Goldman Sachs and business ethics first topic of ND lecture series

Author: Carol Elliott

Berges Lecture Series

In July, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $550 million to settle federal claims that it misled investors in a subprime mortgage product as the housing market began to collapse. The fine was the largest ever levied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and it settled at least a portion of the banking giant’s legal difficulties.

But many critics continue to debate whether Goldman’s actions were ethical, and whether the payment of a fine – however large – constitutes justice.
The issue of business ethics in the Goldman Sachs case is the opening topic of the 2010 John A. Berges Lecture Series in Business Ethics hosted by the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. The panel discussion, “The Ethics of Goldman Sachs: A Debate,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31 (Tuesday) in the Mendoza College’s Jordan Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Participants in the discussion include Notre Dame business professors Georges Enderle, Ryan Professor of International Business Ethics; and Paul Schultz, Clark Professor of Finance. Patrick E. Murphy, professor of marketing, will serve as chair.

“We will examine current ethical issues facing business such as the Goldman Sachs situation, which are very much a topic of public discussion after the sub-prime mortgage crisis,” said Murphy, who directs the Berges Series. “The other purpose of the lectures is to expose our students to top executives who practice ethical leadership. The corporate speakers all meet this criterion and have compelling stories to tell about their individual ethical journeys and philosophy of ethical leadership.”

The Berges Lecture Series is presented each fall by the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business and Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide. It features senior executives speaking on their experiences of the ethical dimensions of business.

The complete 2010 schedule is as follows:

  • Aug. 31 ─ “The Ethics of Goldman Sachs: A Debate,” Notre Dame business professors Georges Enderle, Paul Schultz and Patrick Murphy
  • Sept. 15 ─ “The Passion of Leadership,” Henry Givray, president and CEO, SmithBucklin Corporation
  • Sept. 27 ─ “Empowered Business Integrity,” John Montgomery, CEO, Bridgeway Capital Management
  • Oct. 12 ─ “An Ethical Odyssey from Notre Dame to CEO,” Michael Cahill, president and CEO, Tower Financial
  • Nov. 11 ─ “Developing an Ethical Leadership Culture, Achieving Industry Leadership: The KONE Americas Story,” Vance Tang, president and CEO; Chuck Moore, senior vice president of Human Resources; and Michael DeCicco, director, HR Systems of KONE, Inc. USA
  • Nov. 17 ─ “How We Lead Matters,” Marilyn Nelson, chairman, Carlson Companies

Lectures begin at 7 p.m. and are followed by a Q&A session. All talks will be held in the Jordan Auditorium at the Mendoza College of Business with the exception of the presentation by John Montgomery of Bridgeway Capital Management, which will take place in 141 DeBartolo Hall.

Contact: Deborah Coch, 574-631-6072,