Mark Simon on responsibility and the financial crisisPosted: May 3, 2014
In this article I apply an approach to determining moral culpability for the 2008 financial crisis that adds a key factor that has been missing from accounts up to this point in time. Using George Sher’s epistemic criterion for responsibility, I examine six types of agents in the real estate finance chain who were involved in the 2008 financial crisis and determine who, if any, are likely candidates for responsibility. Additionally, after identifying a few main types of agents who are likely responsible, I will briefly examine the underlying issues that lead these agents to engage in the acts that they did and a potential solution that will prevent similar financial crises from happening in this way in the future.
Cristi asks Mark during the Q and A: Hobbes saw that the solution the the prisoner’s dilemma was the sovereign. You address individual responsibility, but what about state responsibility?
Mark: Yes, I’ve thought about that, certainly. But in this case, I don’t want to focus on this, the idea that these decision makers can’t help themselves, that they need the government to stop them. The idea that but for government regulation to tell them what is permissible, otherwise all is allowed, it is not their responsibility, I wanted to avoid.