And now, business ethics in the modern age. Richard Grasso, head of the New York Stock Exchange, has been criticized quite a bit for engineering a gargantuan compensation package, running into the hundreds of millions. Part of the outrage stems from Grasso's role, which is to guard the reputation of American business generally for fair and ethical dealing, at least with its investors. And indeed, he has some regrets:
- Last week, Mr. Grasso said his only regret was that he had deferred much of his pay during the last few years. Had he not, there would have been no headlines about $140 million.
So, Grasso showed an inadequate grasp of the most basic principle of modern business ethics: he failed to take the money and run.