A DIALOGUE ON FINANCE AND THE COMMON GOOD – MALTA 29TH-30TH JANUARY 2016
Malta, January 29th-30th, 2016
International Consultation at the headquarters of the Central Bank of Malta
Conference Host : Josef Bonnici, Chairman, The Central Bank of Malta
Conference Chair : Domingo Sugranyes Bickel, Chairman, FCAPP
General introduction : Catholic social teaching on Finance and the Common Good
Fr. Joseph Galea Curmi, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Malta
1. Does financial reform entail real change? For whom? By whom? And how?
“ Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-drivent paradigm of technocracy… Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and apparent recovery”( Francis, ‘Laudato si’ Encyclical, n. 189).
The Pope’s sharp sentence requires, on the one side, a critical assessment of the present institutional financial reform agenda, not only in the Eurozone, where the decision process is particularly difficult and spectacular, but also in the USA and the UK. On the other side, it asks for a wider examination in the framework of ethical and societal questions, and discerment about the real possibilities of choice. At the same time, the financial system, and especially the banking sector, are undergoing a great change in their business model, driven, as in other services, by the availability of massive data and equally massive computing power. This change will have consequences for the amount and quality of employment generated and will give raise to new ethical challenges.
Domenico Siniscalco, Morgan Stanley, London
Paul Dembinski, Observatoire de la Finance, University of Fribourg
José Manuel González Páramo, Executive Board member BBVA
Markus Schulte, EU Commission Cabinet of Commissioner G. Oettinger
2. Internally driven ethical reconstruction : is it happening?
“ When bankers become detached from end-users, their only reward becomes money. Purely financial compensation ignores the non-pecuniary rewards to employment, such as the satisfaction from helping a client or colleague succeed. This reductionist view of the human condition is a poor foundation for ethical financial institutions needed to support long-term prosperity. To help rebuild that foundation, financiers, like all of us, need to avoid compartmentalisation – the division of our lives into different realms, each with its own set of rules. Home is distinct from work; ethics from law; the individual from the system. This process begins with boards and senior management defining clearly the purpose of their organisations and promoting a culture of ethical business throughout them. Employees must be grounded in strong connections to their clients and their communities.” (Mark Carney, Gov. of the Bank of England, 27 May 2014).
In FCAPP’s ‘Dublin Proposals’ the group stated that “to create ethical sectors or segments of the economy and world finance and thus build ethics into finance as a whole, the proper place to begin is the corporation…”. What are the latest thoughts about internal ethical education and exemplary conduct? How do these efforts combine with growing external regulation and sanction?
Robert A. Annibale, Citi Community Development and Citi Inclusive Finance
3. Solidarity Funds
“Both when discussing the new dimensions of inequality and the role of finance, the idea of an international tax based on financial turnover or on capital is often mentioned. These proposals would require international unanimity, unlikely to be forthcoming at the global level, and their effect could be confiscatory. Instead of a tax, the Catholic Church could support and promote the idea of voluntary contributions, not part of public finance, to endow new independent solidarity national funds aimed at supporting meritorious causes at the service of the poor. These funds should come together in a supranational network under gharantees of transparency and good governance” (FCAPP 2015 Statement ‘A Reformed Market Economy.Entrepreneurship for Human Development’).
This idea needs to be elaborated, both from the point of view of fund-raising (tax legislations, company codes, motivation) as from the point of view of the use of funds and project monitoring. The debate could focus on feasibility of the idea, but also on transparency and disclosure about who will use the funds and how they will be used. Once elaborated this could become core to FCAPP’s proposals and campaigns.
Josef Bonnici, Governor, Central Bank of Malta
Canon Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs, Church of England
Theodore Kowalsky, Director, US Treasury; formerly at Barclays PLC and London School of Economics
Maria Nowak, ADIE International, Paris
MALTA FINDINGS on FINANCE and the COMMON GOOD (English)
LAS CONCLUSIONES DE MALTA SOBRE FINANZAS Y EL BIEN COMÚN
LE CONCLUSIONI di MALTA su FINANZA e BENE COMUNE
MALTA FINDINGS on FINANCE and the COMMON GOOD (Korean)
- Church non-profit institution discussing voluntary solidarity fund, to help fight inequality (29 January, 2016)
- Vatican foundation in Malta to discuss financial reforms (29 January 2016)
- Governor spearheading solidarity fund proposal (Times of Malta 30th January 2016)
- Does financial reform entail real change? (22 February, 2016)