Greed and ruthless pursuit of profits to blame for banking fiasco

By The Editors

This article gets Catholic social teaching right, and exposes the fallacy that 9/11 restored us to moral clarity: "'Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Lehman Brothers' fall is that it comes almost seven years to the day after 9/11... For all the talk of pulling together in the wake of the terrorist attacks that shook America to the core and supposedly set our priorities straight, Wall Street rushed headlong back to its mindless pursuit of profits and speculation without consideration for the consequences of its actions... At some point, society has to figure out that the way an investor earns his money is even more important than the amount of money he makes. This is why human beings were vested with moral sentiments, so they could distinguish the quality of human conduct from the quality of its results... It is incumbent upon the gatekeepers of capital ... to bring discipline to the system. This will require a rethinking of their priorities and a willingness to add to their investment calculus, considerations that exceed their own narrow interests about short-term investment returns.'"

Posted 9/18/08 at 12:32 PM