Dr. Carpenter’s work is rooted in theological themes and seeks to derive insights about the nature of work and the responsibilities of wealth.

Professional Biography

Dr. Carpenter is an investment banker with the heart of a teacher and a scholar. She is a leading authority for financial management and the capitalization of social purpose corporations, having served for over 25 years as an investment and commercial banker and financial adviser to some of America’s most venerable nonprofit corporations. Dr. Carpenter’sContinue reading “Professional Biography”

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?”

A Work Week Theology

There are more of us than there are of them. More laity than religious, that is. Throughout history, the great saints have gifted the Church with unique charisms and rules for religious life. But what does that mean for those who live and work in the world—the other 7.2 billion of us? We are reminded in LumenContinue reading “A Work Week Theology”

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”

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”

A Baby’s Vocation

Today, I say goodbye to a little boy whom I have never met but whose very existence touched hearts around the world. This story began nearly seven months ago. My very dearest friend called me with the good news.  Well, truth be told, that is not exactly how the story goes.  It was more likeContinue reading “A Baby’s Vocation”

Economic Apologists?

Two years before his death, renowned Catholic social scientist Dr. Rupert Ederer wrote a book entitled Economics as if God Matters. In this book, he endeavored to explain over a century of Catholic magisterial teaching regarding economic matters. Ederer titled his book as such in response to a 1973 book by E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: EconomicsContinue reading “Economic Apologists?”

Answering the Call to Work

Recent studies show a need for a greater understanding of labor as a Christian call to work. Nearly half the people on the planet are workers. Statically speaking, the UN’s International Labour Organization tallies the world-wide workforce at nearly three billion. Standing hand-in-hand, these workers would circle the globe 11 times. Needless to say, what workContinue reading “Answering the Call to Work”

5 Things Every Catholic Businessperson Must Know

A few years ago, I had an interesting conversation with one of our country’s most well-known and respected business leaders. It started as I was chatting with the man’s wife, and she asked me what I did for fun. I could have told her I enjoyed golf, or gardening, or skiing, or any number ofContinue reading “5 Things Every Catholic Businessperson Must Know”

Economic Personalism: Tool for Morality in Markets

No matter what your ideology, there is common disdain for market manipulators, fraud, and theft. There is little disagreement about the repugnance of taking advantage of senior citizens through deceptive investment schemes or conning vulnerable families into unsustainable mortgages. There is even growing consensus on the shamefulness of polluting factories and the exploitation of childContinue reading “Economic Personalism: Tool for Morality in Markets”

God’s Fingerprints On Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand

For those who know economics, Adam Smith is a beloved patriarch. Not only was the 18th-century Scottish thinker the father of modern economics, he was also moral philosopher. This intellectual combination was not unusual in his day, but it is rare in ours. His highly-influential work on the economic order is titled An Inquiry into the NatureContinue reading “God’s Fingerprints On Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand”

What Theology Teaches About Corporate Responsibility

As business people, sometimes we forget just how connected the world of work is to the work of God in the world. Without question, individual business persons are moral agents. However, based upon the accepted conception of the corporation, there is often a lack of consistency in the view of the moral agency of theContinue reading “What Theology Teaches About Corporate Responsibility”

Wealth and the Spirituality of Social Solidarity

This is how I have become accustomed to opening and closing each day. For most of my adult life, I have been a banker and in the business of buying and selling money. There is a common misconception among the faithful that having money is bad, and having a lot of money is really bad. Conversely, it is thoughtContinue reading “Wealth and the Spirituality of Social Solidarity”

Faith and Wealth: Rich Dad, Poor Dad Revisited

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is one of this generation’s most iconic financial literacy books.  Written by Kiyosaki and Lechter in the late 1990s, it has sold over 26 million copies and has been touted by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith—not to mention Donald Trump, who later collaborated with Kiyosaki to leverage Rich Dad, PoorContinue reading “Faith and Wealth: Rich Dad, Poor Dad Revisited”

St. Teresa of Calcutta and the Resurrection of Labor Sunday

Sunday, September 4, 2016, is a providential date for many reasons.  Not only is it a beautiful capstone for the Year of Mercy through the international celebration of the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, but it is also the day that marks Labor Sunday in the United States, a day to honor the spiritual natureContinue reading “St. Teresa of Calcutta and the Resurrection of Labor Sunday”

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