Saturday, July 14 was Bastille Day, the French national holiday which celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison during the early days of the French Revolution in 1789. Simply because a revolution does not succeed does not mean that it should not be celebrated and certainly the French people overthrowing centuries of royal rule for liberté, egalité and fraternité is an event to be recognized. I thought about what happened to the revolution of 1789 and its spiral downwards into the Terror of 1794 in looking back over the past two weeks of stunning revelations about corrupt practices behind three of the biggest scandals of recent note; the financial scandals involving the LIBOR manipulation by Barclay’s, the unraveling of the brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. and the money laundering violations admitted to by HSBC. The question that would seem to arise is will these three scandals end with the guillotine or a transition to transparency and the light of day with ethical cultures in embedded in these corporations?
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