More Money Than GodnOPINIONSn”How shameless and how greedy all these peoplenare!n—Fyodor DostoevskynGreed and Glory on Wall Street:nThe Fall of the House of Lehman bynKen Auletta, New York: RandomnHouse.nCaptain Money and the GoldennGirl The J. David Affair hy DonaldnC. Bander, New York: HarcourtnBrace Jovanovich; $15.95.nMetal Men: Marc Rich and then10-Billion-Dollar Scam by A. CraignCopetas, New York: G.P. Putnam’snSons; $17.95.nOnce there were three finance firmsnand then there were none. One was anPonzi scheme, one a tax fraud, and thenlast was sold to American Express forn$380 million. One CEO is broke andnin jail; one is a wealthy fugitive fromnU.S. justice, living in Switzerland onna Spanish passport; and the third pocketedn$23 million of buyout money. IfnTheodore Dreiser had written ThenThree Little Pigs, he couldn’t havenexposed the ravenous greed of today’snfinancial marketplace any better thannthese contemporary tales of businessnmorality and the lack of it.nFostered alike by the capital needs ofnbig-deficit government and the abusenof deregulation, financial fraud is rampant.nRecord-setting insider trading,nThomas L. Ashton is a professor atnthe University of Massachusetts,nAmherst, teaching English andnbusiness subjects. His most recentnbook is Business and the Politics ofnEconomic Responsibility.nby Thomas L. Ashtonntax evasion, bank failure, and investornbilking were commonplace in 1986.n”Nobody steals Fred C. Dobbs’ gold!”nsnarled Bogart in the film version ofnTraven’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre,nbut the times have changed. Financenis a global high-tech operation, andnthe world is living on high-speedncredit—theft is a cash flow problemnthat hurts only taxpayers, small inves­n//A li^^nf^^m^^nM^KM^^n^ ^nf^nfJ^jnwn^^^^^m^^MnT^^Hk^^^^^^^JMSPs^^^^^n1 .^mS^^znf^mj^^^W^u^’nl^^^^s^^^^^p’^ntors, and out-of-work employees.nIn the newly leveraged America, topnexecutives have more money thannGod. What is said of Marc Rich & Co.nis true for J. David Banking andnLehman — “There was so muchnmoney that everybody in the firm lostntouch with reality. . . . They were soncocky that they thought their next dealnwould be for the nails that put ChristniM ^^ni^Ln^^Knnnyyl^*’*^ ®n# ^—^^OTv /nd^mKnf^^^mi^^WnF.F//^,nJANUARY 1987 / 21n