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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

What capitalism can learn from the world’s religions

It may be a season of peace on earth and goodwill to all men, but you don’t have to look very far in the financial pages to find stories about businesses just the opposite. For example, NatWest has agreed to pay US$35 million (£26 million) to US authorities after pleading guilty to fraudulent activities in the financial markets.

KPMG, one of the world’s largest professional services firms, has temporarily resigned from bidding for UK government contracts. After an industry tribunal fined £13 million for serious misconduct related to the collapse of bedmaker Silentnight, and an investigation by the Financial Reporting Council found that KPMG partners provided false and misleading information in the meantime. Regular audit inspection.

Meanwhile, chief executive officers and other corporate insiders have unloaded a record US$69 million in shares in 2021. Much of this is through a legitimate type of insider trading in the US, where executives use a system known as 10b5-1 plans to sell shares. When they have material information about the business that has not been publicly disclosed. This has prompted hasty new proposals from US officials on how such sales could be made.

All these activities fly in the face of the high standards of integrity and protection of public interest that exist among banks, listed companies and consultants. When things like this come up it’s tempting to think there’s a simple solution: a change in rules here, fines there, a temporary ban on bidding for contracts elsewhere.

Unfortunately something deeper needs to be done. There are parallels in the overwhelming debate about how to pursue net zero emissions. Rather than addressing the underlying problem of a corporation’s fundamental relationship with nature, much of the emphasis is on moving to net zero technologies such as wind farms or electric vehicles.

Whether we are talking about carbon emissions or ethically acting corporate executives, the issue is the same: economics and business have become a chain at the fabric of our interconnected world. We cannot escape a fundamental re-examination of our beliefs about money, markets and a transactional, individualistic and competitive society.

learn from religion

Fortunately for us, beliefs have been reflecting on the nature and limits of wealth for hundreds of years. They see business as a servant of society and not as its owner. Ancient traditions give us a caring and respectful attitude towards planet Earth, where human greed is controlled, and kindness and compassion towards all living beings are encouraged.

In Christianity, caring for the weak and poor has always been central to its practices, and the purpose of Christmas is a time of charity and generosity. It teaches us to control our greed, to experience interdependence and the joy of giving.

India’s religious traditions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and my own tradition, Jainism – have never treated animals and nature as separate from humanity. Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Trees provide birds with safe haven without having to charge for parking, and provide them with the best fruits possible without trying to turn yourself into a restaurant.

The trees stand firm even on hot days, freely giving shade to those who come in their embrace. The interdependence of sun, soil and rain is understood by the tree. The silent action of trees gives us the timeless science of nonviolence.non-violence), non-possession (Aparigraha) and humility (Meekness,

Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
Susuteh, CC BY-SA

Basically, money has always been a medium of exchange, a fantasy that we humans have created to help us deal with everyday needs. Its value comes from the trust we give to each other. The more we turn money into a real, materialistic and pervasive reality, the more insecure and selfish we become as a society.

Financial institutions and professions have forgotten these basic truths about the nature and limits of money. They have distanced themselves from the trust, relationships and conscience that should be central to handling it. Often they have become vehicles for spreading mistrust and inequality, using their political and economic power to benefit themselves at the expense of nature and society.

Man Prays In A Mosque
Money is just a fantasy which is going to help the society.
afiq victory, CC BY-SA

India invented zero, and it also has thousands of saints who still live with zero wealth. These people are dedicated to exploring the possibilities of inner security and freedom beyond physical existence.

Similarly, the corporate world and finance education need to go back to the fundamentals of money and its social roots to renew their culture. We have heard a lot about the need to transition to net zero emissions, but we also need to strive to bring about a contented and shared culture. Business needs to live in harmony with animals and nature, help support the vulnerable and enable everyone to survive, not just a select few.

This article is republished from – The Conversation – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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