[media id=7004] Carly Fiorina on Late Edition Nov. 21, 2008. Too bad she didn't apply some of these same standards to herself when she headed HP. BL
December 22, 2008

Carly Fiorina on Late Edition Nov. 21, 2008. Too bad she didn't apply some of these same standards to herself when she headed HP.

BLITZER: Carly, what's the most important lesson people out there, around the world, right now, should learn from this Bernard Madoff scandal, this alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme -- not only wealthy people losing everything but a lot of charities losing everything as well?

What happened here? What's the most important thing we have to learn from it, to make sure it could never happen again?

FIORINA: Well, I think two things. And I recently wrote an op- ed in The Wall Street Journal, saying this. First, every financial instrument and all financial institutions, regardless of their nature or their type, need to be visible and transparent to appropriate regulators, period.

We cannot have huge pools of capital that are simply opaque to regulation.

BLITZER: So much more regulation?

FIORINA: We need a strong and sensible regulatory framework that doesn't choke capitalism but that can see and act on what it sees. But, secondly -- and this is my message to business people all over the world -- there is no substitute for ethics. Yes, people need to be responsible about their investing, but dishonest business people need to go to jail. They need to have the full extent of the burden of the law brought to bear.

This is a terrible blotch on the credibility of business, just as, by the way, so many failed companies are, right now, because it is not true to say that only a credit crisis has caused these companies, whether they're automobile companies or banks, to fail. They are failing because management and boards have taken unwise decisions.

I'm not saying everybody was dishonest. But there's a level of responsibility, here, that business leaders, I believe, must step up to. At a minimum, let's be ethical. And at a maximum, let's be responsible to something more than the short-term stock crisis.

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