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ethics and finance September 3, 2009

Posted by Bradley in : ethics , trackback

Dr Duvvuri Subbarao, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, gave a speech the other day which included the following passage.

John Stuart Mill said that if we make men honest, good and decent, then they will make themselves honest, good and decent engineers, doctors and teachers, and may I add, financial sector professionals. The financial sector is, after all, a reflection of the society in which it operates. So, the approach to bringing ethical values into finance has to begin not by special efforts to enforce or regulate ethical standards in finance, but by fostering a value system in society at large.

I think he is absolutely right on this one, but approaching the issue from this perspective makes it even more difficult a problem to solve than if we could just change a few rules here and there.

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