Peter's Blog

Greed getting the better of us?

Written by Peter Johnston on .

On the front page of today's Sunday Times the current Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev David Lunan, is quoted from an excellent article confronting the devastating blows to the world's financial markets and the likes of our own HBOS during the week. The question that is raised by David Lunan is what place can greed play in our financial systems. At the moment it is central, but should it be? What about the commandment about coveting that which is not ours?

The article is reproduced in full on the Times website here.

Money quote:

Those who deal in the buying and selling of shares talk a lot about confidence. But whose confidence — theirs or ours? What if we have lost confidence in those who claimed they knew best? If the money changers are motivated solely by the quick buck, where is the reliability, the trustworthiness, the integrity we used to associate with those to whom we entrusted our hard earned savings? But society seems to respect those who have wealth, and not ask questions about how it was made. We reward failure with golden handshakes.

Communities cannot survive if there is no trust. We must have a moral framework of checks and balances to underpin our economic system without which it is the law of the jungle and the devil take the hindmost. That moral framework must have a bias towards those who have the least capacity to fend for themselves. It must challenge the idea that more is always better because there are values more valuable than money.