Rudolph Giuliani on Corporate Reform

GIULIANI: Both, it's both, and they're doing both. The reality is, when people commit serious crimes--these are serious crimes--they take a lot of other people's money, which--which they've done. You have to have very strong criminal penalties. This bill provides for that, and--and the Justice Department, I think, is moving very aggressively to make point. But the second thing--you can't just do it one case at a time. Then you have to look at what went wrong and try to correct the system, and I think that--think that's what we're doing. And trying to correct the system means getting more information out, full disclosure, open disclosure. And if I could give advice to corporate executives having to sort of face this new era: If there's bad news, don't be euphemistic about it, get it out. Explain it. Put it out. It protects you. If you put the information out, people can discount it. They can deal with it.

GIBSON: Second question for a former prosecutor. These are very hard cases to prove in most cases, when you go into court and you have to get juries to understand things like special purpose entities and complex derivatives and whatever. That's not easy. Can it be done?

GIULIANI: Sure. That's what makes a very good trial lawyer on either side. I mean, that's what makes a very good prosecutor. The idea of taking a very, veyr complex idea--booking debt, how you book it, whether you capitalize it or you expense it or--try to put that into language that people can understand. Give them examples that they can understand. And one thing people can understand very, very quickly, if you prove it correctly, is cheating. It doesn't matter if the cheating is for $10 or $10 million, people can understand that. You know, someone hiding how much debt there is.

GIBSON: Is there accountability in this bill as far as you're concerned? You always worry, the accountants say, `No, no, no. The company executives did it.' The company executives say, `No, no, no, the accountants approved this.' And everybody points at one another.

GIULIANI: That's what …

GIBSON: And nobody gets blamed.

GIULIANI: That's what the trial, ultimately, that's what the criminal trial is all about. I mean, ultimately, the criminal trial is about was it done knowingly and, obviously, all these people will defend on the grounds that their lawyers and their accountants gave them some kind of advice. But then, you know, you see how reasonable that is. And in many cases, it sounds unreasonable.

GIBSON: One other question for you before you go. The 9/11 memorials, there now have been six plans presented. They all have business office retail space as well as memorials, transportation complex. You've wanted a full memorial down at that site. Do you like any one of these six plans?

GIULIANI: I think they're a start from which we can discuss it. I wouldn't subscribe to any one of the six. I think that this has to be mostly about a memorial, a library, a museum, something that enshrines, a hundred years from now...

GIBSON: You're now saying …

GIULIANI: …the sacrifice.

GIBSON: … mostly memorial, though, as opposed to totally memorial.

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