BOE Governor and Archbishop of Canterbury discuss purpose of capital
Social capital is a central theme in a recent radio interview on BBC4, during which the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, agree that the fundamental purpose of finance is to ensure that business serve the greater needs of the economy and society. Welby, who prior to his ecclesiastical career worked in the energy sector, recently published Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace. In this book, Welby discusses how a society that measures itself only by the wealth it creates is bankrupt. Following up on this point, in the interview he decries the unfair amounts of wealth being accrued by a few people, calling for an equitable redistribution of the proceeds of business.
For his part, Carney discusses his role, as financial regulator, of putting in place supports that enable businesses to achieve optimal results, intimating that it’s not his place to dictate corporate behavior. However, Carney later states that the best businesses are customer-centric, adding those that succeed, whether in the mainstream economy or in a social context, tend to consider the end-user first, rather than just the bottom line. He too sees inequality, not just in wealth but in opportunity to attain certain socioeconomic goals.
The pair also consider the U.K.’s role in the global economy post-Brexit. Welby believes the world economy must continue to lift people out of poverty and ensure abundance and resources are shared fairly, while Carney espouses foreign aid abroad and open markets at home to mitigate overseas volatility.
What role do you believe social capital should play in corporate strategy and the global economy?