Recently I reviewed Robert Jackall's book Moral Mazes
. The book includes a lot of material on the pressure to inflate short term returns by "milking" enterprises, starving them of needed maintenance and upgrades, emptying inventories, essentially running them into the ground--and then moving on to a new rung of the hierarchy and leaving the next guy to take the blame for the mess. And such balance sheet manipulation inflates short-term stock value for those who want to take the money and run.
Winston Smith said in Room 101, in Orwell's masterful use of exposition by dialogue: "I understand how; I do not understand why." Well, here's part of it, from Dave Pollard
The empire is stretched too thin, and the breaking point is near. The elites know this, which is why they are pillaging and hollowing out the corporate and government treasuries they control, hoarding everything they can before the collapse.