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Interventi di Mario Monti, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Stefano Zamagni, Riccardo Faini, Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, Giampaolo Crepaldi
With an introduction by Rinaldo Bertolino and Elsa Fornero, Biblioteca della libertà introduces the main speeches from the international conference on ‘The Ethical Contents in Economics’ organised by Elsa Fornero and held under the aegis of the President of the Republic as part of celebrations for the Sixth Centenary of the University of Turin (Turin, September 6 2004). Mario Monti addresses the ethics of competitive markets and argues that there is a profoundly ethical side to European Union enterprises seemingly aimed solely at the market. He cites as an example the new basis that has been laid for an essential aspect of civil life: the relationship between the generations. According to Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, to form awareness of ethical problems in the field of finance it may suffice to concentrate on the seventh commandment; the rest is up to good financial laws (more than to ethics), the effectiveness of social control and the vigilance of individual consciences. For Riccardo Faini, in the ambit of international trade in goods and services, the advantages of exchange are highly unevenly distributed among countries. He concludes by affirming that the challenge of defining rules capable of making markets work more efficiently and with fair distribution is strong at national level, but perhaps even more so at international level. Stefano Zamagni addresses a special aspect of business ethics – corporate social responsibility (CSR) – that is of extraordinary significance today. In his view, if the market is capable of ‘rewarding’ corporate civil culture, both the dispositional and the motivational contribution of economic agents, managers included, will adapt as a consequence in the long term. Gian Maria Gros-Pietro asserts that business virtue depends on innovation and respect of norms: the ethical commitment of those who operate at the head of companies, especially large companies, must transcend behaviour observable from the outside. Giampaolo Crepaldi recalls how the doctrine of the Social Magisterium of the Church teaches that the market has to be regulated and reaffirms constantly and explicitly that the economy requires ethics since both are grounded and find their raison d’être in man.