Final Word from Monday, August 5, 2002

International newspapers reported the arrest of two WorldCom executives on their front pages on Fri. Of the CR's major papers, only Právo put the story on its cover. Hospodářské noviny stuck the item on Page 18. It and the other papers apparently thought their readers wouldn't be very interested. For left-leaning Právo, the story can serve as an example of the failure of U.S.-style capitalism, but for most Czech readers white-collar crime is a broken record. Much has been said about it, but little has been done. It's almost as if some of the CR's biggest corporate crooks - we won't mention names - were given an unofficial amnesty in exchange for quietly going away or at least legitimizing their dirty deals after-the-fact. Jaroslav Plesl of Lidové noviny summed it up: If WorldCom were in the CR, its two executives wouldn't go to prison for long.


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