Vatican calls for ‘a new regulation of financial activities’

Vatican calls for ‘a new regulation of financial activities’

The Vatican called for "a new regulation of financial activities" on Thursday in a broad and harsh critique of the international financial system that emphasized the need for higher ethical standards since the housing market crash in the last decade. 

The new document released by the Vatican, approved by Pope Francis, calls out the post-2008 financial crisis economy for "excluding the common good," citing the need for it to be "more attentive to ethical principles." 

"The recent financial crisis could have been the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities neutralizing the predatory and speculative dimensions," the document says. 

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But instead, the Vatican says the current system "seems like a return to the heights of myopic egoism," and "excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today.”

While the Church gave no prescriptions for global regulations, it suggested the institution of ethical committees within banks to ensure they capitalize on investments without selling misleading financial products to customers. 

It also emphasized personal responsibility in financial decisions, suggesting that individuals do business with "enterprises that operate with clear criteria inspired by an ethics respectful of the entire human person."

The document echoes the ongoing message of the current pope, who has criticized greed and income inequality across developed nations.