Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Problems We Face Stem From a Lack of Personal Responsibility

As popular sentiment continues to crest in opposition to the AIG bonuses, big financial firms and related players in general, some (like Alan Greenspan) have described our current market meltdown as a cyclical phenomenon. In other words, this large, across-the-board economic crash should be expected to occur every 100 years or so...thus making this crash the equivalent to a person needing to get new fillings every 20 to 30 years -- they just fall apart after a period of time.

Perhaps it's true that such trends can be tracked over time, but why not just call a spade a spade: a number of financial professionals (including government regulators) lacked personal responsibility with respect to practicing appropriate ethics when managing other peoples' money. This lack of personal responsibility translates into negligence at the least and criminality in many, if not most cases. More importantly, it translates into huge financial and job losses for tens of millions of people all over the country, indeed the world.

Given the different accounts emerging (A must see is this segment on PBS's News Hour -
Author Traces Demise of Bear Stearns in 'House of Cards'), about our economic melt down and the ensuing mayhem and finger-pointing, it's easy to see that peoples' greed blinded them over time. But at core, these people lacked courage and virtue when it came time to do the right thing. They let themselves get carried along and led many innocent people over the cliff with them. That's why until there is a concerted effort to reinstate ethics and virtue into our financial and business sector, we will not cure what ails our economy, and we certainly will not reinstate peoples' confidence in such a flawed system.

To read some points St. Josemaria wrote about responsibility, click here.