Financial Ethics

Why are ethics important to someone in finance

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    Why are ethics important?

    Business, indeed life, is built on relationships.  Consider the Nexus of contracts.  An organization is in many ways just a interwoven web of contracts and relationships between various stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers, and investors. 

    The best I can sum up ethics is to do what you say you will.  Be fair.  Increase transparency.  If these relationships are not build on trust, the lack of trust will lead to higher transaction costs, lower revenue, and higher costs.  Put another way, your reputation is one of, if not the, biggest assets you have.  That reputation can be lost in a matter of seconds.  Indeed, ethical breakdowns can be one of the largest risk factors firms have.  Don't believe me?  Look at Enron, Adelphia, and many many many other firms that were destroyed by a lack of ethics. 

    Act ethically.  My biggest piece of advice to you. 

    Create systems that don't lead to temptation. 

    If you find a problem, tell people about it.

    Protect your reputation. 

    Look out for everyone.  It will not only help you, but also your shareholders.

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    Ethics in Finance is Good! Episode 2: Does Financial Ethics Make Sense?

    Episode 2: Does Financial Ethics Make Sense? The second episode of the financial ethics training series produced by Seven Pillars Institute shows why financial ethics has been largely neglected by the finance academy and until recently perhaps (with glacial progress), the financial industry. Spoiler alert: Financial ethics does make sense.

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    Heminger Business Ethics Lecture: Dr. Julius Coles

    A really good speech by Dr. Julius Coles who lays out the importance of business ethics. He was the inaugural speaker for The University of Findlay's Heminger Business Ethics Lecture Series. Dr. Julius Coles is the Director of the Office of Global Education and Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College.

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    The Importance of ethics in business

    A tad "businessy" but makes the important distinction of High road and low road ethics. Learn the power that values-based leadership can have on your business! Having a commitment to "High Road" Behavior means understanding the key role of trust for effective leadership and for maintaining uninterrupted growth and profitability.

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    Stakeholder Theory (i.e. what we call a Nexus of Contracts")

    It takes a village, or at least a nexus to create value. And all of those stakeholders are important. Yes shareholders are the most important, but all are important and we have to look out for all of them. My favorite quote: "Business ethics should not be an oxymoron, but two words that are redundant to each other". R. Edward Freeman of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia gives insights into "Stakeholder Theory". This video is part of the Masters Seminars in Business Ethics video series. The series features thought leaders in business ethics addressing topics in their particular fields of expertise, including their approach to teaching business ethics. And yes he has more hair than me but that is not a reason to hate him! :) We agree very much on stakeholder theory and importance of looking out for all of them.

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    CFA code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

    The CFA's code is really the gold standard of ethical behavior codification. If you are in my class, you must read this.

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    A New Model of Integrity in Corporate Finance: Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen is one of my academic heroes. (yes of the Jensen FCF problem fame) A New Model of Corporate Integrity: Harvard Prof. Emeritus Michael Jensen discusses a model of integrity and its application to corporate finance and management. Kellogg-Aspen Conference on Rethinking 'Shareholder Value' and the Purpose of the Corporation, March 7, 2013.

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    Warren Buffet Investment Ethics

    It is easy to be charitable with other peoples' money. We will discuss whether firms should be "charitable" or whether they should make money to allow their shareholders to be charitable.

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    Business Ethics Through Film: Monsters Inc.

    Of course it is easy to be ethical on paper. The real test comes when under fire and faced with losing a promotion, a job, or even a business. This video shows that via Monsters INC. and the Xavier MBA program. Business Ethics Through Film, BUAD 609 Xavier University MBA Program By Brett Dickson, Leah Busam, Andy Doster & Kenny Rod

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    Employees matter too!

    Nic Marks is the founding director of Happiness Works, a company that focuses on science-based, responsive analytics to unlock new ways to happiness and productivity within the workplace. Marks is also a fellow of the UK think-tank, the new economics foundation (nef) and a board member of Action for Happiness.

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    Ethics In the Headlines - Bank of America / J.P. Morgan Chase

    This Institute for Enterprise Ethics looks at the recent Bank of American and J.P. Morgan Chase settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of it's Ethics in The Headlines series. Dan Sweeney and Professor John Holcomb discuss the settlements and the overall climate for those banks involved in the mortgage backed securities crisis.

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    Southwest Airlines: We're All In This Together

    Our founder, Herb Kelleher, is famous for saying that "the Business of Business is People." He recognized that - more than advertising, more than low fares - it would be our Employees that would be the key to our success, because they would be key to building positive relationships with our Customers.

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    CFA Ethics Study Tips for Level 1, 2 and 3

    CFA ethics is one of the most important topic areas in the CFA program. It represents 15% in Level 1, and 10-15% in Level 2 and 3. A good performance in ethics can also earn you a pass in case you score at the borderline.

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