In order to solve a problem, it is generally a good idea to fi rst determine the cause, so that the prescription for a cure will be on the mark. But there is no consensus about what caused the problem. Politicians and pundits are blaming greed on Wall Street. Business executives are blaming government regulation and intervention in capital markets. Nearly everyone agrees that something needs to be done and that it is the government that needs to act. Th e voices of those who disagree that the government is the solution are drowned out by the vast majority of politicians, news commentators, and even business people who think that further intervention can make things better. If anyone discusses ethics at all, it is the perceived
lack of ethics on Wall Street. Practically no one applies ethical theory to the current situation or raises the question of whether it is ethical for government to bail out the banking industry, or any industry, for that matter.