The China Law Blog recently did a nice post that highlights some of the differences between China and the US re: holding upper management responsible for their blunders.
Click HERE to check it out.
One thing I have noticed over the years about the US and its citizenry — people moan and groan about the excesses of corporate America, but when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road and put those dudes in the clink for their excesses and misdeeds we have a reflex to back off in many cases under the argument that “we are special; we don’t do that here because we are this great democracy with this wonderful constitution that provides due process to everyone” and/or “said cases require the DA to prove reasonable doubt and criminal intent and that bar is just too high”.
Clearly, and as this CLB post shows, China did not mess around with such issues and subtleties on the highlighted case at hand. And in some recent cases, China has even executed such high-ups (e.g., one corporate exec in China recently received the death penalty, a year or two ago China executed the HEAD of its version of or FDA for corruption – does that happen to anyone in Washington DC or Sacramento for dereliction of duty?). As one Chinese parent noted (I am paraphrasing) of a women CEO/upper manager who was sentenced to life in prison for her role in a recent milk scandal in China where some kids died, “My baby daughter died because of what this woman did so this woman should have to die as well.”
On the other hand, to suggest that China always chases the bad guy corporate suits would not be true. I suspect that even in China, a number of the bad guy corporate suits also get away with it and/or are not chased due to lack of enforcement, particuarly when they are also CCP officials.
And of course, there are important nuances in what I say above, with respect to both China and the US. I acknowledge that. Fact, nuances, differences in cases and in the law are important and they matter. No doubt that each case is different.
That said, your thoughts, future corporate suits of America (formal or business casual)? Which model should we adopt, and why? Throw the corporate bums in jail (more criminal liability as in this Chinese example, and is some cases execution) or more of the same (see you in civil court where you will be chased for big time $$ damages like in the US)?
Be careful what you wish for …. one day, and with a bad decision or two under your belt, you could be one of the very folks this post tosses some stones at.