The Chicago Sessions

Unknown year Economics 957 Views 0 Comments
Widely known philosopher and University of Chicago Law School professor Martha Nussbaum explores the ethical implications of the financial crisis during three sessions with a group of ten talented law and philosophy students. The grounds of the University of Chicago provide a compelling arena, since it is here that both economist Milton Friedman, staunch promoter of free market capitalism, and president Barack Obama, lectured.

Together with some of America’s brightest young minds, Backlight explores the ethical principles that might guide our post-crisis society. Examples of crisis related issues discussed during the sessions are: mortgage lending practices, foreclosures, bail outs and CEO pay. The students will test their ideas both on eminent professors from the University of Chicago and on field experts. The discussion is fueled and illustrated by case stories that the students themselves provided. Examples of crisis related issues discussed during the sessions are: mortgage lending practices, foreclosures, bail outs and CEO pay.

The students will test their ideas both on eminent professors from the University of Chicago and on field experts. The discussion is fueled and illustrated by case stories that the students themselves provided. Most of what happened on the financial markets in the ascent to the credit crisis was perfectly legal, but is it, given the outcome, also just?

Looking at the USA today, we see the destructive consequences the credit crisis has had and still has on fundamental human needs, such as shelter, income and education. Citizens see their livelihoods being threatened, while the financial industry got their bailout.

What is going on? Did we put too much faith in free markets when it comes to delivering just outcomes? Does the crisis reveal a need to rethink some of the foundational principles that define our society? These cases show how the financial crisis really affects the people of Chicago and in one example shows the consequences of the foreclosures in a neighborhood not far from the university and Obama’s home.

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