If you have a badly built suburb, which makes it easy to commit crime, those who commit crime are responsible for their crimes, while those who constructed the suburb or have sent too few police also have responsibility. So, the first responsibility lies with those who commit unethical trades – if you commit a crime, you’re responsible, if you do things which are clearly unethical (to say the least), you’re also responsible.
Secondly, of course, it is the responsibility of those who in charge of supervising financial institutions, of enforcing the rules. If these institutions do not respond properly, and do not investigate properly, they are not doing their job properly.
And, ultimately, there’s the responsibility of the politicians who did not give the right resources and powers to these institutions and allowed loopholes and bad incentives in the law.
I would say that, perhaps the largest responsibility of the political sector, is that we have public institutions which have too limited resources, where their staff don’t get paid anywhere near what they would make working for the private sector – this is why the best people are often lost from the public service. That is perhaps one of the most important reasons for the limited efficiency.
And then, of course, we have a lot of powerful interest groups influencing the decision making and a lack of interest groups for the common good that are equally knowledgeable. Both sides exist but the resources are extremely unevenly distributed. So we have very few, poorly funded, public interest groups. We need more people who are highly skilled and qualified working in the public sector and in public interest to re-balance the power distribution. And we need to limit by law what big money can do in politics.
Answered by: Sven Giegold, MEP
- I’m 20 years old and I pay for the crisis. Why is this happening, since it’s not my fault?
- Do you think there’s enough motivation in the political world to legislate serious ethical reform, to stop unethical trade deals and punish people who commit them?
- What about the lack of change in moral sentiment in the finance industry. What do you think could change the moral sentiment, if it’s possible?
- To what extent do technocrats advise politicians? Legally speaking, they’re not elected, but it seems that they have a lot of political power if they are advising heavily.
- What has changed in terms of financial regulation to prevent the moral hazard problem?
- Do you think greed is a good motor to keep the economy running? How do you justify making profit with war, famine and the destruction of our planet?