Unprincipled Investments: International Comparative Lessons from the Financial Crisis of 2008




Ontiveros, Connor

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My research compares the causes of and responses to the Financial Crisis of 2008 in the United States and Iceland. The article's central question is whether the United States can learn any lessons from the comparison given the significant differences between the two countries. The United States took conservative political measures to address the causes of the financial crisis, whereas Iceland did not bail out its most prominent banks, took high-level executives and political figures to court for their roles in the lead-up to the crisis, and even attempted to rewrite its constitution in the wake of 2008. To conduct my research, I utilized numerous primary and secondary texts from such disciplines as economics, philosophy, and law. My conclusion is that the causes of the financial crash of 2008 were not only rooted in economics but in the failure to consider the way economic reasoning impacts moral and ethical principles and practices in civil society. Consequently, Iceland’s reaction is more responsible than the United States’ because of the radical steps that it took to respond to the crisis. The way that Iceland addressed the ethical dilemmas imbedded in the causes of the financial crisis was superior because of the way it publicly addressed these problems in the court and legal system. Although there are certain limitations to the United States embracing Iceland's response, the U.S. can still learn from Iceland’s response and thereby develop a better strategy to address financial crises in the future.



financial crisis, business ethics, Honors College


Ontiveros, C. (2021). Unprincipled investments: International comparative lessons from the financial crisis of 2008 (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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