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The Rise of the Rogue Executive: How Good Companies Go Bad and How to Stop the Destruction by Cynthia J. Smith, Leonard R. Sayles

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Chapter 2. American Business at Risk: Picking Up the Pieces and Looking Ahead

Americans surely are distressed by the nonstop series of revelations of executive misbehavior and business deceptions—some trivial, most appalling. Even though corruption and scams have existed throughout our economic history, the current period is unparalleled in scope. In the past, fast buck artists, con men, and exploitative businessmen have come and gone. Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Robert Maxwell, and their contemporaries helped produce “a decade of greed”—the 1980s. Little did we know, as we breathed a sigh of relief when Milken and Boesky were locked away in jail, that the “decade of excessive greed and arrogance” was just beginning—the 1990s.

Stock market crashes ...

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