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St Paul’s debates look at City and the Common Good

A series of debates under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral will look at the financial heart of the UK and ask, ‘The City and the Common Good: What kind of City do we want?’.

Entry to all three events is free and open to all.
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Following a widely discussed 2011 report ‘Value and Values: Perceptions of Ethics in the City Today’ which surveyed over 500 financial sector professionals, the three debates in April, May and June will explore the theme under the headings: Good People, Good Money and Good Banks.
 
Organised by St Paul’s Institute with CCLA, the debates will be chaired by BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders.
 
Good People – Thursday 11 April – 6.30pm
Archbishop Vincent Nichols with Peter Selby; Polly Toynbee; Tracey McDermott
In our relations with friends and family we reckon to know what goodness is and how it informs our lives. In the context of the 21st century market place, what does it mean to be a good person and contribute to the common good?
 
Good Money – Tuesday 7 May – 6.30pm
Robert Skidelsky with Andrew Bailey; Ann Pettifor; Tarek El Diwany
If the influence of money over us is unavoidable, how can we ensure that the results are positive? Does the issue go beyond our attitude to money to the nature of money itself? Is there such a thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ money? Is it just the ‘love of money’ we must guard against, or has something happened to money itself?

Good Banks – Wednesday 12 June – 6.00pm
Archbishop Justin Welby with Shirley Williams; Antony Jenkins
The relationship between banks and society has been described in the aftermath of the financial crisis as a ‘social contract’, but what is the objective of the contract? What is the purpose of banking and how do we foster a culture that helps that purpose be realised?
 
The Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, said: "After four years of discussion about what has gone wrong and who might be responsible, there is now a call for changes that will reinforce a culture of integrity and prudence and ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the recent past. But if we are to discuss the individual steps, do we not first need to ask: what kind of ‘City’ do we want?”
 
Michael Quicke, Chief Executive of CCLA, said: "The pressure to maximise short-term shareholder value inevitably strains even the strongest commitment to integrity. It is tough to balance what is good for clients and what is good for shareholders, especially when your pay and future employment are aligned with short-term shareholder returns. The system we have is finding it difficult to reform itself, and I hope this series of debates will encourage further examination of the link between morals and markets at a time when the public is acutely aware that the single minded quest for profit can come at a great cost to both individuals and society at large.”
 
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