Lawyers take pro bono cases, and doctors treat the uninsured in medical emergencies, giving up...


Lawyers take pro bono cases, and doctors treat the uninsured in medical emergencies, giving up profit to do so. So Joe Nocera wonders: What is banking's moral obligation to the country that fished it out of the abyss?

Comments (9)
  • Neil459
    , contributor
    Comments (2636) | Send Message
     
    Individuals should have moral obligations not institutions. This is just more socialists crap that masquerades as politically correct thinking. The next step is to force institutions to have moral obligations thereby rising costs for everyone.
    1 Aug 2009, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2278) | Send Message
     
    Lawyers and doctors have knowledge and skills that can actually help people.

     

    Bankers don't know how to do anything except make money for themselves.
    1 Aug 2009, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • Patient Capital
    , contributor
    Comments (177) | Send Message
     
    > Lawyers and doctors have knowledge and skills that can actually help
    > people.

     

    And without bankers, they're useless. Everything you see around you has money tied to it - car loans, mortgages, commercial real estate loans, the machinery that makes your factory 10 times more efficient, the factory that allows companies to produce electronics for you to even discuss this on... the list goes on and on.

     

    > Bankers don't know how to do anything except make money for themselves.

     

    If Adam Smith's Invisible Hand has even an ounce of truth to it, I think it's clear that they're doing society a favor. By providing loans, they're letting that doctor have a building he can operate out of. By providing loans, people can actually pay for lawyers so that he has money to help out others without the ability to pay.

     

    Here's my issue with the article - if we provide free help to people, is that not just supporting bad behavior? We're telling people that you don't need to worry, make bad decisions, and we'll bail you out. Buy a car that costs you a lot in fuel and then when you have trouble, we'll give you $4500 for it. Effectively, we are supporting "bad" behavior... with this kind of mentality.

     

    I'm not saying people don't get into tough situations, but I do believe that at least in the US, you have a far more equal opportunity environment than you'll get in any other country and so for people to think that they're in a tough situation because of the government or bankers being greedy is something I have a hard time believing. This system, while having some flaws, has proven to work better than any other system over and over again.

     

    Just so we're clear, I am NOT saying I'm against things like that cash for clunkers program, I'm just simply pointing out the flaws in doing this, and how they support bad behavior.

     

    Back to the original topic - I'm not convinced that the bankers are doing anything bad with not offering "free services." If there are consumers willing to pay for their services, why should they do something for free? Paying services means that there is something available that will provide a greater value to society and so for them to let that go and take on a free project instead doesn't sound like it makes sense to me.
    1 Aug 2009, 06:04 PM Reply Like
  • linenoise
    , contributor
    Comments (215) | Send Message
     
    I think they're doing away with ATM fees on the second Tuesday of every week.
    1 Aug 2009, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • anarchist
    , contributor
    Comments (1937) | Send Message
     
    Many years ago the Supreme Court ruled in favor of giving institutions many of the rights as individuals including free speech which they hide behind to control our politicians with large campaign donations. Early in the formation of our Union the idea was to limit the power of institutions and they were at the will of the people (the State) to operate reversing the policies of the the English Monarchy but the Supreme Courts decision nullified that concept. I see no reason why "moral obligation" shouldn't be legislated for institutions.

     

    On Aug 01 05:14 PM Neil459 wrote:

     

    > Individuals should have moral obligations not institutions. This
    > is just more socialists crap that masquerades as politically correct
    > thinking. The next step is to force institutions to have moral obligations
    > thereby rising costs for everyone.
    1 Aug 2009, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • jambo
    , contributor
    Comments (309) | Send Message
     
    ....As long as it doesnt fall before the 33rd of the month.
    Goldman Sachs is pencilling us in on the flash advance of trade notification list on that same afternoon.

     

    On Aug 01 06:38 PM linenoise wrote:

     

    > I think they're doing away with ATM fees on the second Tuesday of
    > every week.
    1 Aug 2009, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • Illusional Delusion
    , contributor
    Comments (346) | Send Message
     
    I'd mostly agree, but I think it is more that bankers ignored their moral and contractual (legal) obligation to manage people's money properly than sheer abuse of OPM.

     

    On Aug 01 05:35 PM D_Virginia wrote:

     

    > Lawyers and doctors have knowledge and skills that can
    1 Aug 2009, 11:33 PM Reply Like
  • cash
    , contributor
    Comments (688) | Send Message
     
    Bankers have nothing to offer to the country. They are just middlemen who suck money from all sides. They cannot create prospertity/wealth/jobs or otherwise help raise our living standards. They are not the engine of the growth. They are at best like the grease that can facilitate the wheels to move smoother. Alas, this fact was lost on his highness Obama & turbotax Tim. They have wasted boat loads of money propping up bad banks/behavior. In stead it could have been used to spur competition, creativity which can pull us out of this morass in time.
    2 Aug 2009, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2278) | Send Message
     
    My point is that bankers, brokers, loan officers, etc, all are very self-centered professions.

     

    Yes, the banking /industry/ is good for society, but bankers just aren't trained to help people. They're trained to make money for their firms and for themselves -- I'm not sure which comes first, but I do know that the client seems to come /last/.

     

    On Aug 01 11:33 PM Illusional Delusion wrote:

     

    > I'd mostly agree, but I think it is more that bankers ignored their
    > moral and contractual (legal) obligation to manage people's money
    > properly than sheer abuse of OPM.
    >
    > On Aug 01 05:35 PM D_Virginia wrote:
    2 Aug 2009, 10:00 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Hub
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs