I can find no redeeming behaviour on the part of the venal and hubristic directors of Carillion in the Commons select committees report. Greed, recklessness, irresponsibility, immorality - directors, in the words of Frank Field, more interested in stuffing their mouths with gold than with their fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities.
As I've written previously, I've seen this culpable recklessness time after time in the Construction industry - loss leading bids for contracts with a naive hope that profit can be screwed from contract variations, a prioritising of turnover over profitability, a childish drive for size. It's unforgivable and I don't forgive it.
Those who suffer are the trades, workers and sub-contractors - working people, living from contract to contract, often at the slenderest of margins strained by late payment or settlement of accounts, ordinary grafters with families and mortgages and car leases to pay. Men and women I know and like and will always defend. And those fat carousing bastards at Carillion thieved millions without compunction. Shame on them.
Equally culpable are the crooks at the big 4 audit firms - KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY - also excoriated by the Commons report. In return for fat audit fees, these crim bastards send in teams of juniors and trainees to test-check documents, interrogate computer systems and generally to record time spent and accumulate fat box files of dross to demonstrate due diligence, whilst happily ignoring a global picture of impending failure. Shame on these bastards, too.
My only solution is the American one. We don't need any more regulations, any more accounting codes, any more restrictions on doing business, any more restraints on responsible capitalism. What we have are adequate. We must not make business any harder or more onerous or burdensome. No, what we need are post-hoc retributive measures - that if a firm fails, as Carillion did, and if that failure was due to the malfeasance of directors and auditors, as it was at Carillion, it should mean long jail terms. Twenty years and more. And not for the junior trainees at the Big Four but for the directors. These bastards must face real penalties.