Will the parade of leaders who fail to fulfill their leadership responsibilities ever end? CEOs are public figures. Their actions are constantly being scrutinized inside and outside their organizations. For this reason their actions must be beyond reproach.
Warren Buffett may be more diligent when he plays cards than in enforcing the policies he wrote for Berkshire Hathaway. Principles only matter when they are inconvenient. A policy that isn't enforced isn't a policy.
Berkshire Hathaway's reputation has revolved around the lip-service paid by Warren Buffett to a high standard of corporate governance. Now, the moral tone set at the top is now being publicly questioned.
The David Sokol case reveals much of what has gone wrong on Wall Street. Employees of publicly traded firms get very confused as to what their responsibilities are to their shareholders, other firms' shareholders, and to society in general.
My favorite legal guru on white collar legal offenses tells me this morning that David Sokol's purchase of 96,000 shares of Lubrizol "appears legal, but stupid and arguably confusing his personal interest with his business loyalty."