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Steven Mintz
United States
My ethics knowledge and wisdom gives me a unique perspective on accounting and business ethics, fraud and whistle-blowing, societal and workplace ethics issues.
Interests: Reading, writing, blogging, ethics advice, traveling, eating, sports
Recent Activity
Recovering an Ethical Balance in Business During this election cycle we've heard a lot from Bernie Sanders about the moral failures of large corporations especially in the banking industry. Who could argue this point given the financial disaster that ushered in the financial recession just a few years ago. Greed, self-interest, and a lack of moral awareness motivated deceitful actions that led the public down a road with no return. It's not the first time this has happened. We can go back to the savings and loan debacle of the early 1990s for a parallel, albeit on a smaller level.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Ethics Sage
The Heart wants what the Heart wants It’s really not surprising that today workplace romances are on the rise and many employees do not see the problem with becoming involved in such relationships. Some will argue that it’s natural given all the time spent in the workplace. Others will say... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
Social Media-Driven Culture Overrides Basic Societal Values We live in a culture of celebrity that defines our societal values and ethical standards today and explains why Donald Trump is as popular as he is. Even though Trump did not win the Iowa caucus, he still performed at a level no one would have believed when he first entered the Republican race last June. We know his support comes largely from the disaffected, disillusioned, discontent, and those disassociated from the political process. Celebrity culture is a symbiotic business relationship from which performers obtain wealth, honors, and social power in exchange for... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Ethics Sage
Thanks you for choosing my blog for your assignment. I do think your analysis of Rights Theory with respect to employees falls a bit short. Privacy is a big issue and each of us has a right to be free from outside intrusion in ways such as GPS tracking. Moreover, one statement seems to diminish the importance of allowing companies to track employees using GPS. You say: " But I do not think any company will have any interest in their personal information because company has most of their information on file already when those employees were employed." The statement also doesn't make complete sense. Some of the writing is composed in the same way.
Thanks, James, for sharing your insights. You make a good point about Russia. We still have the EU (i.e., Greece especially) to worry about. I also feel queasy about possible slowdowns in Brazil. For sure we have entered troubled waters...Steve
How to Know When you are Doing the Right Thing? Have you ever taken something from your employer’s workplace thinking nothing was wrong with “borrowing” office supplies for your home or using company software on your home computer? Surveys consistently show that about 20% of workers take something from their... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Patricio, your comment here is more extensive so I am adding to the replies for my "Bespoke Tranche Opportunity" blog...Steve
Patricio, this is a complex question and will take some time to flush out a credible answer for you. To get it started, I am hoping some of my readers in the financial services community can provide insight with a comment or two...Steve
2016 Effects of Plunging Oil Prices, Debt Defaults, and Uncertainty in the Chinese Markets More U.S. companies have defaulted on their debt in 2015 than issuers from any other country, S&P analysts wrote in a December 24, 2015 report. The report noted that 111 companies worldwide had defaulted on their obligations, the highest total since 2009 when the figure hit 242 for the same period but that was a fallout from the Great Recession. U.S. oil and gas companies accounted for about a quarter of the 2015 defaults. After the U.S., companies from emerging markets were the second-largest defaulters, accounting... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at Ethics Sage
Thanks so much for sharing your compelling story.
Terrorist Postings and Social Media Obligations Should Facebook, Google, and Twitter have a role to play in combating online propaganda and recruiting by Islamic terrorists? According to a March 2015 study, at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were connected to ISIS. There, Islamic groups spread propaganda, message with new recruits and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
JP Morgan Reserves to Cover $124 million losses Are we returning to the days of widespread earnings management by financial institutions and corporate America similar to the late 1990s and early 2000s? Is it possible that accounting standards are fueling the current problem? Can reliable estimates of potential losses on energy-loan portfolios be made that meet the relevance and representational frameworks of solid accounting standards? How will we know and when whether financial institutions are playing fast and loose with the accounting rules once again? These are all important questions in light of the rapidly declining share value in energy... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2016 at Ethics Sage
Structured Financial Instruments are Back This blog first appeared on my Ethics Sage website under the title: Bespoke Tranche Opportunity: It’s déjà vu all over again." It explains the use of structured financial assets and risky behaviors by investment banks similar to the 2007-2008 financial recession period. Due to the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Naoise, thank you for elucidating the capitalistic values and problems with it today. Yes, Adam Smith would "turn over in his grave," as the saying goes, if he was alive to see how it has been corrupted by the modern corporation...Steve
Thanks for continuing the dialogue.
Mark: Great response -- highly informative and it clarifies many of the nuances of the casino mentality that ushered in the financial recession. My concern is the investment bankers may not have learned their lesson and/or have become tired of waiting for the kinds of returns and profits that fueled their greed back in the 2007-2008 period. Thanks for your contribution to the dialogue. Steve
John, very well said. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for the heads up on the book you read...Steve
AAU Study Finds 23% of Women Report Sexual Assault in College A new survey of college students by the Association of American Universities (AAU), one of the largest ever focusing on sexual assault and sexual misconduct, has shed light on the scope and severity of the problem of sexual assault... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Causes of the the Decline of Civility in America We’ve all personally experienced it – rudeness and discourteous behavior of others. It might be uncivil behavior in everyday life, such as using crude language, cutting in line, and road rage on the highway. Maybe it relates to a workplace situation: other people not listening to what we say, interrupting us, or having side conversations during our presentation. It some cases it is personal, such as insults, personal attacks, and emotional put-downs. It may even be taken to an extreme with harmful consequences to one’s personal self-esteem. This includes ranting against... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2016 at Ethics Sage
Hugh, great quote!
Thanks, Nancy. I'll continue to fight the good fight...Steve
Jack, these are great questions. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on the investing side or how best to manage the risk of these kinds of investments. I'm more of an observer and critic of the financial services industry. Good luck! Steve
Nancy, I share your concerns. You may be interested in another blog I wrote about how Fannie and Freddie are venturing back into the risky mortgage area. Here is the link:
J. Smith: I know what you mean and how you feel. At times it seems we have fallen off the cliff (of morality in business and with financial institutions) and its a steep climb back up. I, too, do not believe the current systems can change the culture of greed and self-interest.
Gina, thanks for contributing to the dialogue and clarifying some of the issues.