I like the idea of a corporate death penalty. To expand a bit upon the idea, I think the following would be more fair than the current situation.
1) Taking current bankruptcy proceedings a bit further, once a “CDP” is declared, the corporation must immediately sell all existing assets at market value or as close to market value as possible to complete a fast sale. Supposing “Renron’s” corporate HQ building is worth 20 million dollars, a 15 million dollar bid for that building by anyone should be considered reasonable, accepted, and that money should go into a “corporate funeral fund.” Same with all of the rest of the company’s assets.
2) The corporation must dissolve and may never operate in business again, no matter who’s supposedly in charge. Regardless of who purchases the assets, no one who was an executive at the failed company may be allowed to work for any company who acquires any part of the failed corporation. If Lenny Kay was CEO at Renron, and Renron’s assets are bought up by Ding-Dong Corporation, Lenny Kay cannot go to work for Ding-Dong Corporation in any capacity.
3) Individual, non-corporate investors in the failed company _must_ be compensated first. This means that Joe Average who bought 500 shares of Renron must be given his fair share of the “funeral fund” long before BigBank or AngelVenture get any of their loan money back. Same goes for all of the retirement funds who, on behalf of Joe Averages, invested in Renron. If BigBank or AngelVenture loses out, boo hoo. Maybe next time around, they’ll be a bit more responsible with the blank checkbooks loaning a few billion here and a few billion there.
4) With a corporation given a “CDP,” the executives should have to pay back into the process. CEO got a 10 million dollar bonus last year? Fine him 10 million dollars and put it into the “funeral fund.” Any inappropriate spoils should be returned to the death fund of the company, to be recompensed to its shareholders, individuals first.
With some tweaks like these, corporations might become responsible again.
(note; I never post anonymously on /. This comment is *not* mine)