What the Goldman guy should have written

Philosophically speaking that is:

I signed on to this doctrine of fiduciary responsibility but initially I thought it would mean cooperating with other high status people rather than ripping them off.  I now feel uncomfortable about what I had agreed to do because I realize what it can mean.  I can’t reject the doctrine of fiduciary responsibility outright, because that would crash advanced capitalism, and furthermore it would leave me unemployable, even to run a charity for Africa vaccines.  Yet neither can I justify my GS-requested tasks on a rule-consequentialist basis, because a) I have read that rule consequentialism collapses into act consequentialism, and b) I still feel bad about ripping off high-status folks, even though I probably cannot demonstrate high welfare losses from those practices, at least not relative to the previous actions of the firm.  I will instead sidestep these difficult issues by claiming that morality and self-interest point in the same direction, that I am right on both issues, that my former firm is wrong on both issues, and that everyone should respect my denunciation of them, and perhaps I am still in a fog after all.

Had I read such a piece, I would have been impressed.  Here is my previous post on the economics of the situation.

On a related note, Energy Secretary Steven Chu “no longer” welcomes higher gas prices.


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