5 financial scandals long before Enron

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There has been a rash of corporate scandals and greed over the past decade, but it is hardly new.  Here are a few financial scandals that made news long before Enron and Worldcom.

Back in 1864, Credit Mobilier was a construction company started by executives of Union Pacific Railroad. They then had Union Pacific make contracts with Credit Mobilier to build railroads at inflated prices. These payments would in turn go to buy Union Pacific stock at par value and sell them at market value, generating huge profits to the tune of over $43 million.

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The Provincial Government of Alberta in Canada

March 29, 2010, Edmonton

Hon. Alison Redford, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Alberta

Dear Ms. Minister:

Please be set assured that I will not take any legal steps against your government for abuse I have surfed from hands of your oppressors.

Please visit the website www.xlibris.com/WlodzimierzWalterStanny.html
to learn how to screw the bank and government.

Sincerely yours;

Wlodzimierz Stanny M.Sc. (PL)
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Interestingly, the post itself sounds out of date because enron and worldcom made the news some years ago. In the past 2 years there've been loads of other financial scandals du jour. Nice post though.
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Just a reminder for those thinking Government regulation is the answer to financial scandals. Check out the following quotes and tell me what they all have in common:

1. "Here’s the thing: the contracts were being paid with generous subsidies from the U.S. Government."

2. "He was found not-guilty of wrongdoing because the courts ruled that “a holding company could not be held responsible for the acts of the companies it controlled”."

3. "That way Gould and Fisk could have inside information as to when the government planned a gold sale."

4. "After the investigation, it was revealed that Keating had made many large (but legal) donations to the campaign funds of five U.S. senators in return for preferential treatment from the SEC. "

The only one that doesn't involve Government officials is the salad oil scandal and who knows, Inspectors may have been given kickbaks in that one too. Government regulations only work if you have ethical Government employees.
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