August 6, 2019 (7:35 PM)

3 min read


ON MARKETS AND THE COMMON GOOD. Fr. Patrick Riordan, S.J. discusses the relationship of financial markets and the common good in a forum held last Monday at the University’s Pakighinabi Room. Photo by Julien Jame Apale

Emphasizing the capability of bankers to create money out of nothing, Fr. Patrick Riordan, SJ of the Political Philosophy and Catholic Social Thought at Campion Hall in the University of Oxford, stressed that financial markets become an avenue for monopoly and satisfaction of self-interest, encouraging exploitation of control of some essential resources.

“Production is not about the services made available in benefiting people enabling them to (consume) to meet need, but it became a matter of “what satisfies (my) preferences?”” Riordan said.

Riordan added that financial markets have turned people into value-takers instead of being value-makers for extracting value out of the economy wherein those who benefit from loss suit themselves undermining the common good.

According to Riordan, the experiences people had from unrestricted public financial markets raises major public and moral concerns because of the harm they brought from the excluding others.

In the Pakighinabi session “When Financial Markets Fail and Common Good” yesterday at the 3/F Ricci Hall, CFC Building, Riordan elaborated the history of financial markets and how it “has been taken advantage of for the persistence of self-interest.” He also highlighted the impacts of financial market failures and their effects on common good.

Rather than financial markets

In response to Riordan’s lecture, a member of the faculty of the Finance Department Lady Margarett Cagape blamed the issue of exploitation to the people handling the financial markets, themselves.

“Financial markets are getting the blame, but I don’t think it’s about the market. It’s more of the people handling it, the people we put in place,” she said.

Although Cagape agreed to what Riordan said concerning the negative influences of the bearers of financial markets, she insisted that it is the job of the regulators, government, and policy makers to change that.

“Why do they (politicians and businessmen) keep on winning?  If that culture is not changed then the financial market has nothing to do with it, it’s about the people running the market,” she added.

As to the notion of creating money out of nothing, Cagape also put emphasis on the existence of intangible assets.

“Creation of money out of nothing is not true because of intangible assets — one’s intellectual capacity and other human resources,” she said. 

According to Cagape, financial markets have buyers and sellers and “as long as both parties agree, then the transaction is done.” She also added that people in financial markets may receive higher pay because of their capacity to build companies from scratch.

“If financial executives receive higher pays, it is because the market allowed it –they are willing to pay for their intellect, the services that they were able to give.”

To this, Fr. Riordan concluded the “great inequalities” where some people are benefitting from the economic activities “resulting ultimately to the exclusion of masses of people from participation from a decent life.”

The Pakighinabi session was attended by University President Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, Mr. Jenner Chan, Dean of School of Business and Governance along with some of his faculty members from the Finance and Economic Departments; faculty members from the P.E.H. Department and students of the School of Business and Governance.

End the silence of the gagged!

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