The US Government is making multi-billion dollars settlements with America’s largest banks, including Bank of America, Citi Bank, and Goldman Sachs for their involvement in the housing meltdown. But these settlements dwarf the damage caused by the banks. In addition, they do little to discourage shortsighted, self-serving behaviors that create systemic risks.
That’s because they do not target the decision makers. A company does not act solely on its perceived interests, but rather, its interests and the interests of its leaders as perceived by those leaders.