Madoff, Mortgage Derivatives and Ethics

The act of acting morally is behaving as if everything we do matters. – Gloria Steinem

My favorite subject, ethics, has been the center of many news stories lately. I ran across this post from Gerard McLean recently that started me down a path:

I find myself wondering how many times we are forced into a situation to do something for a client who is immoral, amoral, unethical or a combination of all because they have an “expectation” that is not in line with their reality. And because they are the lifeblood of our organization, we bow to the pressure to do it “just this one time” or until we no longer have to. But like Madoff, that one time turns into a lifetime of “just this one time.”

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Rocky Mountain News Closes

Another newspaper has been shuttered – the Rocky Mountain News.

While  inevitable, it is sad to see newspapers disappear.  The entire industry is in disarray and until someone somewhere finds a profitable economic model – the mood will be somber.  I work in a similar industry.  We have seen a decade of decline and have struggled to shift in to growing markets.  It is hard, and I know that the day will come when my company closes or is bought out.  The hard, cold reality is that no business can survive if it is not profitable.  Reporters will not volunteer their time (for long).  Printers will not donate paper and ink.  The barriers to entry in to the news industry have dropped so low that anyone can enter and publish online.  But while publishing costs have dropped precipitously, revenue has as well.

The staff of the paper did a great job publishing this video:

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.