On Friday 20th November 2009, from 6 to 8pm, in room 5.16, 309 Regent Street (University of Westminster), it’s time for the 38th session of the Philosophical Foundations of Law and Finance.
It’s time for apologies.
In Plato’s Apology, Socrates defends himself against the charges of being a man "who corrupted the young, refused to worship the gods, and created new deities". The Apology is brief and yet contains the essential taste of all the ironic wit of an enlightened being; it is irreverence of Monty Python and the eloquence of Don Quixote – one wonders how this could ever be the basis of serious philosophical discussion it is so damned funny – and it is also oddly funny that whilst it is one the best of the so-called Platonic dialogues, it is actually an extreme form of Socratic Monologue – a lovable and irascible soliloquy. Is this the perfect portrait of the wise man or the wiseacre in court? One isn't quite sure who Socrates is addressing – his accusers and judges or posterity? Joe thinks he addresses everyone directly with absolutely no apology.
One thing is sure, I add: Socrates’ apology was totally unsuccessful in court.
What function and upshot for today’s apologies of Goldman Sachs for "its role in the financial crisis"? At a corporate conference in New York, Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chief executive told that the bank regretted taking part in the cheap credit boom that fuelled the pre-crisis bubble. “We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret,” Mr Blankfein said. “We apologise.”
Mr Blankfein spoke hours before Goldman revealed plans to invest $500m - or about 2.3 per cent of its estimated bonus and salary pool for 2009 – over five years on business education, technical assistance and venture capital to help 10,000 small businesses across the US. See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/782afd66-d3bd-11de-8caf-00144feabdc0,s01=1.html?catid=2&SID=google
We will finally convene at Vapiano (19-21 Great Portland Street, W1W 8QB) at 8.00pm.
See you on Friday!
Joe and Laura
PS I look forward to hear from you about what you wish to present at the seminars, firstname.lastname@example.org