A New Kind of Trust; Ken Costa Says the Spirit of God Must Be Called upon If We Are to Rebuild the World Economy after Recession
Byline: Ken Costa
We are seeing a financial tsunami, a massive dislocation which is only seen once in every 100 to 150 years. The tide of uncertainty is hitting our cities and the waves of the aftershock are buffeting you and I every day.
When I was in Davos at the World Economic Forum, the global financiers and chief executives were asking the question 'How long will this continue?' But that is not the real question. The real question is 'What will emerge?' There is an immediate need to fix the banking system but trust has been fractured.
Money is not gold. Money is a promise. Trust is required for our economic system to work and this has been fractured. A new trust economy will have to emerge.
This is not just a financial tsunami, although its roots are in the financial realm, it is a spiritual and moral tsunami.
Morality was contracted out and ethical commentators marginalized.
The spiritual dimensions of fuelling a binge of artificially-stimulated desires and the moral dimensions of making investment decisions without understanding what the instruments are and how they would affect people's lives can't just be put into a little box marked 'Financial'.
It affects every aspect of our lives. And who is responsible for this irrational exuberance? Was it: * the governmentswhowere asleep? * the regulators who didn't spend their time regulating the capital and the liquidity of the financial institutions? * the boards of the financial institutions or their shareholders? I don't know - it's too soon to give a precise answer. But could it be you and I who spent more on our credit cards than we knew was wise to do? We did not have the wisdom to show restraint. We bought houses that were just a little more expensive than we could afford.
I don't think we escape. The uncontrolled fear, the deception, the ignorance of risk and the lack of knowledge about the value of investments became a way of living and the market economy became a god.
The resulting global structures were being formed without any reference to God. We became proud. We thought we were in a steady state of governance and globally we would be intact. How shallow that looks now. We became proud, we became powerful. We were told the market could provide happiness.
One of the great post-war lies was that material prosperity could bring happi- ness. We became very proud of our achievements. Our globalised world became nothing more than the unrestrained access to further consumables. …