(Corporate) Crime Most Definitely Pays

The New York Times reports that on August 7 a federal judge approved a settlement between the Justice Department and Morgan Stanley. Here’s the crime. In 2006 Morgan Stanley entered into a complex swap agreement with the New York electricity company KeySpan that gave it a stake in the profits of a competitor, enabling both to push up the price of electricity.

Here’s why crime pays. Total cost to New Yorkers from the price fixing: $300 million. Fees paid to Morgan Stanley for making the swap agreement: $21.6 million. Penalty Morgan Stanley is going to pay because of its crime: $4.8 million. And Morgan Stanley doesn’t have to admit any wrong doing.

There will be no further prosecution.

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David Morris
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David Morris

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR's distinguished fellow. His five non-fiction books range from an analysis of Chilean development to the future of electric power to the transformation of cities and neighborhoods.  For 14 years he was a regular columnist for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. His essays on public policy have appeared in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington PostSalonAlternetCommon Dreams, and the Huffington Post.

David Morris
Follow David Morris:
David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR's distinguished fellow. His five non-fiction books range from an analysis of Chilean development to the future of electric power to the transformation of cities and neighborhoods.  For 14 years he was a regular columnist for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. His essays on public policy have appeared in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington PostSalonAlternetCommon Dreams, and the Huffington Post.

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