| 'Making money must have an ethical base'
A successful Wall Street banker who quit her career is calling for a return to ethics to rescue contemporary society.
Lydia Fisher said that recovery from society's economic ills will come about if "each individual has a set of values (and) comes together where we inspire one another and support one another. With an ethical structure, the rest falls into place."
Fisher spent 28 years in finance, 20 with Bear Stearns as a senior managing director, building one of its largest private client teams. In 2008 she left the financial industry and now seeks to create beneficial, ethical projects to restore society. She spoke to the Catholics at Work breakfast in Danville in March.
The causes of current economic problems are relatively clear, in her view. It began in the 1970s when society "fundamentally changed." Pope John Paul II warned that making money must have an ethical base, but he was not heeded.
"We ceased to see the human face" behind the complex financial structures, according to Fisher. Since then we have had a deepening moral recession.
Fisher said unelected technocrats and government officials together created the economic conditions and concentration of power that led to the financial collapse.
"We got here by selling financial fantasies." Fed by insatiable greed, it enabled a few to make great profits.
Fisher says that if the nation can develop an ethical structure, "the rest falls into place." Her book, "Cinderella of Wall Street" tells her story. She also blogs about economic issues on Huffington Post.