Financial Greed

As long as there are people, there will be Greed. It has been a significant part of our History. Joel and Abijah, Samuel’s sons in the bible, accepted bribes. We even find Greed within the political system all over the world. Some of the most despised people are known for their Greed. On the website, “Most Hated People” list the eight most greedy people in History. Here are a few names you might know. Genghis Khan, William H. Vanderbilt, and Charles Ponzi, the famous name that began the phrase “Ponzi schemes.”
Greed affects our economy, and it affects the financial stability of families and businesses. According to CNN Business, 60% of investors who score high on a “love of money” scale have adverse economic outcomes. The desire to want everything now can lead individuals to make unwise decisions and do regrettable deeds. These decisions can wreak havoc on our economy, affecting millions.  


What is Greed?

Webster’s dictionary defines greed as “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed. If we lean toward a more biblical definition for greed, our study of the Greek word pleonexia, which is commonly translated as greed or covetousness in the New Testament is explained more thoroughly by New Testament Greek scholar William Barclay. He describes pleonexia as an “accursed love of having.” which “will pursue its own interests with complete disregard for the rights of others, and even for the consideration of common humanity.” Barclay labeled pleonexia as an aggressive vice that operates in three spheres of life:

  • The material sphere involves “grasping at money and goods, regardless of honor and honesty.”
  • The ethical sphere is “the ambition which tramples on others to gain something which is not properly meant for it.
  • The moral sphere is “the unbridled lust which takes its pleasure where it has no right to take.”
Studying these three spheres and the definitions above, we would have to disagree with the character Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street, who stated, “Greed is good.” Greed is NOT good. It disregards the feelings and lives of others for one’s gain and can bring forth financial demise for families, companies, and a nation.


How corporate Greed affects our nation financially?

The desire to want more can create reactions in people that would not normally be expected. People who have millions losing all to gain more due to excessive buying, gambling, and even deceiving clients and friends. These decisions and more like them have ruined families, businesses, and the lives of the individuals. 73 AIG employees. View Source


Each received $1 million or more bonuses, a total of $160 million while receiving billions in taxpayer bailout funds due to the 2008 Financial Meltdown. Bernard Madoff was a well-known broker, who for years, attracted many investors. He was the Nasdaq’s chairman in 1990, 1991, and 1993. Madoff was not a poor man, but his desire to acquire more financially ruined many of his clients, and he was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison.
Richard Scrushy, the CEO of Health South embezzled $1.4 billion. CEO, Dennis Kozlowski, and CFO, Mark H. Swartz stole $600 million from Tyco International. You can read about the 25 Biggest Corporate Scandals ever on List25. View Source

 smiley“The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)  How can we keep ourselves from Greed? By understanding the importance of giving and caring for others and to not be affected by power and status, but to be filled with humility and love. As corporate leaders or business owners, we can always think about how our actions will help others for better and for worse. Actions speak louder than words, and when people are financially disabled due to Greed in its many forms, it creates a lack of trust and frustration. Businesses should provide gain, not just for the CEO of top executives, but for all of those who are a part of the team. The income of a business should be a blessing to those who work for it and those who support it, such as the customers. Without the hard work of employees and the loyalty of customers, a company would not exist for long. If you research some of the top successful businesses, you will discover it was not Greed that made them victorious but giving and caring about the individual, not excluding hard, diligent work. Leading others to fulfill a dream that has been given to you can be complicated. It will take reminding yourself daily of your goals and moral compass, not only to yourself but those who work alongside you. Remember, life is not about how much you have. It is about how you love others  

I think Jesus said it best, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of Greed; life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)