Business and the Greater Good
Show Less

Business and the Greater Good

Rethinking Business Ethics in an Age of Crisis

Edited by Knut J. Ims and Lars J.T. Pedersen

With cutting-edge insights from leading European and North American scholars, this authoritative book addresses the fundamental problems of business in an age of crisis whilst presenting radical, but practical, solutions.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 5: The tortoise and the hare: alternative approaches to capitalism

Eleanor O’Higgins


On 15 September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. This was the shock event that forced the acceptance that the global financial system was in deep trouble, as investment banks had made staggering losses on risky trading activities. The effects of these losses were quickly and intensely felt throughout society as the banking failures infected the global economic system, especially when governments engaged in gigantic bank bailouts. Recovery remains elusive, as governments and supra-government bodies tinker with proposed regulation, whilst financial institutions seem to want to go back to “business as usual” (Banziger 2012). Trust in financial institutions has plummeted globally (Lex 2012; Tyrie 2012; Edelman 2013). Various deep-rooted factors are blamed, such as the de facto public subsidies given to banks too big to fail by bailouts, high barriers to new entry that stifle competition, lack of price transparency, information asymmetries that have resulted in the sale of inappropriate products to retail and wholesale customers alike, weak corporate governance oversight, and overall short-termism. Crotty (2009) talks about the “perfect calm” in the 2003 to mid-2007 period before the financial crisis came to a head. The perfect calm period seemed to suggest that gravity had been turned on its head, that high-risk–high-return investments were actually safe. In any case, bailouts by central banks over the previous three decades in the face of systemic banking crises only served to reassure bankers that financial gains of the boom would be private while losses were socialised.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.