We are living in times that promotes greed is good. However, the rampant consumerism has sounded a death knell for many human values, for many prestigious institutions doing good work for the humanity. I come to remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi: ”
There is enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed.
” The words of this great figure of modern times very aptly sums up the real cause of financial, political and environmental crisis.
One reason why so many wrong means have surfaced to amass huge wealth in both developing and developed countries is that materialistic aspirations now rule the roost. At individual level or at the level of big institutions, the short cuts to make huge money have attained some sort of legitimacy. It appears that dishonesty is now the best policy. Ironically, people across the globe are paying huge price and that has made them to give way to phenomenal call for changes in form of having ‘People’s Ombudsman”.
However, I am not sure how are these proposed changes going to ensure transparency unless we become committed towards greater values at individual level. However, it’s a good thing that citizens are at conflict with dull headed rulers in major nations and even in smaller nations like Egypt, Libiya, Syria and Tunisia the people have made the arrogant rulers pay heavy price.
Now let’s see what happened in U.S. which led to collapse of major financial institutions. This unprecedented financial crisis, which made us remember the Great depression of the 1930s , led U.S to succumb to extraordinary measures to save the country from clutches of bankruptcy. Anyway, this crisis caused Americans to lose significant amount of consumer wealth apart from decline in introduction of newer economic ventures. One needs to pay attention to the reasons pointed out in Levin–Coburn Report which says that “ that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.”
Well, in simpler terms if we wish to understand the failure of the baking system in U.S. it would mean simply mean that rules were twisted to ensure huge amount of money. The vested interests were given preference over national interests. One can notice that recent 2G spectrum allocation scandal in India virtually followed the same pattern, which sabotaged the banking system in U.S. Here too rules were manipulated to make the allocations to interested parties, leading to huge loss of revenue to the government. The point is when greed rules then principles and national interest become subordinate.
I must say corruption, indeed, is a global phenomenon and factors like rampant consumerism have ensured that corruption at all levels is going to remain evergreen. Let’s hope we learn to place national interests, being in league with institutions resting on better principles, above petty interests to ensure that all forms of “depressions” do not come to act as spoilsport!!!