Skip to main content

Ethical Dimensions of Finance

Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP,volume 41)

Abstract

The experienced practitioner, lord Brian Griffiths of Fforestfach, Vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs, investigates the main causes of the financial crisis. His analysis focuses not merely on the technical aspects but also on the underlying cultural and moral failures which made such widespread failure possible. He emphasizes that an indication of greed must be distinguished from a simple accumulation of goods; the greed present throughout our Western culture is rather a consumeristic idolatry. Lord Griffiths then indicates five points which he believes to be essential in a comprehensive answer to the crisis. Encompassing the aforementioned technical, cultural and moral elements, they attempt to provide key criteria to re-establishing a solid financial sector and society: the banking system must regain the trust of the private and public sectors; restricted competition in the banking market should be expanded; virtues must be lived as the essential pre-conditions for actual business principles; banking bonuses should be balanced by generosity; debt ceilings must be re-established; and the goal, self or God, must be clearly delineated. Such a re-examination will allow banking practices to well resume the important role they play in a developed society.

Keywords

  • Financial Crisis
  • Credit Default Swap
  • Financial Service Authority
  • Bank Bonus
  • Compensation Structure

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2990-2_10
  • Chapter length: 14 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-007-2990-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Notes

  1. 1.

     Cf. Matt. 27: 57–60; Jn. 3: 1–21; 7: 50–51; 19: 38–40.

  2. 2.

     To read the interview in which Lord Adair Turner made this remark, see Prospect, issue 162, 27 August 2009; the full account can be found online at http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2009/08/how-to-tame-global-finance/.

  3. 3.

     To read more, see Langholm (1992).

Bibliography

  • Augustine. 1887. City of God. In Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. 2 (trans: Marcus Dods), ed. Philip Schaff. Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Benedict XVI. 2009a. General audience. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_2009 0422_en.html. Accessed 22 Apr 2009.

  • Benedict XVI. 2009b. Encyclical Caritas in Veritate. Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chrysostom, John. 1889. “Homily 18 on Ephesians”. In Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. 13 (trans: G. Alexander), ed. P. Schaff. Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cyprian of Carthage. 1889. “Epistle I to Donatus”. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5 (trans: E. Wallis), ed. A. Roberts, J. Donalson, and A.C. Coxe. Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dembinski, Paul H. 2009. Finance: Servant or Deceiver? Financialization at the Crossroad. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenspan, Alan. 2002. Testimony of Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Board’s Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate. Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • Langholm, Odd. 1992. Economics in the Medieval Schools. Wealth, Exchange, Value, Money & Usury according to the Paris Theological Tradition, 1200–1350. Leiden/New York/Köln: E.J.Brill.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCulloch, Nigel. 2008. “Bishop Nigel’s thought for the month: Lessons from the crunch”. Crux 38(11): 2.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, Gwen. 2010. “Bonus supertax failed, says Darling”. The Financial Times, September 2, 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sentamu, John. 2010. The way to come closer to God is to be generous and honest towards everyone, Presidential Address to the General Synod. http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/2932. Accessed 10 July 2010.

  • Turner, Adair. 2009. “How to tame global finance”. Prospect, August 27, 2009.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lord Brian Griffiths of Fforestfach .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2012 Springer Netherlands

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.B. (2012). Ethical Dimensions of Finance. In: Schlag, M., Mercado, J. (eds) Free Markets and the Culture of Common Good. Ethical Economy, vol 41. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2990-2_10

Download citation