Has CEO behavior improved?
Andrew Ross Sorkin is The New York Times’s chief mergers and acquisitions reporter and a columnist. He is also the author of the 2009 book, "Too Big To Fail." Mr. Sorkin, a leading voice about Wall Street and corporate America, is also the editor of DealBook, an online daily financial report he started in 2001. In addition, Mr. Sorkin is an assistant editor of business and finance news, helping guide and shape the paper’s coverage.Mr. Sorkin, who has appeared on NBC's “Today” show and on “Charlie Rose” on PBS, is a frequent guest host of CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He won a Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in business journalism, in 2004 for breaking news. He also won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for breaking news in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader. Mr. Sorkin began writing for The Times in 1995 under unusual circumstances: he hadn’t yet graduated from high school. Mr. Sorkin lives in Manhattan.
uestion: Has CEO behavior improved?
Andrew Ross Sorkin: I do think that CEO behavior has improved, at least on the margin if not more so. We haven’t seen-- you know, it's funny, for all of the financial destruction in the markets that have taking place, you know, this has been a period where we have not seen people get taken away in handcuffs, whether it be on Wall Street or elsewhere. You know, occasionally you hear about an insider trading ring or you know, a warn off, usually some mom and pop in Czechoslovakia that seemed to get, you know, taken away.
But you haven’t hear of big-time CEOs in a lot of trouble. And I do think that one of the things that was going on during the Enron period and why prosecutors were as harsh as they were and I know a lot of people thought they were too harsh, was that they were really thinking about the deterrence factor. And at least so far, when we talk about short memories on Wall Street, at least so far it's working. As I said before, everything comes in cycles and I can't imagine we won't do this all again anyway.
Recorded on: June 3, 2008
Yes, says Sorkin.