If scandalous companies do not receive harsh and quick punishments, they could collectively drill a gaping hole in everything that is good with the U.S. free market system, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said last week.

At the same time, Greenspan said that companies with "character," those concerned with the sanctity of the markets and not the gluttony of their own wallets, could help return the markets to the good ‘ole days of effective self-policing, Reuters reports.

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