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An AIG ethics lesson

by Carol Elliott

March 23, 2009

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It might turn out that the AIG bonuses are legal. But even so, that does little to assuage public sentiment about the executive payouts. The reason is because people largely recognize the different between “legal” and “ethical,” says Patrick Murphy, marketing professor at the Mendoza College of Business and co-director of the Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide.

“In ethics classes, we talk about law being the floor. Some things are legal, but not ethical,” he says. “But I think that is what the outrage, or at least part of the outrage is about now.”

Murphy took on the AIG bonus scandal during an interview with reporter Bob Montgomery broadcast March 19, 2009, on WSBT radio 960 AM. He discussed the ethics considerations involved in the scandal, and the roles played by “ethical egoists” in current financial mess.

The interview can be heard by visiting www.wsbtradio.com and clicking on “On Demand” on the top tool bar.