A link between financial techniques and practices
and the demands of the common good

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.


Founding Texts

Financial Markets: Mission impossible?, Paul Dembinski and Alain Schoenenberger, Charles-Léopold Mayer Foundation for Human Progress, Paris and Lausanne, 1993.
Financial markets: impossible mission?

Our original question can be rephrased as follows: ‘What are the roles of financial markets, and what kinds of financial markets can fulfil these roles?’.

Manifesto ‘For finance that serves the common good’, 2011.

The manifesto aims to alert men and women of good will to the danger that threatens our precious economic and political freedom because we have succumbed to the illusion that ‘greed is good’. Even if ‘greed’ may appear to boost economic efficiency, it can only do so by profoundly undermining the very foundations of society: trust, respect and solidarity.

Main Publications

Ethics and Responsibility in Finance, Paul H. Dembinski , Routledge, 2017

also in Français, Deutscher, Polski and Magyar

Finance: Servant or Deceiver? Financialisation at the Crossroad, Prof. Paul H. Dembinski, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 179 pages.

also in Français, Español and Polski

Economic and Financial Globalization: What the Numbers Say?, Professor Paul H. Dembinski (ed.), 160 pages, 2003

also in Français

Debt and the Jubilee : Pacing the Economy, Supplément au n°1 de Finance & the Common Good/Bien Commun, Jean-Michel Bonvin, December 1999


The Observatoire de la Finance will be glad to make its skills available to its partners or clients who require expert appraisals, projects or studies:

  • Expert appraisals for courts or arbitration agencies
  • Contributions to conferences, organization of conferences and seminars
  • Papers
  • Studies
  • Diagnosis of ethical and cultural stresses with organizations and businesses: presentation of the MIND THE GAP method.

Current Activities

The Ethics and Trust in Finance Prize asks people under the age of 35 working in or studying finance to reimagine how financial institutions, together with their stakeholders, can balance the desire for growth, security and stability with these aspirations, to provide a meaningful response to the changing needs of the communities in which they operate.

Mind the Gap - Observatoire de la Finance
Method for diagnosing and monitoring organizational cultures

Organizations – whether they be businesses, financial institutions, government bodies or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – have to cope with a broad range of demands. These may be caused by increasingly complex regulation, pressure to perform, ethical imperatives, cultural differences, ecological demands or societal aspirations. All these affect staff attitudes, perceptions and expectations, and hence may create stresses within the organization, whose efficiency and reputation will depend on its ability to harmonize these attitudes, perceptions and expectations – and this in turn means having an organizational culture based on shared values.

Past Activities

Our Discussion Board focuses on commenting issues relevant to finance and economy in relations to society, ethics and the environment from a variety of perspectives, of practical experiences and of academic disciplines. It has been designed to share and discuss information and opinions expressed in a short and concise manner.

The journal Finance & the Common Good/Bien Commun is mainly aimed at financial practitioners – in the broadest sense of the term – who are conscious of the ethical dimension of their activities and are wondering how they can best contribute to the common good through their work.

Finance et Bien Commun

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