I was reading in the recent issue of Business Week about how lenders have started to negotiate on principal in some of the mortgages that are under water. It spoke of their fear of the precedent this would set, apparently with good reason.
There was a short story about a salesman who was able to make his payments. However, because his neighbor’s house has declined in value he wanted to renegotiate his loan or he would walk away. His comment; “it’s not a moral decision it’s a financial decision.” Did you catch that?!
When did financial considerations take precedent over moral ones? Have we forgotten the pursuit of virtue and morality in life that was considered the high life in ancient Greece? I hear my friends and colleagues decry bailouts etc. saying that we are fostering a culture that does not take responsibility. I tend to lean to the side that says help those that are sincere and that need help. Yet it is people like this guy that make me want to take a hard line.
What do you think? Can you separate moral from financial decisions? What takes precedent?