Finance education can be enriched by Jain wisdom

August 2017, Other Highlights
by Atul K. Shah
An academic presents his take on the culture and ethics deficit in financial education in a new book.

There is huge demand for finance education globally – from the accounting, banking and finance professions to business schools, students continue to flock. However, the quality and supply of education is generally poor.

One of the worst aspects of this is the lack of culture and ethics in the content of the finance syllabus – it is primarily technical, and ignores the huge and real world importance of qualities like trust, relationships, sustainability and character in financial success. Even worse, there are strong cultural assumptions underlying modern finance theory, which are rarely exposed to debate. These assumptions are that everyone is selfish, everyone is greedy, and money is the most important measure of success and happiness. In a multi-cultural diverse world, finance education remains very mono-cultural, and significantly destructive of society and our ecosystem. The theories and the science teach unsustainability and promote short-termism.