Quoted in a Bloomberg article entitled “Profit `Not Satanic,’ Barclays Says, After Goldman Invokes Jesus”, several bankers spoke about the compatibility of Christianity and Captialism.
Bankers became too obsessed with short-term gains in a financial crisis that is a “profoundly moral issue,” Lazard’s Costa said in the church of St. Katherine Cree on Oct. 15.
“These are long-term commitments,” Costa, 60, said of banking careers in a sermon at the church, one of a few to escape the great fire of London in 1666. “They are not one- night financial stands,” he said. “Impatience is no recipe for a healthy economy or society.”
Banking’s core business of moving money around to fund people, companies and countries lifted millions out of poverty, Varley said last night.
“There’s no conflict between doing business in an ethical and responsible way and making money,” Varley said. “We make our biggest contribution to society by being good at what we do.”
Sure, it might be a little overboard the way the press is categorizing the debate, but I really like the focus on 1) the immorality of breaking commitments, 2) emphasis on the long-term, and 3) rational self-interest as long-term beneficial. These are moral issues. I concede that corporations need to rethink compensation, and that they have stumbled in the accountability area. But I would hate to see the pendulum swing too far in the direction of more government regulation.