Tom Heath
Washington Post columnist

Tom Heath

Business reporter and Value Added columnist for The Washington Post.


Setting the tone

Q: Goldman Sachs, the country's most successful investment bank, is under fire for helping a hedge-fund tycoon dump bad investments on unsuspecting customers and then betting against them. CEO Lloyd Blankfein says the firm did everything it was legally required to. Are ethical issues relevant as a business seeks to earn money for its investors? Does the little guy stand a chance in such an environment?

Ethics are paramount in the conduct of business. Fairness in white-collar businesses sets the tone for society, and a few must not be allowed to rig the game in their favor.

I am not making judgments on whether Goldman Sachs did anything illegal or unethical. It is too complicated and I am not familar enough with the subject matter. But people must know that the playing field is level, that they can invest in securities knowing that they have a fair shot at appreciation. Capitalism cannot work otherwise.

By Tom Heath  |  May 2, 2010; 8:56 PM ET  | Category:  winners and losers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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