Dalai Lama on Global Financial Crisis

Dalai Lama in an interview with the German paper Die Welt, June 20

Welt: The market doesn’t settle it, but you don’t believe in regulation either. Then what do we need?

Dalai Lama: I call it a responsible free market economy. In the end it depends on the individual. It depends on the individual sense of moral responsibility, self-discipline, values. The financial crisis is no crisis of the market economy itself, but a crisis of values.

Is he right? It is probably true that people who put profit above everything else (including reasonable risk management) will always find ways around regulation. And there weren’t only bigwigs involved. A lot of “ordinary people” showed an incredible faith in incredible returns on investment, too. A kind of faith that may justifiably be labeled greed, and demand generates supply.

The crisis is a reminder that things can’t be left to the market alone, but also a reminder that regulation alone won’t do.

4 Responses to “Dalai Lama on Global Financial Crisis”

  1. It’s interesting, that people pay any attention to a Monk, who has never handled money – not his own, nor anyone elses’ , who presumes to pontificate on what the world economy ‘”needs” .

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  2. I pay attention to him, because he isn’t too close to the problem.

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  3. I have also quoted the Dalai Lama as well as other religious leaders in my post on the financial crisis. I am with JR on this one. The crisis was brought along by the mishandling of money. That makes the opinion of those who don’t actually handle money much more credible and impartial. And no, the Dalai Lama did not pontificate on what the world economy needs. You’ve totally missed the point. For him and for other religious leaders, it is always about the world and the people in it. It is a solution that serves the interest of people, rather than the mechanism that props up the mirage of a free market economy.

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