2008's Harmless Torturers and Group Agents: The Moral Mathematics and Responsibilities of Financial Crises

29 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020

Date Written: July 30, 2020

Abstract

After the 2008 Financial Crisis, there were widespread calls by politicians, policy-makers, and the general public to hold individuals accountable for the devastating harms that resulted. This yearning still remains alive and well in American culture despite the lack of criminal prosecutions or civil enforcement against individuals involved in 2008. By employing contemporary analytic philosophy, this paper argues, contrary to this commonly held belief, that it would be a moral mistake to hold individuals responsible for the Financial Crisis. Financial crises caused by amalgamation of systemic risk may be implemented by individuals, but they are undoubtedly programmed by corporations. Because of this, corporations and financial institutions are fit to be held morally responsible for 2008. As a result, they owe a moral duty to protect the right of all investors to reasonably rely on financial risks by monitoring through internal compliance programs how the actions taken by their individual employees contribute to systemic risks.

Suggested Citation

Ghotbi, Kathryn, 2008's Harmless Torturers and Group Agents: The Moral Mathematics and Responsibilities of Financial Crises (July 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3662290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3662290

Kathryn Ghotbi (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

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