The economy is nowadays the heart of society, and at the heart of the economy is finance. This covers more than just financial techniques, instruments and institutions; it also includes the models, mindsets and ethical values they implicitly or explicitly stand for. The links between finance – in the broad sense of the term – and contemporary society therefore have crucial implications for the economic, cultural and ethical future of the planet. They can only be viable (or, as some would say, sustainable) in the long term if they are based on the pursuit of the common good, which in turn will depend not only on technical skills but also on the goodwill of the principal players.
The Observatoire de la Finance’s mission is to encourage account to be taken of the demands of the common good, through and within the financial sector. Our efforts in this field are based on constant dialogue and independent, informed, serious, interdisciplinary and hence critical thinking by practitioners and academics.
Our work is based on three firm beliefs:
- Financial activities are essential to progress and development, and are a key instrument in pursuing these goals, but are not an end in themselves.
- The common good is not a social project, but results from the actions (which need not be concerted) of players concerned with the good of both the individual and the community.
- Those who are aware of the demands of the common good can take account of them in every facet of their work as decision-makers, designers or communicators.