Bill George of the StarTribune.com has suggested how banks can begin to assume social responsiblity:
Read all of the article here
Revisiting the rights and responsibilities of business
By BILL GEORGE - StarTribune.com
A new generation of leaders seeks to align corporate missions with society's broader interests."Businessmen that take seriously their responsibilities for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution . . . are preaching pure and unadulterated socialism."
MILTON FRIEDMAN, 1970
Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman penned those fiery words back in 1970 in his influential article "The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase its Profits." He continued to defend them until his death in 2006.
Friedman has had a monumental influence on economists and CEOs who have followed his philosophy. Although we cannot attribute the global economic meltdown of 2008 to him, his ideas certainly influenced its root causes.
A short-term focus on shareholder gains has substantially increased the velocity of stock market trading. In the past 25 years, holding periods for stocks have fallen from eight years to six months. CEOs focusing on meeting the demands of short-term investors have led to the destruction of many once-great companies, including General Motors, Sears and Enron. This culminated in the 2008 global financial meltdown, when over-leveraged financial institutions collapsed as they tried to maximize short-term value.
The havoc caused by the short-term shareholder value ideology has led to a narrow focus on shareholders, the loss of America's innovative edge and the hollowing of communities. As a result, employees have lost their jobs, customers lost their suppliers, communities lost valued supporters and, ironically, shareholders lost a fortune. Collectively these factors have contributed to the loss of trust in free enterprise companies.