Business and Ethics
I was reading the news (yeah, I read the news), and one line from a news story caught my eye:
You’re (an) AIM (Asian Institute of Management graduate). You’re a financial wizard. You used your financial wizardry and look at what happened?That line was said by Senator Mar Roxas to Celso de los Angeles, Jr., an AIM alumnus who earned his MBM in 1976. The senator was asking Mr. de los Angeles about the latter's involvement in the financial shenanigans of the Legacy Group, a local group of financial companies that closed down last December 2008. The senate is investigating de los Angeles and other Legacy Group officials for allegedly masterminding a financial scheme that left bank depositors and insurance policy-holders with the proverbial empty bag.
I couldn't help but think about this whole issue. I have little doubt that the training de los Angeles got from AIM helped him master the financial instruments to use money to make more money. But the part where he used the Legacy Group's funds as his personal piggy bank? It was all de los Angeles.
I had a nice quick chat with Prof. Larry Tan about this news story and he said that ethics can't really be taught in business schools. Prof. Tan also opined AIM and other institutions can provide frameworks for decision-making, but it boils down to the individual for choosing his course of action, ethical or otherwise. I think that makes sense and I agree with him.
The news story centered on the victims of the financial scheme and how they lamented how their lifetime savings just dissipated, the hopeless they were feeling, and the ill-feeling toward de los Angeles. You really don't need an MBA to know that de los Angeles put himself in the situation he is in.