The morality of banking

From The Philosophy of Joint-Stock Banking by the Scottish financier G.M. Bell, quoted by Marx in Capital vol. 3:

Banking establishments are moral and religious institutions. How often has the fear of being seen by the watchful and reproving eye of his banker deterred the young tradesman from joining the company of riotous and extravagant friends?… Has he not trembled to be supposed guilty of deceit or the slightest misstatement, lest it should give rise to suspicion, and his accommodation be in consequence restricted or discontinued [by his banker]?… And has not that friendly advice been of more value to him than that of priest?

Different edition, but here’s the context: Economic Manuscripts: Capital, Vol.3, Chapter 33

2 Comments on “The morality of banking

  1. Hahahaha, love it. Nowadays it’d be more like ‘how often has the lure of free cocaine and luxurious accommodations convinced the young tradesman into joining the company of riotous and extravagant banker friends?’

  2. “The Morality of Banking.”

    That’s an oxymoron that’s got to up there with “Business Ethics.”

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