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The Price of Greed

In her book, Pigs at the Trough, political columnist Arianna Huffington describes how shady businesses, and the insatiable bosses who run them, are getting filthy rich while thumbing their noses at the law. As she puts it, "In corporate America, crime pays. Handsomely. Grotesquely, even." Huffington's observation is right on, and it makes the following news report particularly gratifying.

American International Group announced this week that it would pay $1.64 billion to settle allegations of bid rigging, price fixing, and fraud. Experts report that the deal, reached with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Justice Department, is the biggest regulatory settlement with a U.S. company. AIG, the world's largest insurance company, still faces shareholder lawsuits that will increase the overall cost of the

Spitzer and company are sending a message to business leaders who believe that crime pays. There's a price tag on greed-and it's a big one.
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