Where is banking's moral compass?
This short book argues that bankers are good for society if the constraints that regulate them direct bankers to behave for the good of society.
It makes clear that banking keeps society civilised as, without such controls, we would have anarchy and war. It argues that bankers historically have been constrained by religious shackles that, through the fear of God, made bankers behave appropriately. It asks what bankers fear today and whether the moral compass and lessening of religious beliefs is one reason why bankers have been bad. After all, the love of money is the root of all evil.
It concludes that for bankers to be good for society, they have to have a fear of retribution and a strong moral compass. This will happen as the American culture of casino capitalism is replaced by an Asian culture of community-based consensus combined with Islamic finance influences.
Published April 2012
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1 Why banking is essential for society
2 A banker’s role in society
Money and the seven deadly sins
3 Bankers’ morals and ethics
4 Banking for good or for bad
The rise and fall of the Roman Empire
The rise and fall of Renaissance Italy
The South Sea Bubble
The Great Depression
5 The role of bankers today
The failure of self-regulation
The role of technology
The need for constraint
6 The role of bankers tomorrow
The future is in the East
The rise of Islamic finance
Creating a safer market
About Chris Skinner
Chris has been providing independent, expert commentary on the key developments in banking for over a decade in his role as Chief Executive of Balatro and Chairman of the Financial Services Club. In particular, he has been writing for various media, such as the Banker Magazine, since 2004 and is a key commentator on banking for prime time news channels including the BBC, Sky and Bloomberg. Prior to creating his independent entities, Chris had key roles at management and board levels covering insurance, retail and investment banking across a range of consulting and technology firms.