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Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis
Why Incompetence Is Worse than Greed

$32.99 (C)

Part of Business, Value Creation, and Society

  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107421653

$ 32.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this topical book, Boudewijn de Bruin examines the ethical 'blind spots' that lay at the heart of the global financial crisis. He argues that the most important moral problem in finance is not the 'greed is good' culture, but rather the epistemic shortcomings of bankers, clients, rating agencies and regulators. Drawing on insights from economics, psychology and philosophy, de Bruin develops a novel theory of epistemic virtue and applies it to racist and sexist lending practices, subprime mortgages, CEO hubris, the Madoff scandal, professionalism in accountancy and regulatory outsourcing of epistemic responsibility. With its multidisciplinary reach, Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis will appeal to scholars working in philosophy, business ethics, economics, psychology and the sociology of finance. The many concrete examples and case studies mean that this book will also prove useful to policy-makers and regulators.

    • An innovative and highly topical book arguing that the most pressing ethical problems in finance are related to the way bankers and others acquire and use information and knowledge, rather than with the 'greed is good' mentality
    • Links epistemic virtues to behavioural economics and applies them to contexts of business and finance, contributing valuable new insights into virtue ethics, epistemology and economics
    • Draws on economics, philosophy, psychology and sociology to present a multidisciplinary account written in an accessible style that requires little prior knowledge of ethics or finance
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The witty aphorism, "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity", suggests that malice and stupidity are distinct, that ethics and knowledge are two separate aspects of decision making. But what if they are closely connected? The author of this original and insightful book, Boudewijn de Bruin, brings together classical ethical theory, recent psychological research, and a deep understanding of modern financial practice to offer a prescription for reforming our troubled financial system that focuses on the character of decision makers. The provocative idea that the act of knowing has a moral dimension and carries with it moral responsibility provides a novel and fruitful approach to much-needed financial reform."
    John Boatright, Raymond C. Baumhart, S. J., Graduate School of Business, Loyola University Chicago

    "Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis takes a distinctive, refreshing and practical approach to the financial disaster of 2008 and its legacy. Boudewijn de Bruin concentrates not on macroeconomic policy, but on remediable failings in financial institutions. He argues convincingly that the crash reflected not only dishonesty and greed, but widespread institutional and individual incompetence, and shows why trustworthy financial services need to meet rigorous epistemic as well as ethical standards."
    Baroness Onora O’Neill, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107421653
    • length: 242 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Financial ethics: virtues in the market
    2. Epistemic ethics: virtues of the mind
    3. Internalizing virtues: the clients
    4. Case study I: primes and subprimes
    5. Incorporating virtue: the banks
    6. Case study II: nerds and quants
    7. Communicating virtues: the raters
    8. Case study III: scores and accounts

  • Author

    Boudewijn de Bruin, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
    Boudewijn de Bruin is Professor of Financial Ethics at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He is a consultant with the financial services industry, has taught in various executive MBA programmes across the world, and is a regular contributor to the media. He runs a large project on Trusting Banks, with Alex Oliver (University of Cambridge) and financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), which draws together philosophers, social scientists, policymakers and finance professionals.

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