Indifference to the Dignity of Work

We have all done it. We have walked past a beggar on the street. We have purchased groceries from a cashier whose eyes we did not meet. We have insisted on the least expensive goods available to us. We have been impatient with a doctor when our appointment time is delayed. Some of us haveContinue reading “Indifference to the Dignity of Work”

Michele Ferrero: What Does It Mean to Be Rich?

For some, the answer to the question “what does it mean to be rich?” is revealed every year in the Forbes magazine list of the World’s Billionaires.  This list ranks the richest people on the planet, and in 2014, their collective wealth exceeded $6.4 trillion USD.  Of those on the list in 2014, roughly 66% built theirContinue reading “Michele Ferrero: What Does It Mean to Be Rich?”

Happiness: A Capital Asset?

Ask an accountant what a capital asset is and you will be told that it is an asset owned to generate a profit, but is not easily sold for cash in the normal course of business operations.  In business school, we learn that these are assets such as land, machinery, and buildings—the assets not generallyContinue reading “Happiness: A Capital Asset?”

Putting Faith in Your Investments

As investment professionals, when we think about investments, we think about asset classes: stocks, bonds, hedge funds and the like. As theologians, when we think about investments, we think about “assets” somewhat differently. The challenge is for each to understand the value and insight of the other. In Jesus’ classic teaching on discipleship, we areContinue reading “Putting Faith in Your Investments”

True Measure of Home Value

It was a nun and not an economist or political philosopher that reminded the world there is one timeless measure of a home’s value:  love.  In 1979, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was awarded the Nobel Prize.  In her acceptance speech, she was asked what we can do to promote world peace.  Her answer was simply:Continue reading “True Measure of Home Value”

Laudato Si: Papal Economics and the Social Mortgage

One of the enduring lessons from the most recent Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si (Praise Be to You), is the simple notion that the “natural environment is a collective good.” Although simple, this profound concept has broad ramifications and is key to understanding how an encyclical about the environment is related to economic justice. The Natural Environment asContinue reading “Laudato Si: Papal Economics and the Social Mortgage”

Capitalism and the Culture of Consumerism

This week we celebrate the feast day of Saint Matthew, patron saint of bankers. Reflecting upon my patron saint, I recall many times having been asked how capitalism can be compatible with Christian theology. As a banker and Catholic intellectual, I draw upon both faith and reason to explain this often misunderstood relationship. What CapitalismContinue reading “Capitalism and the Culture of Consumerism”

Commerce as an Instrument of Peace

Suffice to say, the establishment of world peace is not in the job description of most CEOs.  But after the most recent terror attacks that brought down a Russian passenger plane and took the lives of innocent people in Beirut, Paris and Mali, the world is joining in growing solidarity. We may be tempted toContinue reading “Commerce as an Instrument of Peace”