Corporate Ethics: Wall Street Wins?

The corporate reform movement faces new hurdles

The corporate-reform movement took two body blows last week: the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of accounting firm Arthur Andersen for obstruction of justice, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chief William Donaldson quit under pressure.

Has Andersen been vindicated? The court decision didn't address whether Andersen obstructed justice when it destroyed documents that could have proved valuable to the federal probe of accounting fraud by its client Enron Corp. The high court simply found fault with the instructions Judge Melinda Harmon gave the jury at the prosecution's request. The jury, it said, should have been clearly told that an intent...

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