March 29, 2009

Morality as a key to economic recovery

These days I find it useful to read Jeffrey Sachs. Here is a quote from a recent article by him, Capitalism and Moral Sentiments:
"The great scholars of capitalism, from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes, understood full well that a functioning economic system depends not on greed, but on moral sentiments and an acceptable social contract between the rich and the rest of society. The rich can make money, of course, but they must not flaunt it or consume it frivolously. Instead, they must invest their wealth for social benefit, whether in business or in philanthropy, or in both as in the case of history's most celebrated capitalist-philanthropists, from Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. It is only the dangerously arrogant rich or the servants of the rich who believe that morals don't matter in the great matters of finance.
America will not right itself until it regains a moral compass in economic affairs. That will require a new generation of financial leaders who will forswear the abuses of the past generation of Wall Street leaders. The faster that the economics team and Congress heed the public call for simple justice and decency in financial matters, and the more rapidly that translates into a true Wall Street clean up, the faster will come the economic recovery."
Also read:


  1. Interesting.
    I agree.
    Along the same lines, Barry Schwartz:

  2. Hi Paolo, thank you. I came across something interesting in the lecture about which I have made a new post (


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