Having It All, Then Throwing It Away

Not since the reckless 1920s has the business world seen such searing scandals. White-collar scams abound: insider trading, money laundering, greenmail. Greed combined with technology has made stealing more tempting than ever. Result: what began as the decade of the entrepreneur is becoming the age of the pinstriped outlaw

J. Michael Cook is an enthusiastic collector of oxymora, among them such alleged contradictions as airline food, jumbo shrimp and postal service. But Cook, chairman of the Big Eight accounting firm of Deloitte Haskins & Sells, bristles when wags tell him about the latest one: business ethics. The unamused Cook maintains that...

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