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The Greed Imperative

Having worked in the City before becoming an academic and a nun, Dr Catherine Cowley is well acquainted with the temptations and the financial risks that city workers face each day. Dr Cowley questions whether money is the only motivation for those who work in the City and discusses whether greed is in fact a necessary and vital dynamic behind a successful economy.

Is greed linked to the endless growth demanded by our capitalist society? Dr Edward Skidelsky, lecturer in Philosophy at Exeter University, says that the economists in the past assumed that growth was a process with an end, and once that end came, people would enjoy the fruits of wealth. And as Karl Marx put it, "we'd hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon and discuss poetry in the evening".

Although the finance sector at the moment is being characterised as a hotbed of greed, would any of us, given the opportunity and the circumstances, act any differently? Are we focusing on bankers' greed so we don't have to look at our own?

Procucer: Rosemary Foxcroft
A Glass Mirror production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 28 Jun 2010 11:00