Can a good person be a good trader? An ethical defense of financial trading
Keywords: 
Finance ethics
Financial trading
MacIntyre
Virtue ethics
Integrity
Issue Date: 
2019
Publisher: 
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
ISSN: 
0167-4544
Note: 
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Citation: 
Rocchi, M. (Marta); Thunder, D. (David). "Can a good person be a good trader? An ethical defense of financial trading". Journal of Business Ethics. 159 (2019), 2019, 89 - 103
Abstract
In a 2015 article entitled “The Irrelevance of Ethics,” MacIntyre argues that acquiring the moral virtues would undermine someone’s capacity to be a good trader in the fnancial system and, conversely, that a proper training in the virtues of good trading directly militates against the acquisition of the moral virtues. In this paper, we reconsider MacIntyre’s rather damning indictment of fnancial trading, arguing that his negative assessment is overstated. The fnancial system is in fact more internally diverse and dynamic, and more reformable, than suggested by MacIntyre’s treatment. The challenge at the heart of MacIntyre’s claims can be crystallized in the question, “under which conditions, if any, can a person be an efective trader and simultaneously live a worthy human life?” We conclude that there are realistic possibilities of integrity and growth in moral virtue for those who work in the fnancial sector, at least for those operating in a work environment minimally permissive toward virtue, provided they possess characters of integrity and genuine aptitude for the skills and attitudes required in their professional tasks.

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