tv The Eighties CNN May 14, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
in "money matters" this morning, wall street. >> we're going to turn the bull loose. >> one of the great things about this nation is that we can seek profit. >> is money the number one goal? >> yes. >> you've had 29-year-olds making a million dollars a year, expecting to make 2 million after that. >> if you've got plastic money, there's nothing holding you back. >> history will prove the bakers were honest people. >> insider trading could become wall street's watergate. >> what do we call greed the day before an indictment? >> i believe recently we called it success.
inflation and not much growth. the country was not in a great depression in 1980, but the united states was in the dumps. >> on wall street, it was cold, gray, wet and miserable. there was no comfort to be found outside. and for investors, there was not much inside, either. the tickers carried almost nothing but bad news. >> we would come off a terrible decade for investing. people were skeptical of the stock market. it was a very sleepy wall street back then. >> most economists expect a serious recession, with at least 2 million more americans losing their jobs. >> i regret to say that we're in the worst economic mess since the great depression. >> literally from the first moments of his presidency on, president reagan let it be known that his top priority is the nation's economy. >> i put a freeze on pending regulations and set up a task force under vice president bush to review regulations with an eye toward getting rid of as many as possible.
>> this bill represents the first step in our administration's comprehensive program of financial deregulation. >> introducing deregulation, finances became much more creative, and frankly, much more profitable, too. >> when the market opens for trading this morning, the dow jones industrial average will stand at its highest level ever. >> the past few months have been among the wildest in wall street's history. stock and bond prices soared in a frenzy of activity. optimists on wall street are talking about the beginnings of economic recovery. >> the supporters of deregulation point to the soaring stock market as evidence that a deregulating economy makes money for everyone. >> the stock market took off like a rocket, and the public saw this happening, and they would read about it. so all sorts of people who used to have nothing to do with this world started pouring their own money into it, and that's in
large part also what drove prices to go even higher. >> the ronald reagan motorcade rolled onto wall street today to the new york stock exchange. >> in the last five years, we've moved from malaise to hope, confidence and opportunity. the volume of shares traded hitting record highs and more americans than ever before participating in the market. we are bullish on the american economy. >> when reagan shows up at the stock exchange yelling, ronnie, ronnie, that was a way to say, america is back. >> no sitting president had ever visited the new york stock exchange before, but it seemed safe to say that no recent president would have beaten mr. reagan for the honor if a vote had been taken among the floor traders. they gave him round after round of cheers. >> we're going to turn the bull loose. >> the whole world, from reagan's white house on, was basically saying wall street was the engine of our economy.
it represents growth. it represents opportunity. it represents the american dream. so these guys were basically saying, we're going to go do it. >> this is the big draw on wall street, the smell of money. this is where the action is. this is the over-the-counter trading for lehman. daily transactions involving millions of shares and millions of dollars made and lost here every day. and it's a game for young people. when you get home at the end of the week and you look back at what you've done sitting at this desk, what gives you a sense of satisfaction? >> i guess maybe a lot of money. >> for yourself or the company? >> for myself and the firm. >> when the economy started to recover and become more vibrant, i think there was a great sense of exhilaration. we survived this miserable period, let's celebrate, let's party, we have money to spend. >> today the fad among young people is to have big salaries, lots of money, fast cars, and
they are called yuppies. >> a yuppy is someone who has a fast car and drinks lots of wine. that's me. >> they expect to make a million this year, 2 million next year and 3 million after that. >> capitalism is no sin, it's in. >> is money the number one goal? >> yes. ♪ all of the fun is waiting for you at the castle, trump's castle ♪ >> in a world where mere millionaires are a dime a dozen, there is a newbill ona billiona town. he's 41 years old and he's made his money from manhattan real estate. >> he puts his name on everything he builds, says it's a symbol of equality. >> donald trump. he is the brand and he is the symbol of a new swashbuckling approach to commerce, to
entrepreneurship and concession. >> the thing today is to be rich. i'll take trump as an example. their thing is to be rich. >> trump gambles in professional football and says he could start a disarmement agreement with the soviet union. >> they say he's land hungry, power hungry, money hungry. >> what about the name of trump city, trump tower we're sitting in, trump plaza, trump castle? >> it sells, mike. all i know is -- >> that's all it is. >> has nothing to do with the ego. all i know is it sells. >> what do you do? >> security. >> we don't need security here. let's go nooutside. we have people outside. >> much bigger than trump, real estate developers in new york. >> i asked for something. i did not get it from you. i won it. >> leone a helmsley, the queen
of mean. the idea was she was so mean because she wanted you to have a great experience in one of her hotels. really? >> oh, my. >> it's paradise. he stands here and he says, i'm taking inventory. i own this, i own this, i own this, and that one and that one and that one. >> he plays monopoly but with real buildings. >> with real buildings. >> they bought this connecticut estate a year ago. 26 acres, 28 rooms for just the two of them. and this building structure is just what? tell them. >> it's the enclosure of the swimming pool. >> and on top? >> on top, of course, we're going to have a dance floor. >> he became the symbol of the excesses of the '80ls. >> am i comfortable? i make a living.
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here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you this is the way we live now. nice, even temperature, no rain, no snow, no loud noises, music is playing. everything is perfect in the mall. >> in the 1980s, you have 16,000 malls popping up like mushrooms, and they become the high temples of the great american religion, shopping. >> pam and melissa, 15 years old, come to the mall almost every day. they call themselves mall rats. >> i love it.
>> it's only $24. >> consumerism definitely took off in the '80s. people emerged from the 1970s with tough economic times and went, wow. we can now spend. >> i want you to consider this plum also. that's what's going to set your eyes off. >> this country was growing. it was a consumer-driven growth but the economy was driven by debt. >> greg and diana ferry, annual income $200,000. they bought a new home, a washer, a dryer, a microwave oven and a beta tv recorder. then they went bankrupt. >> i knew we didn't have the money, but if you have plastic money, there's nothing holding you back. >> it became very acceptable to be in debt. acceptable to have a credit card. you wanted to pull it out of your wallet and use it. >> live from tampa bay, florida,
it's the home shopping club. >> every do-dad, america seemed utterly hooked on home shopping. >> the order has been completed on one of the ruby bracelets. i have you down for two of the plush musical bunnies. >> consumers came together to do what came naturally. >> you don't have to leave your house and stuff will come to you. welcome to america. >> give us 300 more people to call on their credit card right now. >> if you and enough people will send me $100 immediately, i need some very quick money. >> go to the phone right now. now! quit talking about saying you believe in god without ever act og his word! now! faith is an act! >> in all, there are 1600 television ministers, and of the $1.5 billion grossed annually, just three of them, pat
robertson, jimmy swaggart and jim baker took in $500 pill on. -- million. >> they need to stay on the air. a prime network anybody would be proud to own. >> i believe they want every one of these bills paid in full, and ptl can live if we get paid. >> they would pay their bills if everyone would do something. >> jim baker is the one that truly gets it. he understands that preaching on television is not just about standing up and giving a fire and brimstone speech, he understands that in the age of te teleevangelism is showing your family and he's a brilliant entrepreneur. >> their appeal is powerful.
last year a million people responded to the bakeres' constant request for money. >> that's $90,000. >> praise god. >> the bakers have been criticized for their own lavish lifestyle. >> just because i'm a christian doesn't mean i don't love nice things. i love nice things, and jim and i work very, very hard for nice things. >> they say the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. >> toys like a stream of luxury cars and their palm springs home and their home in tegan, south carolina. >> they think by them living well, by them having rolls royces, people will think, god is shining his countenance upon them and therefore on us. >> if we are to be fishers of men, that's what the bible says, we are fishers of men, we've been using some pretty lousy bait. we just built better bait to reach people. >> you can have a lifetime
partnership with ptl for a one-time gift of $1,000, four days and three nights every year for the rest of your life. >> that mix of god and greed ends up derailing them and leads them to break the very rules they are preaching about. >> telie evangelist jim baker has stepped down as ptl minister. >> jessica hahn is to be paid monthly as long as she keeps quiet about the incident. >> jim baker has been paying off this secretary, and that shakes the evangelical world. >> effort and money has been expended to cover moral failure. >> if jim baker paid jessica hahn hush money, quote, unquote, what else has he been doing with the ptl money? >> do you worry about the investigations going on? >> not at all. >> history will prove the bakers were honest people.
>> we interrupt this program for an nbc special report. >> jim baker, the defrocked head of the ptl ministry, has been found guilty by all 40 counts of fraud and conspiracy in bakersfield, north carolina. >> the heritage grand hotel could accommodate only 25,000 partnerships, but 65,000 were sold. and for the lower priced bunkhouse partnerships, about 7,000 were sold for a building that had only eight rooms. >> they sent jim and tami baker $15,000 for 15 years. she thought giving them money would ease the pain of her and her husband. >> i've been making millionaires of those people when i don't even have enough to live on. >> baker could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined over $5 million. >> i would say i feel sad but encouraged in god. >> tami baker said she could
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today we visit t. boone pickens, the highest paid ceo in the country. even here wall street is in charge, wall street being a parrot over money. he lives in a foyer that runs the entire length of the house, and at the end of that foyer we find this morning boone pickens. good morning, sir. how are you? >> good morning, harry. >> why don't we head into the trophy room, if you don't mind. >> sure. >> t. boone pickens was a texas oil man who became the original corporate raider. he would buy a bunch of stock in the company, talk about how the executives needed to be tossed out and made a play to take over the company. >> pickens' company, only 1/12th the size of an oil company, wants to take over. now he wants to gain a seat on the corporate board. >> there's one thing i want to
put in place is the stockholders' own companies and manage the employees. >> the profit to pickens and his partners, $89 million. >> it is no secret that you've made about half a billion dollars for losing on your attempted takeovers. do you go into it anticipating the loss is still going to sustain you very well? >> you never like to lose, but when you lose and make money, it makes it a little easier. >> i remember someplace a guy got up and said, i have a question. he said, you're making a lot of money out of this. and i said, the shareholders are, too. he said, yes, but you're a fast buck artist. fast buck artist? who in the world would want to be known as a slow buck artist? >> i see it as mechanicism sm a
best. >> it was his deals that brought this new reality to the attention of other investors who followed in his wake and sought to imitate what he did. >> i freely admit that i'm an investor and i want to make a profit. i freely admit i'm not robin hood. >> it is not wrong to want a profit in capitalist america. it is fair. >> ivan boskey made a mint by compani companies. he doesn't want to run those companies. >> boske one of the richest men in america, estimating his wealth at over $200 million. >> boske made a commencement speech in 1986 at berkeley, and he really became famous for one line in that speech. >> i urge you, as part of your admission, seek wealth. [ cheers and applause ] >> it's all right.
>> a new film, "wall street," used boske's words as some of the dialogue. >> greed is good. greed is right. greed works. >> when michael douglas in the movie said "greed is good," it was a cartoon expression. but there was truth to it. there is a sense that it is okay to be greedy, it is okay to maximize your wealth. >> what i want to see above all is that this country remains a country where someone can always get rich. >> big companies gobbling up little companies, little companies gobbling up big companies. eight years ago, there were 1500 corporate takeovers. last year there were 4,000 involving $200 billion. >> this type of deal is called a leveraged buyout. the company borrows the money using its assets as collateral for the loan. in return, the company issues ious. because the deal is so risky,
those ious carry very high interest rates and they're called junk bonds. >> you might not have heard of michael milken of dustin lambdin, incorporated. but this whiz is said to be the best policymaker in america. he used low rate junk bonds and used the money to force corporate takeovers. t. boone pickens couldn't have rated gulf and phillips petroleum. >> he said if you really want to take over gulf, it's going to cost you $13 billion. i get it. and he said, i can get the 13 billion. >> he's the guy t. boone pickens goes to and most people haven't heard of him. >> he doesn't care about publicity and he doesn't care about pride. all he cares about is making deals and having power. >> he was this shadowy figure that even those of us in the
press never saw, you just heard. it's milken. it's milken's genius, and i think that is the correct word, that created an entire market and fueled this takeover phenomenona. >> we romanticize these characters. the fact of the matter is these are fat cats, first cousins to the financial manipulators, the robert barons of the late 19th century. >> they're out there doing nothing and they're putting people out of work. >> economists agree that some unemployment, some hardship is unavoidable in the process of making the united states lean and mean again. b what the takeover specialists call corporate restructuring. >> corporate america needs a kick now and then to become a little more efficient, a little less entrenched, and that will probably do our economy very good. >> they fended off a hostile takeover bid, but it didn't come cheap. >> it lost half its stock in
taking on a huge debt. the plant was closed and workers laid off. the company pays a million dollars a day in interest to 17 banks worldwide. >> these fellows jump out of the closet, shout gotcha, and they buy out the company with its own assets, dismember it and erode the industrial base of this country. >> maybe we didn't understand how it all worked, but we saw a lot of people losing their jobs. and a few people getting super rich. and the vibe of the culture being, that's cool. >> how much is enough? >> enough what? >> enough money, enough power, enough takeovers? >> this is my work. this is what i do. let me do what i do. it's not a question of how much.
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it was a week to remember. bankers' hours posted on the doors didn't mean a thing. the doors were locked. >> the run-in on savings and loans started when depositors started demanding their money. >> i'm 78 years old. i need that money. >> i made the decision after weighing several options thatwe had to close all 71 of the private savings and loan institutions. >> they are faced with the
problem of solving the world's worst banking crisis in the u.s. since the depression. >> the climate of the 1980s, savings and loans which had invested traditionally only in mortgages, were free to invest in basically anything they wanted. >> the entire s and l industry got taken over by entrepreneurs who saw them as piggy banks. >> vernon savings was shut down by regulators, saddled with millions of dollars in bad loans. the owner had private jets, yachts and mansions. >> when it all went blooey, the entire industry eventually went belly up. >> quiet down! >> i'm going to disperse the whole bunch of you. >> this was the third day of the run on the old court savings and loan association. >> the only thing i can do at this point, i have no choice. we have to close. >> i don't think that's right. it's our money. >> this year a record 260 banks
will go bust. that's almost 800 in the past five years. bad loans to the third world. bad loans to the oil industry. bad loans to real estate developers. >> one of the reasons bankers made outrageous loans was because of federal deposit insurance. if the loan went well, you rake in the profit. if the loan went poorly, the federal government picks up the tab. >> with deregulation, the s and ls got into that commercial real estate market and lost their shirt. >> all over the united states, people were building projects for which there were no buyers. mile after mile after mile of these partially completed condos and they're all on the s and l's books. >> there is something wrong about the saifrvings and loan industry today, and it isn't me. >> charles keating was a lawyer who got into banking and was able to buy a savings and loan. >> when keating bought lincoln savings and loan in burbank,
california, he used it as a piggy bank for his investments, like the venetian hotel in scottsdale, arizona. >> the real problem is when our appraisers looked at it they said, it's not such a bad hotel, but it's worth 200 million, not 300 million. >> the guy who really spearheaded going after keating. >> we discovered likely fraud. just really basic things that no honest bankers would do. >> the examiners looked at 252 real estate loans that lincoln had made. there were no credit reports on the borrowers in all 52. >> and on top of that, charles keating has lincoln savings sell uninsured junk bonds, and he targets the widows and the retirement community. >> there were 23,000 customers who would buy $250 million of
these bonds. >> we had sold our home in sherman oaks. my husband had had a stroke. we moved down here, went to lincoln savings down here. >> how much did you deventure? >> do you really want to know? it was $30,000, and for us that's quite a bit. >> capitalize on this, the bond salesmen were told. the weak, meek and ignorant are always good targets. >> the regulators were looking at this and saying, this guy is a disaster, man. we have got to stop this. but by that time, keating had a construction company in arizona, he had thrifts in california. his tentacles spread out to several states. so he was able to call on congressmen and senators like that and say, hey, get these dogs off my back. >> this morning the s and l crisis goes to capitol hill. the ethics committee is looking into charges against five senators accused of intervening
with five bank officials s and l owner charles keating. republican john mccain, donald regal and charles keating. former bank chairman edwin gray said the senate tried to subvert the regulatory process. >> i was told to come along. i did. >> did you find that unusual? >> absolutely. never happened before. the whole time i was in washington, i never saw that. >> no witnesses? >> no, no witnesses. deniability perfectly built into the meeting. >> the only thing that got them to back off is when we finally said, we're making criminal referrals! you're going to bat for criminals! >> now waiting on trial for charges of criminal fraud,
keating refused to testify to the senate. >> was there something wrong with five senators meeting? yes, it's a bad appearance. but the real question is, did john mccain abuse his office? the evidence indicates clearly, no. >> the keating five became a symbol of the '80s because it's a group of distinguished u.s. senators that are accused of taking bribe money. they get off the hook eventually, but it really rocked the country, because it showed that not only was corporate america being questioned for corruption, but the u.s. senate seemed to be a beehive of bribery. >> one question. among the many raised in recent weeks had to do with weather, my financial support in any way influenced several political figures who took up my cause. i want to say in the most forceful way that i can, i certainly hope so. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything,
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increasing concern involves investors that make killings on wall street not because of luck or skill, but because of inside information not available to anyone else. >> this coded document might be a secret earnings report showing disastrous losses or a confidential assessment of future profits. if you are one of the 32 million
americans who own stock, such information can either cost you money or earn you money, perhaps millions of dollars if you find it out first. in either case, it is illegal. >> the single biggest currency on wall street has always been information. and in the '80s, that information was trading back and forth. and investors were talking to their buddies they went to business school and law school with who were actually working on these deals to find out. it was pervasive. >> the security and exchange commission says that currently penalties aren't strict enough. >> this is a serious course of misconduct, and at present the sanction is simply akin to asking someone to put the cookies back in the cookie jar. >> in tonight's "money matters," the insiders' biggest case ever. >> they collected $12.5 million in illegal profits. he did it by taking pending takeovers and then he would have
contacts in the bahamas who would take over what he set up in panama. >> someone with a million dollar a year salary which apparently wasn't enough. >> insider trading could become wall street's watergate. >> plea bargaining is now under way with dennis levine. investigators might be able to develop a list of new suspects. >> once his lawyer advised him it was in his interest to cooperate, he would give him the information. it was just another deal. >> i think he made it clear he would have given mr. levine a heavier sentence except for the cooperation. >> dennis levine was one guy doing insider trading. that's not something that was new. but what dennis levine did was lead to ivan bosky. >> they stunned wall street when it was announced that ivan boesky has been fined the
largest penalty ever for insider trading and has been barred from the security industry. >> ivan boesky did something he said he would never do, use information to secretly be involved in takeover deals. >> tehe was a crook. handing bags of money to people who would give him information. >> if we had a prison for people for white collar crimes, i would say he would be a candidate. >> there is no doubt that the man has become a symbol of what's wrong with wall street. >> the news of the boesky indictment was like the bombshell of wall street. >> what do we call greed the day before an indictment is filed, if you get my meaning? >> i believe recently we called it success, that some of the people who have turned out who have been involved in criminal activity were hailed as heroes in the peak of their careers. >> millions of america's small
investors have been the victims. >> insider trading brought by new york's trading rudolph giuliani. >> he was considered the best man without a cape. >> if you do get caught, you're going to lose your liberty. you're going to prison. >> today as a scandal seems certain, the market was off by 40 points. this after it was learned that ivan boesky was talking. and then some. >> this was like arresting the madam of a brothel and finding her private book of clients. >> this guy boesky takes a fall, and all over wall street they're practically jumping out windows. it comes out he's been taping his phone calls and maybe his private talks for three months. and wall street big shots -- well, you get the idea. >> all he had was bargaining
power. who could he deliver? >> well, let me ask you this. levine was a fish, boesky was a shark. who else the whale they're going to catch? >> i don't know. >> rexall burnham? >> that's possible. >> in the middle of all this is rexall, burnham, lambert, a little known wall street firm. they specialized in so-called junk bonds. low interest but also high risk. >> milken made a secret deal with swindler ivan boesky to make a million dollars legally. >> they came to milken's firm and told him they were planning a takeover. he then whispered that secret to boesky in new york. he then bought the stock in new york, made millions. the bottom line is milken betrayed his client, and
secretly made 6.5 million more at the client's expense. >> further disclosures from the boesky affair may weaken finances in public markets and weaken the markets themselves. >> i just came from inside and it looks like a madhouse. >> i guess the bull market is over. >> it's a bloodbath down there. >> they're calling it the monday massacre. the worst drop in wall street history. >> i would call it the nearest thing to a meltdown i ever want to see. >> by the closing bell, the dow jones industrial average was down over 500 points. >> this is a crash that people hadn't seen, frankly, since the great depression. >> translator: wall street's black monday. >> that crash was one of the first signs of how dangerous this new era could be. that what the market had given, the market could take away. and it could take it away
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>> a little present for the new president. >> presidents always seem to manage to get that as their gift after the inaugurals. . >> i promise you, if congress tries to raise the taxes when i'm president, and you know they will, i'll say, no. they'll try one more time, and i'll say no. and if they try a third time, i'll stare them right in the eye and i'm going to say to them, read my lips. no new taxes. >> in 1988, george h.w. bush is running to take on the reagan mantle. read my lips, no new taxes. >> when ronald reagan left the white house in january, he also left george bush holding the bag, filled with an assortment of staggering problems. >> when the president calls, some come running. all agree the savings and loan crisis is an urgent problem. >> could the s&ls be bailed out without a tax increase? is there any other way to do it? >> i don't think there is. and i think that's becoming the
conclusion of most people. >> bush had to fill this smoking hole left by reagan for him. and the only way to do that was to pass new legislation, because now we had to start dipping into taxpayer money. >> senators say the only bailout will be for depositors, not for bad bankers. >> no one needs to worry about one nickel of their money in these institutions. >> this legislation says to tens of millions of s&l depositors, you will not be the victim of others' mistakes. thank you all very much and now i'm proud to sign this monster. >> essentially, george bush is covering the biggest overdraft in history. >> bush caves. he raises taxes. that kills him politically, but saves america economically. >> listen carefully to this number. $500 billion. that's the latest estimate of what the failure of hundreds of
federally insured savings and loans will eventually cost american taxpayers. >> mr. keening, how soon can you make bail? >> the once rapid growth of keati keating's had been fueled by the sale of a quarter billion worth of uninsured and now worthless bonds. the majority bought by seniors, many losing their life savings. >> where's my money! give it to me right now! >> reporter: charles keating was convicted in two trials, but both of those verdicts were overturned and then he pled guilty to avoid a retrial and was allowed out for time served. >> the climate had gone from celebrating the excesses of wall street to condemning them pretty quickly. >> tonight's headline, milken pleads guilty in what may be the largest individual case of fraud ever to rock wall street. a case which ended in a plea bargain with the government. >> judge kimball said milliken's
crimes merited his crimes against society. >> he didn't end up serving anywhere near that. he went to jail for just under two years. and i'm confident when he left, he was at a minimum, a billionaire, and quite possibly a multi-billionaire. >> the game of monopoly could have been invented for donald trump. but monopoly is a tricky game. when you borrow $2 billion and the economy goes into a tailspin and you can't pay the interest on your loans, the bankers move in. donald's $100 million yacht goes to the boston safe deposit and trust company. his half interest in the grand hyatt hotel goes to banker's trust, his trump shuttle goes to northwest airlines. the man who was the darling of the '80s is seen as a man in trouble and he knows it. >> insofar as we can say that the '80s is a period of hedonism
and excess, then the end of the decade was the hangover. >> it's like the rich are taking a tumble. >> reporter: leona helmsley were today treated as common criminals, booked on 139 counts of fraud, tax evasion, and extortion. the government charges that the helmsley renovated their $11 million connecticut estate and wrote the cost off as a business expense on their taxes. >> a former housekeeper says mrs. helmsley once told her, quote, we don't pay taxes. only little people pay taxes. >> helmsley was sentenced to four years in prison, given a $7 million fine, and ordered to serve 750 hours of community service. for some, the sentence was too light. >> i have done nothing wrong. i'm innocent. my only crime is that i'm leona helmsley. >> no matter how many white collar thieves get sent away, no matter how long they're locked up, the public will still be paying for this long after they're out. >> so, what did the 1980s add up
to? we put that question to a fair number of people and more than 95% of them said, simply, it was the decade of greed. >> well, we learned that greed may be good, but too much greed is bad. and that sometimes people on wall street get a little too greedy. but they learn their lesson, and they would never do it again. >> some argue that today's bright spotlight on unethical behavior has exaggerated the problem. but there's no denying the problem is real. and if we excuse unethical conduct by saying, well, everyone does it, or, it's really okay unless you get caught, or it's not against the law, we miss the point of why it's important we not do it, period. the point may be no less than national survival, as a people who can live together honorably. if we let lying, cheating, and stealing become an accepted way of life, it's not just a few dollars that will be lost.