The Moral Responsibilities of Investment Bankers

25 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2011 Last revised: 13 Oct 2011

Date Written: September 29, 2011


This paper, presented as the annual law review lecture at the University of St. Thomas Law School, explores the moral obligations of investment bankers in light of the 2008 financial crisis. Topics such as disclosure to investors, the safety and soundness of investment banks, excessive risk taking, responsible use of derivative instruments, and banks’ responsibility to the community and to the financial system as a whole are discussed as issues of personal responsibility for investment bankers rather than only as subject matter for regulation directed at banking institutions. The particular perspective discussed in depth is grounded in Christian social teaching but the paper also offers insights on how the moral responsibility of investment bankers can and should be approached from a range of religious and secular philosophical perspectives.

Keywords: banking, ethics, finance, religion, values

Suggested Citation

Painter, Richard W., The Moral Responsibilities of Investment Bankers (September 29, 2011). University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2010, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-41, Available at SSRN:

Richard W. Painter (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-626-9707 (Phone)

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