Business under the dominance of the financial markets? Orientations of socio-ethical perspective

  • Wolf-Gero Reichert Catholic Faculty of Theology, Charles University in Prague
Keywords: Financial markets, Business, Financial System, Social Ethics, Catholic Social Teaching


There is a crucial change in the German financial system and in listed corporations: The influence of the financial markets has grown in both fields. Subsequently, shareholders can enforce their interests more efficiently than other stakeholders (e.g. affiliates, NGOs, political communities and employees). In the paper, diverse explanations for this development are presented and evaluated: disintermediation, financial market capitalism and ‘financialization’. Afterwards, the topic is discussed in the perspective of theological ethics. Catholic Social Teaching features no financial ethics, but it includes some thoughts that offer an orientation for economic policy, the concept of an economy in service of the common good, the idea of a cooperation of state, market and civil society and socially anchored entrepreneurship as well as the conception of a serving financial economy. In conclusion, action perspectives are described.