Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Banking Crisis: Symptomatic Of A Decline In Moral Values?

The banking crisis seems to roll on, with new and incriminating revelations each day. Up until a week ago, most people had never heard of "LIBOR", but we now know that many banks (not just Barclays) have been manipulating the rates they charge each other for lending money in order to boost personal bonuses and bank profits. Since the LIBOR also influences mortgage rates, ordinary people may have been disadvantaged by paying more than they needed to. All of this comes on top of the mis-selling scandals, where payment protection insurance was sold to people with no chance of claiming, and business loans that severely disadvantaged small businesses.

So, banks and bankers - once held as the bastions of trust and probity - have been found with their fingers in the till, and any trust we had in them has long since evaporated.

But I wonder if this is just symptomatic of a wider problem with society, where "self" comes before "community", and where our economy is based almost entirely on consumerism. All the more worrying in that we're consuming more than we're replacing, leaving devastated fishing grounds and barren rain forests in our wake. What sort of world will our children and grand-children inherit? Can nature self-heal the scars we are creating, or are we indeed on the road to oblivion? Are we all becoming more selfish and self-serving because we see evidence of this all around us, not least bankers and politicians (remember the expenses scandal)?

Is the Church doing enough to remind us of our responsibilities to each other and God's earth? Does religion have any role at all to play in the events unfolding with the banking crisis...or whatever the next crisis involving greed and personal reward will hit the news?

Lot's of questions here I know, but surely we all have an opinion on these issues....don't we?

What do you think?