The Banks and Their Amoral Technician Skills

There were $349 billion dollars in loans sent out from the Feds to small businesses to help them through our analytic-induced coma now crippling the U.S. economy. However, the big banks, the bane of Main Street’s existence since about 2007 with their subprime, bail-out, and other interpretive shenanigans, stepped in and scooped up the loans for their biggest customers.

Many of the customers did not even have to do the loan paperwork — they just had to call. JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and U.S. Bank approved the loans for nearly all of their big customers. Meanwhile the riff-raff small business folk struggled with convoluted forms, and netted a two out of 30 loan approval. That the money was never intended for the big guns was not an issue. Where there’s a loophole to exploit, count on the big banks exploiting away until the Feds catch up and try more regulation.You can’t regulate an amoral technician. They just find a way to get around laws for their own financial gain at the expense of others.

Other examples of amoral technicians? The mother in Illinois who turned her child over to a guardian so that she could qualify for financial aid. With zero income. that’s a sure thing. Then there are the Ivy Leagues who solicit applicants they know are not qualified in order to lure them into applying, thereby increasing your denominator (in the language of those health-care, plateau-seeking, now vaccine-seeking analytic experts). Increase the denominator and your acceptance rate us strikingly low, thereby enhancing exclusivity. It’s not real, but it does bring in the money. By donation or the back-door way through coaches paid to use their slots for the physically untalented of wealthy parents.

The ethical mind always asks, ‘What would happen if everyone did what I am doing, how would the world look? In the case of the bank, they all did it, there was no money left for small businesses, and they lost more business or trotted over to Chapter7 bankruptcy. ‘Tis a lovely world amoral technicians can create.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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