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An Anglican priest and a banker


Stephen Green / Image: Wapedia

They are the same man - Stephen Green, chairman and former CEO of HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world.

HSBC was at the centre of the subprime storm, buying and losing billions in the United States under the leadership of Sir John Bond. However, the wider HSBC group, with a huge presence in Hong Kong and Asia, is apparently weathering the economic crisis. Stephen Green has been thinking about why it occurred.

He has just published Good Value: Reflections on Money, Morality and an Uncertain World. In his 42nd-floor corner office in Canary Wharf, as the sun is setting over London, he talks with Brian Carney of the Wall Street Journal about the ethics and future of banking.

The Guardian called Good Value -

Exciting and original. . . Green reflects on the astonishing impact of globalization on human history and consciousness before going on to suggest ideas for how the financial and wider business system can be fixed or replaced. . .His recipe for change largely involves the extension of the idea of shareholder value from a merely financial concept into the full range of human wellbeing, with a focus on environmental and other sustainabilities, on corporate responsibility and on "servant leadership". . .

Following Judeo-Christian ethical teachings would be a big help - do not bear false witness; do not covet your neighbour's goods; do not steal; do not make false idols. . .

The idea of servant leadership is practical and spiritual so it's not surprising that it comes from Christ. Alfred the Great is the servant-leader who immediately springs to mind. Can you think of any financial or political leaders who are servant-leaders today (as opposed to telling us they are)?

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