crippled most of the major e-commerce sites, and each attack was launched by a15-year-old boy."Pump and dump" schemes have exploded on the Internet, and "identity theft" has become part of the popular lexicon. Perhaps most ominous, organized crime has smelled the "new economy" and has forced its way to the feeding trough. The first edition described Wall Street brokers acting like organized criminals. This edition depicts organized criminals acting like Wall Street brokers. The late 1990s also witnessed a resurgence of insider trading along with the merger-mania that characterized the so-called greed decade of the 1980s. Of course, one of the biggest and most important antitrust cases in American history--U.S. v Microsoft--has been tried and has yielded a stunning verdict. All of these cases and many others are considered in this updated edition. So, once again,Profit Without Honorseeks to elucidate a very broad subject that only seems to get broader: white-collar crime. How broad? Its domain stretches from the small price-gouging merchant to the huge price-fixing cartel. It can breed in an antiseptic hospital or a toxic dump. It is at home on Main Street, Wall Street, Madison Avenue--sometimes even 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Yet, as Americans demonize the Crips and the Bloods, recoil at the Unabomber, and obsess over O. J. Simpson, white-collar crime still remains the "other" crime problem. The reason for this relative indifference is that the true costs of upperworld misconduct are largely unrecognized. Compared with murderers, terrorists, and urban gangsters, white-collar criminals do not seem to scare the public very much. Even the economic expense--by far the most identifiable cost--is typically underestimated by the average citizen. Annual losses from white-collar crime are probably 50 times greater than losses from ordinary property crime. For example, the price of bailing out a single corrupt savings and loan (S & L) institution surpassed the total losses of all the bank robberies in American history. The bill for the entire S & L bailout ultimately may exceed atrilliondollars. (To put that figure in perspective, consider that a million seconds is about 11 days; a trillion seconds is about 30,000 years.) Indeed, the price-tags attached to some white-collar crimes are so staggering that they are difficult to comprehend. They evoke memories of the late Senator Everett McKinley Dirkson's wry quip: "A billion here, a billion there; and pretty soon you're talking about real money!" Monetary expenditures are only the tip of the topic. The "looting" in the subtitle of this book refers to more than larceny; it implies destruction, too. This book argues for an expanded definition of white-collar crime because such crime is not just property crime on a grand scale. It entails higher aPontell, Henry N. is the author of 'Profit without Honor: White Collar Crime and the Looting of America', published 2001 under ISBN 9780130286857 and ISBN 0130286850.

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