CFDP 1894

Reflections on Finance and the Good Society


Publication Date: May 2013

Pages: 10


After the financial crisis that began in 2007 many have expressed renewed doubts about the basic goodness of the financial sectors, doubts related to deeply-held moral principles and traditions of larger society. We need to reconcile these doubts with financial practice. We must acknowledge the important principle of reciprocity. We must understand that there are natural human tendencies towards aggression and hoarding, which no financial institutions and codes of ethics can completely eliminate. We must appreciate the important role of professional organizations in moderating these tendencies. When these principles are made part of financial education we can expect better public acceptance of the important role that finance plays in our society.


Business ethics, Religion, Reciprocity, Aggression, Hoarding, Repugnance, Speculation, Professional organizations, Dodd-Frank Act, Teaching, Business education

JEL Classification Codes:  G0


Published in American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings (May 2013), 103(3): 402-405 [DOI]