In this week's The Tablet there is an interesting article (Have lessons been learnt?) by Ben Andradi who works in the City in the private-equity industry. Here is taste of his article on the fallout from the world recession:
It's in the area of values and ideology that more lessons need to be learnt. The prevalent economic orthodoxy of the last 20 years has been complete belief in the power of free markets. Most politicians on both left and right embraced this with mantras such as "light touch regulation" and "maximising shareholder value". The belief-set was built on several commandments: firms always manage resources better than government (say that to the shareholders of Lehman Brothers, AIG and RBS!); tax cuts are the only policies of governments (but to finance the bail-outs taxes will have to rise); reduction of government power is desirable (except when the banks have to be bailed out.
The other dimension is to nurture virtues and values...Virtue is what happens when wise and good choices become second nature. Choosing the Common Good (the recent document from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales) is on the mark in emphasising the importance of practising virtue. Moral habits need to be relearned and practised. Some church bodies are involved in training bankers on ethics and values such as, honesty, transparency, accurately reporting risks and striving for a higher standard of conduct beyond mere regulatory compliance.