I went to see the new movie, The Big Short, this weekend and what a profound movie! This movie focuses on the background to the housing bubble based on subprime mortgages and who knew what, when, why and what these men did about it.Ethics was lacking!
Some of the great comments in this movie are:
Mark Baum(played by Steve Carell)
1. “Fraud has never, ever worked out. Eventually, things go south. When the hell did we forget all that?”
2. “Banks have trained us to trust them. They given us 25% interest rates, student loans.”
Mark puts the situation simply and bluntly. “Bank conditioned Americans to trust them, then they screwed the Americans and profited gloriously.”
As I watch the story unfold about those who saw this housing bubble coming and the responses from executives of investment companies, banks, etc., I wondered why no one mentioned what would be the ethical thing to do? Of course, the answer was/is greed.
Fraud, deceit, ignorance, power, manipulation etc., were all the basis for the mortgage crisis and yet, name one CEO from a bank, investment company, etc., that was arrested, much less charged and convicted of these abuses that caused the Great Recession? Why not? It was clear in the movie that the virtue of justice was clearly lacking and in many ways still is.
What have we learned from this debacle that affected most of us? Maybe this was the motivation for the resurgence of ethics and leadership development? At least I would like to think that something, anything, positive came out of this financial implosion.
Go see the movie!