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WorldCom's Inflated Profit Another Blow to Confidence

July 02, 2002

With regard to WorldCom's fraudulent business transactions, President Bush stated in his radio address on Saturday that "no violation of the public's trust will be tolerated." That is a fine and honorable statement to make, but why didn't he make it sooner? A more astute president would have said this before Enron bilked California out of billions of dollars, or before employees' and investors' pension money went flying into the executive pockets of Halliburton, Arthur Andersen, Global Crossing, Tyco, ImClone, WorldCom and Xerox.

The signs were there, but Bush chose to ignore them. His current indignant demeanor is meaningless. The people who lost their life savings wanted him to say this months ago, not just when it was politically prudent.

Pat Perry

San Pedro

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So, Bush comes out with both guns a'blazing concerning WorldCom's financial shenanigans. It seems to me that the only mistake [former WorldCom Chief Executive] Bernie Ebbers ever made was not taking his 10-gallon hat, his cowboy boots and his corporate headquarters down to Texas to join the good ol' boys club.

Better to be an insider with the administration than end up the whipping boy for all of that unrealized national frustration over the failure of Congress to rip open the scandal of the earlier fiasco.

Eric Hainline

Santa Ana

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It seems investors are finally beginning to walk away from corporate America's little game of three-card monte. With any luck they'll be returning with pitchforks, torches and real penalties for white-collar crime. I propose one year in federal prison for each count of "economic murder." One year for each job lost, for each nest egg destroyed. A few 147,000-year sentences should get their attention.

Douglas Hammond

Long Beach

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The greed-motivated executives from Enron, Tyco, Adelphia, Arthur Andersen and now WorldCom have caused great financial ruin, not only to their employees and direct shareholders but to the rest of us. The collapse of their businesses has exacerbated the decline of the stock market--the same stock market that has the majority of our retirement funds in the form of 401(k) accounts.

I am 57 years old and hoped to retire by age 60. Not now, as the value of my 401(k) has declined so dramatically because of the market free fall--caused by these greedy robber barons. I want all their ill-gotten wealth to be taken from them and invested back into the market to prop it up. Then I want them all in jail.

Joan Gosewisch

Encinitas

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The public has been urged, by the likes of Bush and House Majority Leader Dick Armey, to accept the plan to "privatize" Social Security funds by investing retirement money in the stock market. With all the current revelations of skulduggery and market manipulation, we now see that those most injured are the small investors and retirees. If that is their best thinking, how can we rely on any of their policies?

Jerry Lennon

Granada Hills

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While the 9th Circuit Court is at it, it should remove "In God We Trust" from our currency and place it where it belongs--on stock certificates. That is, until Congress and the president make corporate executives accountable for their "ungodly" activities.

Spencer Krull

Los Angeles

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