Thursday, November 12, 2009

Economic Good News

The financial crisis of 2007–2009 has been called by leading economists the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars, substantial financial commitments incurred by governments, and a significant decline in economic activity. The International Monetary Fund estimated that large U.S. and European banks lost more than $1 trillion on toxic assets and from bad loans from January 2007 to September 2009. These losses are expected to top $2.8 trillion from 2007-10. U.S. banks losses were forecast to hit $1 trillion and European bank losses will reach $1.6 trillion. Many causes have been proposed, with varying weight assigned by experts. Certainly high among the causes would be a lack of responsible management, a shortage of high ethical standards, and widespread greed run amuck.

There is some good news. There seems to be a movement toward more responsible management. More than 1600 business school grads since early 2009 have now signed an oath on "Responsible Value Creation." Their promise is to lead organizations "for the greater good" rather than just their own benefit. In this way they are modeling Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve.

These men and women with MBAs desire to create value, build wealth, and use money for the greater good rather than contribute to a hedonistic lifestyle and culture where people are "enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures." I encourage you to consider taking this oath or recommending it to those you know in the business world.

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