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【本課程為英語授課】

MOOCS script Finance Ethics definition, importance and promotion

In my Business Ethics and Finance Ethics classes, case studies are the most effective way of teaching. From my lectures I have encountered the following biggest financial and accounting scandals that have shaken the industry. Probably, we are more familiar with celebrated cases like AIG, Lehman Brothers and Enron. But may not be aware of the following examples all around the globe:  First, Satyam Computer Services of India, where they padded revenue by US$1.5 billion; Second, Waste Management, Incorporated, an American waste management and disposal services company who increased after-tax profits by US$1.7 billion; Third, Petrobras Incorporated, a Brazilian oil company who removed US$2 billion of bribery-related cost; and Lastly, Worldcom Incorporated, an American telecommunications company who inflated assets by as much as US$11 billion.

 

Given its importance, Finance Ethics can be promoted in academic institutions, particularly Business colleges by including information on courses related to business and Finance Ethics during freshmen orientations, aside from discussing the college’s code of conduct and ethical practices. In Business Ethics courses, which are more common than Finance Ethics, Business colleges can also include case studies or discussions with regard to ethics in the financial industry. Academic institutions can also invite academic scholars and industry practitioners that specialize in business ethics to share their knowledge and professional experiences. And the best the Business colleges can do is to create, at the very least, an elective Finance Ethics course.

 

Professors teaching Finance Ethics should reiterate the balance among what’s legal, ethical, and profitable. It has always been the case that businesses should be profitable in order to survive, compete, expand and extend efforts to being ethical and socially responsible. However, going above what is legal and becoming ethical often sacrifices a certain degree of profitability, thus, negatively affecting shareholders’ wealth. I always remind my students that even if maximizing shareholders’ wealth through increasing profits is the main objective of every business organization, and should be pursued at the very least in a legal way, companies should still strive to increase wealth in an ethical manner to have a more holistic approach in having good relationship with various stakeholders. 

 

Another important topic is dealing with conflict of interest and moral hazard. Conflict of interest, in most cases, is a strong manifestation of moral hazard (i.e., taking more risks because others will take the burden); and are best demonstrated in the financial services industry particularly in stock brokerage firms and investment houses. I tell my students that in the future, they will be facing a situation wherein multiple interests are at stake - their professional duties, company earnings, client satisfaction, government regulations and other related interests, even including supplier benefits. Through my case studies and lecture discussions, I teach my students how to balance these competing interests by employing these techniques:

  • upholding professionalism and following their job descriptions to save them from legal repercussions in the future; this also includes ensuring clients that they are qualified to do the job by showing professional competence and integrity;
  • maintaining proper disclosure and open communication with superiors, clients and related parties if there are perceived deviations from their job descriptions or contracts signed; this also involves maintaining confidentiality as a way to prove one’s trustworthiness to clients;
  • foregoing a business opportunity is sometimes best if it presents high conflicts of interest, and if it means taking risks to the detriment of the client.
「金融倫理之旅」介紹了現代金融中的倫理問題,並幫助在線學生和參與者處理相對較新的金融倫理學,同時這門課也應用了一些有關財經公司的專案與辯論標題來協助學習者瞭解有關的財經與會計問題。狄強老師主要將介紹這門較新的金融倫理學科,並借用討論案例研究和辯論題目;在課堂結束時從新回顧課程。在線學生可通過平臺來探討並給予自己的意見,也可發表有關問題。單元內容包括17個案例研究的視頻摘要,其中包括:

一、關於政府救助,白領罪犯,信用卡貸款違規行為和稅收反轉的倫理問題的四個辯論。

二、對所涵蓋的主題進行審查,並討論財務倫理的未來。從這些案例,學生可根據公司和個人的現實案例研究,模擬和實踐處理不同問題的倫理異質性。

教學進度:

第1單元:金融倫理與永恆倫理金融案例

第2單元:個人金融不當行為

第3單元:金融業失靈

第4單元:破產和資產管理

第5單元:財務與會計醜聞

第6單元:濫用金融工具和審查

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