I don’t really understand why people are being so hard on Martha Stewart. While I agree she should be reprimanded and punished if it turns out she is guilty of insider trading, I think that the punishment should fit the crime. I mean, we’re talking about only $45,000 worth of stock here. It’s not like she was the CEO of Enron or Global Crossing, bilking legitimate investors out of millions of dollars worth of funds. In fact, if the insider trading in question was stock in MSLO then I’d care more.
Martha is the unfortunate individual who is going to take the fall for all the illegal backroom deals and insider deals that have been happening for decades. The reason for this is because she is a name brand public figure who got caught; not because she did the most harm, but because she’s being maneuvered into the most unwanted position on Wall Street: the patsy.
I say, give the woman a break. Take her to court, fine her, punish her, and then let her get on with her life (and likely her retirement). All the talk of million-dollar fines and 30 years in jail is ridiculous. The punishment should fit the crime. I’m sure there are bigger fish to fry on Wall Street who have done (and are doing) more harm than Martha ever did.
Posted by Cameron Barrett at June 5, 2003 03:05 AM