The capos in the room were stunned. Had he really just said that? He had. "We're gonna incorporate," Michael Corleone declared, in a pretty weird conversation, as conjured up by Richard Cohen at the Washington Post. "The Godfather is dead. So is his way of doing business." From now on, the Corleones would be the publicly traded Corleone Enterprises Ltd. "We do what we have always done," Corleone explained to his lieutenants, "but if we get caught, nobody goes to jail. We pay a fine and say we're sorry."
Luca Brasi was confused. So Corleone explained how BNP Paribas was merely fined for violating sanctions on Iran, and how Credit Suisse got a far lighter penalty for tax evasion than Al Capone did. (He didn't even mention HSBC.) "Banks have paid a fortune in penalties for cheating and lying and selling junk and ruining people's lives," Corleone explained, "and nobody goes to jail." The family would form an international headquarters to duck taxes, and Fredo would tell CNBC it was simply "maximizing shareholder value," a phrase meaning basically anything. Corleone, of course, would be CEO. "All we do is change the titles," he explained. "We're still criminals." Click for Cohen's full diatribe. (Read more Wall Street stories.)