The University of Gothenburg seeks to establish a new research group in practical philosophy dedicated to ethical and political issues raised by the financial system. There is a growing consensus that financial agents and markets are failing to live up to their social responsibilities. The global financial crisis demonstrated how misaligned incentives and poor regulations impose extreme risks on both the financial system itself and society at large. But a more general problem is the seeming inability of financial markets to address the great sustainability challenges of our times, such as global poverty and the threat of climate change.
These overarching issues can be broken down into many subtopics, which in turn raise questions of more general philosophical concern. Possible subtopics include: * the proper objective of private companies and the division of moral labour in society; * the ethics of speculation and gambling; * insider trading and the importance of ‘fair play’ in markets; * the legitimacy of paternalism in dealing with clients; * incentive- versus desert-based views on justice in pay; * the Tobin tax and the legitimacy of international tax regimes; * the role of central banks and the justification of virtual or international currencies; * microfinance and poor people’s right to credit; and * Islamic finance and the moral critique of usury.
A total of four positions will be advertised: Continue reading
The Group of Thirty has recently published a report entitled Banking Conduct and Culture. The Group of Thirty is a high-profile think tank covering global finance with members such as Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Fed; Mark Carney, Govenor or the Bank of England; and Mario Draghi, President of the ECB. As the subtitle indicates, the report is meant as a “call for sustained and comprehensive reform”:
“There must be a sustained focus on conduct and culture by banks and the banking industry, boards, and management. Firms and their leaderships need to make major improvements in the culture within the banking industry and within individual firms.” (p. 11)
A lot about the report is to be recommended. It provides a good overview of current interventions to improve organisational culture in banking. It urges leaders of banks as well as regulators to move beyond lofty value statements, towards a firm integration of an ethical culture into banks. It does so by calling for a “fundamental shift in the overall mindset on culture”, and making ethics count when designing incentive structures, performance management, and promotion paths.
Alas, the report fails at providing a helpful definition of organisational culture. It fails in ways that some very old-fashioned conceptual analysis could have prevented. Continue reading
Tenure Track Assistant/Associate Professor Economics&Philosophy/Business Ethics, Faculty of Economics and Business, Groningen, The Netherlands
The application deadline is 15 June 2015. For information about the post, click here.
The University of Groningen invites applications for an assistant or associate professor (tenure track) in economics and philosophy/business ethics in the Department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance of the Faculty of Economics and Business. Tenure track positions are eligible for consideration for award of the title of full professor, generally after ten years, depending on merit.