Tom Trowbridge just doesn't get it.
``I don't understand the psychology of people who engage in this kind of behavior,'' said the legal counsel to the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, speaking at the group's recent annual general meeting. The behavior-price-fixing.
Each year at the IISRP annual meeting, the Baker Botts L.L.P. attorney publicly admonishes the participants-executives from the world's SR companies-to properly use the conference and not violate antitrust laws.
He'd always use example of price-fixers from other fields who got caught. Now he doesn't have to. Now government investigations of rubber and rubber chemical suppliers are taking place in North America and Europe, companies and individuals are pleading guilty, huge fines and settlements are being made.
``Some of the people I've had dinner with, played golf with, are involved, and are looking at jail terms, and their companies have been fined,'' he said.
He sounded appalled as he addressed the executives of the synthetic rubber industry. And from their reaction, it was obvious they, too, are disgusted by the blemish on their chosen field.
Trowbridge view of price-fixing is on target. ``Make no mistake-people who engage in price-fixing are thieves. They steal from consumers. They steal from their employers. They steal from their families. They steal from themselves.
``There is no honor among thieves.''