Ethics and Responsibility in Finance

Ethics and Responsibility in Finance

by Paul H. Dembinski


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781138637900
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/06/2017
Series: Routledge Focus on Economics and Finance Series
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Paul H. Dembinski holds the Chair of International Strategy and Competition at Switzerland’s University of Fribourg. He has a doctorate in political economy (1982) from the University of Geneva, where he began his teaching career, later (1991) becoming a tenured associate professor at the University of Fribourg. In 1996 he launched the Observatoire de la Finance Foundation in Geneva ( with the aim of encouraging the financial sector to take more account of the common good. He is still its director, and is chair of the international ‘Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize’, which will be awarded for the sixth time in 2017. He also edits the bilingual journal Finance & the Common Good/Finance & Bien Commun. Paul H. Dembinski is on the board of directors of Rentes Genevoises (public annuity company), which he has chaired since 2012.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: why does finance need ethics?

1.1 Permanent (or structural) reasons

1.2 Accidental (or cyclical) reasons

2 Finance and ethics: a twofold update

2.1 Can finance be defined?

2.2 Finance and money: the strength of promises

2.3 The multimodal causality toolbox

2.4 The causes of financialisation

2.5 How to define ethics?

2.6 Responsibility

2.7 The dilemma: the locus of ethics

2.8 The four dimensions of an ethical assessment

3 The fund holder’s ethical dilemmas: savers and rentiers

3.1 From non-consumption to savings

3.2 Intergenerational assets

3.3 Implementing the societal responsibility of the saver: ‘sustainable finance’

3.4 Forced savings: life insurance and pension funds

3.5 Interest: the (forbidden) fruit of savings

3.6 Gambling or financing?

3.7 Asset and risk management institutions

3.8 The role of savings at macroeconomic level

4 The ethical dilemmas facing fund users: public or private debtors and investors

4.1 The roots of promises and households’ commitments

4.2 Risk and business financing

4.3 Business financing: the leverage dilemma

4.4 The discount rate dilemma

4.5 Public fund users

4.6 The ethical aspects of information asymmetry

4.7 Accounting conventions and the importance of judgement

4.8 The usury rate

4.9 Ways out when things go wrong: the macro level

4.10 The Jubilee project: keeping financial due dates under control

5 Ethical dilemmas in financial intermediation

5.1 Banks or markets: an alternative made irrelevant by globalisation

5.2 Advise, prescribe or sell?

5.3 Financial innovation: cui bono?

5.4 The quality of prices: insider trading, market rigging and dark pools

5.5 Volatility and risk transfer

6 New avenues for action

6.1 Curbing expectations and aspirations in finance

6.2 Enhancing the importance of personal relationships

6.3 Simplifying the way finance works

6.4 Teaching finance differently

6.5 Ethics as a goal

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