Since the late 1900s several factors enabled a marked increase in the frequency and scale of corporate disasters and scandals. These factors include notably:
Markets are global, and connected as never before; natural boundaries and limits that existed before globalisation no longer exist, so problems can reach and spread far wider than in earlier times.
The vast modern scale of technologies, and the sheer size of things that organizations now create and process, in every sector, increases the scale of potential damage of corporate wrong-doing. For example consider the enormous scale of manufacturing, production, commodities, machinery, transport, construction, IT, the web, etc., compared with a generation ago. The maxim: 'The bigger they are, the harder they fall' is very apt. When something goes wrong in modern times, the impacts are potentially bigger than ever in history.
Volumes and densities of populations everywhere have increased dramatically since the late 1900s. Where corporate scandals and disasters happen, the potential to affect vast numbers of people has never been greater.
Since the late 1900s the fondness of (mainly 'western') governments for 'free market' capitalist economics (basically the view that market forces should be kept free from interference) has encouraged the development of unregulated major risk-taking in organizational governance - and this style of running organizations has now become deeply embedded into corporate attitudes. Most corporations are run in an extremely selfish and greedy manner. Short-term gain, and the enrichment of directors and senior staff continues to drive corporate strategy and decision-making everywhere. Combined with the other factors, this creates a potent recipe for disasters of all kinds.
Given that these factors are likely to persist in offering progressively greater potential for the negative impact of corporate activity on societies, economies, environment, etc., sensible people are increasingly calling for substantially improved visibility and controls in Corporate Governance.