Today's fines will scare off tomorrow's white knights

Acquirers are being punished for actions they had no control over


Shadowy legal proceedings in the US have led, in recent years, to billions of dollars in business fines for offences such as "contributing to the financial crisis". In late August, The Economist published an excellent analysis of how these acts have undermined the rule of law.1 In many cases, the proceeds of the fines have largely been used to fund the activities of the very prosecutors who effectively sit as both judge and jury in such cases. Unfortunately, the draconian consequences of a

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