EDITOR: Your article about the PricewaterhouseCoopers case (“Bank overseer facing penalty,” Aug. 8) suggests that the real problem of identifying bank misconduct lies with the expectation that managers will do the right thing in hiring and accepting the conclusions of outside consultants who serve as “shadow regulators.”
As an alternative, bank directors should hire consultants who will be responsible only to the board for their findings. If consultants find irregularities in bank activity, but management tries to suppress or alter the report, then the board should dismiss the managers who participated in the irregular action as well as those who suppressed or altered the consultant’s findings.
Any failure by the directors to take immediate action against such managers should also result in board members (particularly audit committee members) being held personally liable by regulators.
Additionally, bank fines should go far beyond $25 million to include personal fines and jail time for managers (and board members) as well as those consultants who altered their final report to please management and protect their fee.
Let’s hold bank managers and directors personally liable for such misconduct.
Air pollution and health
EDITOR: Climate change is one of the most important public health threats of our century, and California’s leadership through a mix of measures, including capping pollution from fuels, is critical to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and set the model for other states and nations. Our overdependence on fossil fuels has been the major contributor to climate pollution and the state’s smog and soot problems.