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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Business Ethics in the Business World: A Glimpse from Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs’ ethics code reads in part, “[We] expect our people to maintain high ethical standards in everything they do. . . . From time to time, the firm may waive certain provisions of this Code.” (Cohan, p. 18). The explicit conditionality is notable and significant. I contend that among other reasons, a negative impact on the bank’s financial position and/or profits is apt to trigger such a waiver not only at Goldman Sachs, but from the business standpoint more generally.

The full essay is in Cases of Unethical Business, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.com.