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.