13 April 2011

Bernie Madoff, whose 150 year  fraud sentence means he is unlikely to ever be released from prison, has created a media stir.  In an interview he claims that business schools were asking him to teach ethics courses.  A Harvard spokesman suggested that such an approach was highly unlikely.  However a number of the top MBA courses include lectures from convicted executives.  Businessweek suggests that “The hope is that hearing how business types strayed from the straight and narrow, and paid the ultimate price for their crimes, will scare the bejeebers out of MBA students as they embark on their post-MBA careers, or at the very least provide fodder for ethics discussions.”

Few find real rehabilitation, even through the speaking circuit. A “fallen angel” back in the news is Eliot Spitzer. The former New York Attorney General who resigned three years ago in a media circus about his association with “high end” escorts has regained prominence not only as the anchor on a high profile interview show on CNN, but through the movie “Client 9 – the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer” showing now in New Zealand cinemas.  Unlike Madoff, Spitzer also teaches a class every Friday – at City College, New York.