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Damaging control

Six months into the year, the government has already incurred a deficit of P119.7 billion or 92% of its P130-billion target for the whole year. This is unfortunate, as the current administration has staked its
credibility on a fiscal discipline platform. Its pronouncements
encourage the market to herd around expectations generated by deficit ceilings; unfortunately, breaches would then be perceived as signals of fiscal irresponsibility, leading to a weakening of capital inflows.

Promoting corporate social responsibility

In his syndicated column titled “Reckonings,” Paul Krugman quoted the
now-classic statement of Gordon Gekko, the cunning corporate raider in
the movie Wall Street: “Greed is good. Greed works, greed is
right…and greed, mark my words, will save not only Teldar paper but
the other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”

That statement is real-world stuff. Wisely unstated (as befits shrewd
business), such greed lies at the core of the behavior of many
corporate executives who aggressively pursue super-profits for
themselves and for the companies they run. Although Gekko’s line has
punch and has become very quotable, its message is not new. It merely
echoes a basic creed of liberal economics that the “unrestrained
rivalry of egotism” is good not only for the individual but for society
as well.