A system where unethical, illegal, self-serving actions are allowed to triumph over merit is parasitical, counter-growth–socially and financially destructive. When the cops are allowed to be dishonest and corrupt, the situation is truly hopeless.
Deutsche Bank whistleblower and former risk officer Eric Ben-Artzi raised quite a few eyebrows this summer, when he publicly rejected a multimillion dollar award from the Securities and Exchange Commission via an op-ed in the Financial Times.
In October, Ben-Artzi was interviewed by Guy Rolnik, a Clinical Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-director of the Stigler Center, via video conference. During the interview, he discussed at length both his reasons for becoming a whistleblower, and what he has learned about the American judicial system and the revolving door within the SEC. Here is a direct video link.
Here is the transcript and some key quotes:
“…crime on Wall Street, the misdeeds on Wall Street, are a symptom. They’re not the disease. The disease is that in the judicial system in the U.S., there are far too many conflicts of interest that go not only unpunished, but unaddressed. It’s completely prevalent…Unfortunately the SEC is not the only regulatory body in the U.S. that has been co-opted by the people that it’s supposed to regulate”
…I think that in the U.S in particular, but throughout the developed world today, corruption is probably the number one problem. The biggest fight that we have is against the influence of money in our government, but especially I would say in the legal system, because to me at least that’s the most painful part.
You assume that politicians are going to be…They’re elected officials, you don’t expect much from them, but you expect a lot from a judge or from a prosecutor. My experience over the last few years, seeing that that component of our system is for sale, especially in the U.S., was shocking. It was a huge disappointment.
I think you and I, and hopefully other people, we’re going to change that together. I don’t feel that I’ve been successful ultimately on a personal level. I don’t know if you will be. Hopefully you will be one day. All I can say is that because of us, because of Darcy Flynn, because of whistleblowers before him and hopefully whistleblowers that will come after us, eventually we’re going to win.”