Thursday, July 16, 2009

Goldman Sachs and Caritas in Veritate

I've gotta spend a lot more time reading Pope Benedict's latest encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate," or Love in Truth. When I do read it, I'll post on the encyclical again. In the meantime I think this article by Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach, Vice-Chairman of Goldman Sachs International is significant. Lord Griffiths says:

Despite heavy competition from some of the world’s finest minds, it is without doubt the most articulate, comprehensive and thoughtful response to the financial crisis that has yet appeared. It should strike a chord with all who wish to see modern capitalism serving broader human ends. . .

Pope Benedict’s words are not just platitudes. They affect every person at work every day. In the City they are a challenge to management to create a culture of prudence, responsibility and integrity.

There has to be zero tolerance for misleading clients, fudging conflicts of interest and inflating valuations. However great the revenue they produce, those who deviate must be disciplined. This kind of ethos cannot be imposed by regulation alone.

From what I know about the encyclical so far, I believe Lord Griffith's analysis strikes at the heart of the message in the Encyclical. It's encouraging to know that the Pope's words are being read and understood by those at the highest levels of finance. If Goldman Sachs follows the recommendation of the Pope and their vice-chair, maybe their record earnings will be sustainable.

No comments: