The global economic crisis requires a global ethic

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THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS REQUIRES A GLOBAL ETHIC The Manifesto for a Global Economic Ethic Hans Küng 35 Today, more and more people realize that the global economic and financial crisis also concerns common ethical values and standards. One might argue: do we not have laws which just need to be enforced? Sure, solutions to this crisis require all the provisions of the law. But laws are not enough. As you know, the political will to fight greed, fraud, corruption and self-aggrandizement is often weak because it is not supported by an ethical will. Laws without morality cannot endure, and no legal provision can be implemented without moral consciousness based on some elementary ethical standards. But is this not just an issue of individual morality? Not at all, it is also an issue of corporate morality and concerns the global market economy as a whole. Hence my first reflection: THE FAILURE OF MARKETS, INSTITUTIONS AND MORALITY CALLS FOR AN ETHICAL FRAMEWORK Recent experiences have proved that the sustainability of the market economy is by no means guaranteed. Indeed, one cannot escape the fact that the emergence of global capitalism has brought with it an entirely new set of risks. Trying to find a single reason for, or solution to, the challenges of the global market economy in a particular country or in a
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particular region is unlikely to be successful. In fact, what we often observe is that, in such a situation, mutual recriminations occur: economists accuse politicians and politicians accuse economists, while the average citizen frequently sees the moral defects of both protagonists. In any case, if only one of the three elements, whether it be economics, politics, or morality, does not work, it can cause serious difficulties for the market economy. Scholars distinguish between three types of failures of the capitalist system (Dunning 2001): 1. A failure of markets: moral hazard, inappropriate macroeconomic politics, excessive speculation (property and stock market), etc. 2. A failure of the institutions: inefficient functioning of the regulatory and supervisory systems, an inadequate legal and financial infrastructure, lack of accountability and/or transparency and inadequate standards in financial reporting. 3. A failure of moral virtues, which lies at the core of the failure of the markets and institutions. Such failures include casino-capitalism and corruption; lack of truthfulness, trust and social responsibility, and excessive greed of the investors or institutions; falsified balance sheets and illegal manipulation of the markets. Of course, all three dimensions are man-made and can be influenced by men: the markets by the behavior of customers and the supply-structures, the institutions by wise regulations, enforced standards and transparent self-commitments. People therefore have the moral responsibility to build an adequate institutional framework for the economy.
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  • Fall '16
  • Ethics, BBVA, ETICA INGLES 001B

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