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Strengthen our financial laws

When corporate crimes boost a company's profits, the biggest beneficiaries are the top executives and major shareholders.

Hence, along with their proper rewards, they share a vital responsibility to ensure that the law is obeyed.

Whether they have, instead, actively instructed their underlings to flout the law, or merely allowed it to happen, they remain morally culpable.

Justice should not depend upon being able to prove that the CEO knew all about it.

The law must be changed to reflect this, so that the likes of the Murdochs and Bob Diamond can face punitive personal fines, permanent disqualification as company directors and, as the American economist Joseph Stiglitz suggests, a good few years in prison.

ANDREW CLIFTON

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