Click on the link below to download my translation of Italian philosopher of economics Luigino Bruni’s paper “What the Economic Crisis Teaches Us” (“Che cosa ci insegna la crisi economica”). Dr. Bruni has reviewed and approved the translation. The paper is less than four pages and is quite reachable for the lay reader. If you find the work interesting, please feel free to comment on it here.
Taking a long historical view, Bruni argues that the basic nature of capitalism has been radically altered in the 20th century. As a consequence of these fundamental alterations in the nature of capitalism during the 20th century, the entire global economy has become extremely unstable. Given that monetary capitalism is here to stay, Bruni feels that it is urgent to form new global agreements to regulate the global economy; in his view this is necessary to mitigate the extreme swings of the markets inherent in financial capitalism.
Further, Bruni notes that those who have made investments in ethical banks or in prudently managed companies in the Economy of Communion (a movement with the goal of bringing solidarity into the market, in which Bruni is a key protagonist) are relatively much better off. He considers it urgent that we rethink the financial ethics and incentive systems that are now operating in the markets. This crisis could become an opportunity were it to bring into discussion some alternative economic systems that have largely been regarded as naïve and relegated to niche sectors.
For more on Bruni’s thoughts on financial ethics, see also his paper Common Good and Economics.