When it comes how most people view the multi-trillion dollar banking industry, words like loathe, cynicism, and distrust come to mind. A writer a Rolling Stone magazine, for example, described Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” With press like that, it is not surprising that the number of handgun permits for self-protection has increased among Goldman Sachs execs.
Then there’s Lloyd Blankfein’s statement that attracted no small amount of verbal fire. The Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO said that he’s just a banker “doing God’s work.”
“I know I could slit my wrists and people would cheer,” Blankfein confesses. But then he argues, “We’re very important. We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. It’s a virtuous cycle. We have a social purpose.”
Step back a moment from the greed and arrogance that characterizes many financial sector leaders, and consider Blankfein’s claim at face value. Whether or not he truly understands the spiritual implications of his comments, truth is, providing capital to grow businesses can be a deeply spiritual enterprise—because all good work is God’s work. And God uses investment banks and other lending institutions to the fuel economic growth behind so much we take for granted—like food that fuels our body, medicine that fights disease, technology that allows us to read the Bible on our phone.
To read more about the moral good of investment banking, see John Terrill’s article in Cardus. It’s a great reminder of the need to reclaim the moral high ground in any kind of work.
What do you think? Can lending money have a spiritual purpose?
Original content publish on Bill Peel's blogsite