It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it.If you think about that you will do things differently.
One foolish act and the bad press that goes with it can instantly destroy a good reputation that has taken a lifetime to build. Its best not to do something that you do is wrong,because if you are caught,the price you pay may be more than you can afford.This is Buffets credo that he whispered into the ears of his childrens from the time they were tots.
When the accounting scandal came down with insurance giant AIG,Buffet told his managers,” The current investigation of the insurance industry underscores the imperative of the message that i regularly send to you in my biannual memo:Berkshire can afford to lose money,even lots of money: it cant afford to lose repuatation… And in the long run we will have whatever reputation we deserve. There is plenty of money to made in the centre of the court.There is no need to play around the edges.
Wallstreet is littered with fallen giants who let greed get in the way of good judgement and failed to heed this advise.