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Tag: Gordon Gekko

Business Ethics Roundup 10/11/2011

1. The Ethics Sage has a new post on the civility movement at Harvard  entitled –

Harvard University Jumps on the Civility Bandwagon

Here’s a key paragraph:

The fact is administrators at Harvard are pressuring the Class of 2015 to do something no other student class has ever been asked to do in 375 years: Sign a civility pledge. The “Class of 2015 Freshman Pledge” was presented to students before an opening convocation last month. The message serves as a kind of moral compass for the education Harvard imparts. In the classroom, in extracurricular endeavors, and in Harvard Yard and Houses, students are expected to act with integrity, respect, and industry, and to sustain a community characterized by inclusiveness and civility. The “Pledge” idea seems a bit odd to me. Is Harvard saying its students have not acted civilly up until now? Has Harvard ignored civic virtue in its teachings?

It’s a good article. Certainly, I think a few more pledges in the direction of civility and morality are merited. The current American ethos seems to be heavily drawn from Milton Friedman and Gordon Gekko, in equal parts.

2. Professor Chris MacDonald writing in the Business Ethics Blog has an article intriguingly entitled –

Bullying in Pursuit of the Public Good

This would be my preference for the key paragraph – not as lively as some of the others but it contains the heart of the message – Don’t assume one side is right all the time.

Now most people are generally not very worried about major corporations, or large institutions of any kind, being bullied. And it’s easy enough to understand why. We’re usually more worried about corporations having too much power, rather than too little. But to uniformly celebrate victories of NGOs over corporations is to assume that NGOs are always right. And that’s a mistake. It’s also a mistake to assume that NGOs are in any important sense democratic, or automatically representative of the public interest.

3. Lauren Bloom writing in her blog has a new article called –

A Loving Tribute to Steve Jobs

This is the best paragraph –

But the thing that keeps coming to my mind as I think about Steve Jobs was his dedication to creating extraordinary products that inspired unprecedented customer devotion. Everyone uses cell phones, computers, and other portable electornic devices these days, but if I hear someone say they “absolutely love” one of those devices, more often than not it turns out to be an Apple product. And while cartoons aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, film buffs who enjoy animation typically love Pixar movies. One might disagree on which of Pixar’s films is the best (my personal favorite is Ratatouille but my brother lobbies hard for The Incredibles), but to my recollection, there’s been something to love about every movie Pixar has ever produced.

4. Josephson on Business Ethics and Leadership has an article called –

Hunger and Poverty: Consequences of deregulating food markets

Millions of poor people are starving in famines right now because the U.S. has relaxed regulations on commodities trading over the past 10 years. Into the breach have rushed financial companies like Goldman Sachs that poured millions of dollars into food commodities trading, in pursuit of short-term profits. In the process, they’ve created artificially soaring food prices that affect the whole world.

As went tech stocks in the 90s, and housing prices in the 00s, the price of food is now set on a financial bubble.  And human agony and death is the result.

I wish the author had developed the topic in more detail. I fell like I was in the middle of a good strong read and then was cut off in the middle.

James Pilant

 

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KPMG Study Shows Company Bosses Increasingly Commit Fraud (vis Ethics Sage)

KPMG Study Shows Company Bosses Increasingly Commit Fraud (vis Ethics Sage)

The invaluable Ethics Sage has a new article.

I, in particular, like this paragraph –

I find it astonishing that corporate fraud continues to increase and top management is leading the way. The increase in the FRP statistic seems to bear out the spread of the cancer that has been attacking the capitalistic system during the past 20 years or so. Remember the “Greed is Good” mantra in Wall Street? Well it’s instructive to look at the entire quote by Gordon Gekko: “The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated…The  point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the            essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the uoward surge of mankind.”

I won’t spoil the article by revealing more. But I promise you if you subscribe and favorite the Ethics Sage, you will have little cause for regret and many reasons to be pleased with your good judgment.

James Pilant

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He’s Back! Like Hannibal Lector, He Just Keeps Going!

I’ll let the picture speak for itself.

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