The Credit Crisis and The Moral Responsibility of Professionals in Finance
AbstractStarting from MacIntyre's virtue ethics, we investigate several codes of conduct of banks to identify the type of virtues that are needed to realize their mission. Based on this analysis, we define three core virtues: honesty, due care and accuracy. We compare and contrast these codes of conduct with the actual behavior of banks that led to the credit crisis and find that in some cases banks did not behave according to the moral standards they set themselves. However, notwithstanding these moral deficiencies, banks and the professionals working in them cannot be fully blamed for what they did, because the institutional context of the free market economy in which they operated left little room for them to live up to the core values lying at the basis of the codes of conduct. Given the neo-liberal free market system, innovative and risky strategies to enhance profits are considered desirable for the sake of shareholder's interests. A return to the core virtues in the financial sector will therefore only succeed if a renewed sense of responsibility in the sector is supported by institutional changes that allow banks to put their mission into practice.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2011-048.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://center.uvt.nl
Anglo Saxon capitalism; Banking sector; business principles of banks; credit crisis; external goods; internal goods; MacIntyre; Neo-liberalism;
Other versions of this item:
- Johan Graafland & Bert Ven, 2011. "The Credit Crisis and the Moral Responsibility of Professionals in Finance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(4), pages 605-619, November.
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
- B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
- G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-05-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2011-05-14 (Banking)
- NEP-HME-2011-05-14 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- J. Graafland, 2010. "Do Markets Crowd Out Virtues? An Aristotelian Framework," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, January.
- Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Alexey Levkov, 2007.
"Big Bad Banks? The Impact of U.S. Branch Deregulation on Income Distribution,"
NBER Working Papers
13299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Beck, T.H.L. & Levine, R. & Levkov, A., 2007. "Big bad banks? The impact of U.S. branch deregulation on income distribution," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3508402, Tilburg University.
- Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Levkov, Alexey, 2007. "Big bad banks ? the impact of U.S. branch deregulation on income distribution," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4330, The World Bank.
- Skreta, Vasiliki & Veldkamp, Laura, 2009.
"Ratings shopping and asset complexity: A theory of ratings inflation,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 678-695, July.
- Vasiliki Skreta & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Ratings Shopping and Asset Complexity: A Theory of Ratings Inflation," Working Papers 08-28, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Vasiliki Skreta & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Ratings Shopping and Asset Complexity: A Theory of Ratings Inflation," NBER Working Papers 14761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2008. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the 2007 Mortgage Default Crisis," NBER Working Papers 13936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bervas, A., 2006. "Market liquidity and its incorporation into risk management," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 8, pages 63-79, May.
- Hall, Peter A. & Soskice, David (ed.), 2001. "Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247752, September.
- David Rooney & Tom Mandeville & Tim Kastelle, 2013. "Abstract Knowledge and Reified Financial Innovation: Building Wisdom and Ethics Into Financial Innovation Networks," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 447-459, December.
- Betsy Stevens, 2013. "How Ethical are U.S. Business Executives? A Study of Perceptions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 117(2), pages 361-369, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Broekman).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.