Last evening, I took issue with this tweet of a financial blogger whom I had followed for his investment insights (Cullen Roche):
The idea of a “sin stock” never made sense to me. Who is the arbiter of whether a company makes the world worse or not?
Cullen went on to say:
The point I am getting at is that if these companies were truly sinning then the economy would divest them. Their stocks would go to $0.
[I]f they operate legally & have customers they’re not sinners.
There you have it, Vera: the market is the arbiter of what’s right and wrong.
I’d feel a whole lot better if I thought Cullen was an outlier in this regard. But I’ve seen too much. And lived through too much. I know better. I know that, often, the market — more specifically, money — is the arbiter.
Who’s to say what makes the world worse? Or better?
Some people say, “Let the market decide!”
Others say, “There is such a thing as morality and ethics that should constrain the markets. And individual choices.”
Today, I am so thankful you have the parents you do.