[...] when we look at how our finan- cial institutions drew up mortgage contracts based on falsifying num- bers - like when Bernie Madoff's "friends" were convinced to part with their hard-earned dollars to become part of an "investment" opportunity, when the salesperson says "I'll call you tomorrow" and doesn't - they are all guilty of one thing: breaking someone's trust. With a staggering unemployment rate of 8.3 percent in New Jersey, unprecedented bankruptcy filings and home foreclosures, we are the perfect candidates to reinvent our moral and ethical code if not for us, then for the generations who will inherit our legacy.
Opinion Behave ethically, act like the whole world is watching AS WE CONTINUE to face huge become part of an “investment” are the litmus test for both. We have C o r n e r O f f i c e challenges in key sectors — includ- opportunity, when the salesperson to start shaping up right here in our ing, but not limited to real estate, says “I’ll call you tomorrow” and Have a hard-hitting stance on a New Jersey business issue? If you are a own state. With a staggering unem- employment and finance — I ask doesn’t — they are all guilty of one business or policy leader with a strong opinion, we want to hear from ployment rate of 8.3 percent in New myself how this great country lost its thing: breaking someone’s trust. you. Please send op-ed proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jersey, unprecedented bankruptcy way. One word: ethics. How did we get broken? Was it filings and home foreclosures, we Ethics is the study of morality, the “greed is good” mantra of the their mortgages. If we are the No. 2 is watching. And where we find our- are the perfect candidates to rein- and morality is one’s belief regarding ’80s? The dot-bomb era of the ’90s? state in the nation in terms of per- selves today is a result of a lot of peo- vent our moral and ethical code — appropriate behavior. Back in the The instant gratification of the new capita income, then we may be not ple thinking that no one was watch- if not for us, then for the genera- day, when I was start- millennium fueled by only in the top in terms of success, ing, which is precisely why taking tions who will inherit our legacy. ing out, business rela- technology and easy but also in terms home a pen from It is our chance to capture what tionships and busi- credit? It doesn’t matter. of vulnerability the office is stealing. we learned from the Great Depres- ness dealings were In their book, “The Ethi- when it comes to What we need to So you see, lack of sion, understand what we lost dur- often done on a hand- cal Executive,” Robert temptation. ethics starts small: ing the great recession and imple- shake, or someone’s Hoyk and Paul Hersey What we understand and nobody will notice, ment what we need to make the word. In the litigious refer to the traps that need to under- recognize is that it’s it’s not hurting any- “great comeback.” I believe it can society we live in lead executives and stand and recog- one, and it’s not only start with honesty and integri- today, most concrete workers into disaster. nize is that it’s the the small decisions considered stealing ty. It will start with shaking your deals involve a con- Power and money are small decisions we make every day because no one saw client’s hand and delivering on your tract. But when we Susan P. Ascher huge traps, and so are we make every it. Get the picture? promises. It will grow with character look at how our finan- time pressures and day that define us. that define us. The snowball effect building and behaving as if the cial institutions drew up mortgage euphemisms for bad acts. Ask all It’s the larger ones is astounding. whole world is watching. ◆ contracts based on falsifying num- the bankers who lent money and that teach our kids We have failed ----------------------------------------- bers — like when Bernie Madoff’s left out the fact that when the what is right and wrong. I always tell miserably, and it’s high time we get Susan P. Ascher is founder, president “friends” were convinced to part adjustable rate mortgage tripled, my staff and my daughter that char- back on track. New Jersey is neither and chief executive officer of The Ascher with their hard-earned dollars to people would have to default on acter is what you have when no one Wall Street nor Main Street. But we Group in Roseland. Leave the private sector alone to go into the industry of alternative energy and one that has been here a long time. Letters to the Editor make our environment cleaner and efficient. I recycle and will continue to buy Marcal I think [Barack] Obama and the Democrats’ I had an idea for a business that would products. Cheers for Tim Springs and the rest We encourage readers to write letters stimulus is the worst that could ever happen to combine every alternative energy technology of the people at Marcal who are keeping the concerning New Jersey business issues. our country. Government should stay out of into one; I call it “urban farming.” Urban farm- green in New Jersey. Please keep letters to fewer than 400 the business of businesses, and let the small- ing will take an abandoned building and turn words. We reserve the right to edit letters business people take care of their own abili- it into a beautiful building that is essentially a Patricia
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