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Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Carlos Ghosn is in jail, and he's likely to be there for a while. Up until last week, Ghosn was the unquestioned leader of the largest carmaker in the world, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which sold 5.5 million cars in the first 6 months of 2018. The group has also sold more than 500,000 electric cars, which is twice as many as Tesla.

The big picture: The success of the Alliance is in large part due to the hard-charging Ghosn. But Ghosn's sheer force of personality cuts both ways. It can get things done, especially in countries like France and Japan where change is particularly difficult. It also pisses people off, including a Japanese whistleblower at Nissan. The result: Ghosn being arrested while aboard his private jet in Tokyo.

  • The stated reason for Ghosn's arrest was underreporting $44 million of income to the Japanese authorities. He also reportedly spent $18 million of corporate money on personal homes, including a house in Beirut, where the company has no operations.
  • Even at the highest levels, there were tensions within the alliance. Ghosn was planning a full-scale merger of Renault and Nissan before his arrest, which the Nissan board opposed. That board wasted no time in firing him from his position as chairman, even as the Renault board was more supportive.

Be smart: People as wealthy as Ghosn often begin to believe that the rules no longer apply to them. At least until they're arrested.

The Ghosn scandal is far from the only tale of business turpitude in Japan. A different whistleblower has helped to initiate a DOJ investigation of Olympus, which seems to have had difficulty changing its corporate culture after a $1.7 billion accounting scandal in 2011. And Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is being investigated by U.S. prosecutors over money laundering connected to North Korea.

Why it matters: Increasingly, corporate malfeasance takes place internationally. Companies and their executives are being held accountable in dozens of jurisdictions around the world. Investigations can and do turn up in unexpected places.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

Developed countries reveal $100 billion climate finance plan ahead of COP26

Alok Sharma, head of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, speaks in Paris on Oct. 12. ( Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

After 12 years of fits and starts, industrialized nations on Monday put forward a detailed plan to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate aid to developing countries starting by 2023.

Why it matters: The plan, presented by representatives of Canada and Germany, is aimed at defusing one of the biggest sources of tension at COP26, which is the failure of industrialized nations to follow through on their financial commitments.