A Helpful Ethics Response to Global Financial Crisis?

Having not posted in the last month for a variety of reasons, I've obviously missed the lion's share of opportunities to weigh in on the early days of the current horrific happenings in the global financial markets and the ethical issues surrounding them.

When sitting down to organize my thoughts and provide some references, I stumbled onto this article at EthicsWorld.net providing a summary of Transparency International's seven point action plan in response to the current crisis. Though the ideas are hardly revolutionary, they are certainly on the mark. Their none-too-surprising list includes demands for:

1. Improved regulation and supervision
2. Rescue measures
3. Dealing with offshore havens
4. Supporting better governance
5. Dealing better with conflicts of interest
6. Pursuing investigations and sanctions more aggressively
7. Providing appropriate aid

Now, just because these ideas are pretty obvious and, I suspect, entirely indisputable, that isn't enough to get me to believe that world governments will actually be quick to act on these demands, regardless of the number of organizations and individuals suggesting or demanding them. Why not? Unless a lot of history somehow magically reverses itself, most governments and institutions will be too busy blaming one another and trying to regain the safety – whether real or perceived – of their endangered wealth to really cooperate in the required ways or to the required degree. Mind you, I do believe that these measures will eventually come about – I just can't imagine it happening anytime nearly as soon as ought to be the case.

As is so often the case, however, I greatly hope to be proven wrong on this one…

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