In the midst of trawling through research for a new book project on finance and technology I’ve started re-reading the work of Michael Sandel.
In ‘What Money Can’t Buy’, Sandel posits that the post-communism world of the eighties and nineties was an era of market triumphalism. In which market values and reasoning spread from beyond business and into almost every area of society; schools, sex, hospitals, police etc. He argues that society needs to debate about the morality and consequences of this including greater income inequality and a corruption of values.
This is significant because it corresponds with the current debate about morality within financial services. It implies that the debate should be about more than one individual sector; it should be about our judgment of a way of thinking, which he describes as “market reasoning”. A way of thinking that implies it is objective by considering everything from the perspective of “how much” and “where is the harm if someone is willing to sell and another is willing to buy”.