So let me start out by saying that I'm delving into an area that I don't know much about. Business, law, politics, it's all stuff I don't usually give more than two thoughts about such things before I go onto thinking about something else, so if anyone finds some glaring holes in my thinking, by all means, point it out.
So this afternoon, I was thinking about this post I made about Volkswagen's epic fuck up and how if the fine sets as is, VW is fucked here in The States. When you consider the fact that the majority of the European Union nations and even countries like China are also looking into ways to stick it to VW, they're probably more than a little screwed at this point. Even if they're able to negotiate for lesser fines, the sheer number of countries looking at fining them might make them go bankrupt.
A large part of me has absolutely no objection to this. I'm sure that there have been companies out there that have done worse in the past and have only gotten a slap on the wrist. The thing is though, I do think VW did wrong and I think eventually someone needs to be made an example of to make other companies think twice before acting improperly. So if VW is the company that gets used as an example as to how not to fuck things up, so be it.
Another large part of me worries though. VW is huge. Until Toyota recently retook the top spot, VW was the largest automaker in the world. So many people and so many economies rely on VW to get by financially. If they were to actually go under, so many people would go under with them. At the same time, VW is such a large part of Germany's economy, punishing them could have an impact in the political world too. So with that, I wonder if there is a way to actually punish VW and punish them effectively without punishing the people that rely on them, or will we be forced to give them a slap on the wrist for fear of any major economic and political fallout?