Three Ethical Roots of the Economic Crisis

Journal of Business Ethics 106 (1):5-8 (2012)
Abstract
On Sept 15, 2008, ‘‘Dark Monday,’’ the world witnessed a radical reshaping of Wall Street. Lehman Brothers fell toward bankruptcy; Merrill Lynch was sold to its rival, Bank of America; and AIG pleaded for $40 billion in government relief. Those calamities marched in step with a dismal parade including the US government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bailout of Bear Stearns, and the entire subprime debacle. We rightly blame Wall Street leaders for bungling business decisions, for misestimating risk and overloading banks with single-strategy investments. We now are living with the aftermath of these business mistakes. But how about ethical mistakes? Were they, too, part of the crisis?
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