In Praise of Human Decency
Great Eastern has done a coup of sort to offer a big payout when it does not need to. In fact the precedent has been set for it to play by the market practice and save a lot of money, except for the pain and loss the investors will continue to bear. One question is whether Great Eastern has crossed the line to the extent of undermining the correct business practice and the rule of law here that we are so proud of, and chose to invest in a bit of morality, ethics and human decency, which are only good for the souls but not for the bottom line. It was a rare moment indeed in a country that crows about making money at all cost, where scoundrels are praised and held in high esteem, and not how the money was made, where making money is the end all, with no qualms about human decency. Investors have been complaining that they were questioned by high and mighty officers of financial institutions demanding only to know if they understood English, and if they had signed on the documents. If either was a yes, no further explanation was needed, and out of the door they went, with minimal or no compensation. Legally right, legally binding but morally shameful. Technically and legally, the financial institutions are right by applying the rule of law. That could be the reason why they were so arrogant that they were doing the right thing. It's all legal. The investors understood and signed the documents. These were enough not to compensate them fully or at all. Caveat emptor man! Just as much we need to protect the investors, the financial institutions also need to be protected under the rule of law. So which should overrule the other, the rule of law or morals and ethics? I think when in court the rule of law will be upheld and not any wishy washy stuff like morality, ethics or empathy. We cannot undermine our system of correct business practice, our rule of law, and compromise on such rulings. The peddlers of snake oil also need to be protected under the rule of law. My view is that Great Eastern must have come to the conclusion that the product must be flawed and morally not right to make this kind of money from the their customers. They have set aside all legal and technical arguments in their favour and chose to make a human decision to return the money to their clients. The decision of Great Eastern speaks a lot about the quality of their leadership. Something we find very lacking in this materialistic world and something we only heard in motherhood statements but not in practice.