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  • Writer's pictureSabrina Abib

The emergence of a total and contextual ethics

The concept of ethics applied to economic issues is ever changing promoting constant epistemological and conceptual debates. Various perspectives on the concept of “regulation” shall guide our reflection on ethics. Although finance is a science highly dependent on mathematics and risk, it is nevertheless part of the economic sphere and in this regard is also subject to ethics. The relationship between ethics and finance has been acute at the turn of the 2008 financial crisis, which resulted in a redefinition of the financial sphere.

The various ramifications of finance have highlighted the extent to which challenges related to ethics arise and the implied epistemological challenges.


Regulatory intervention on financial markets has also led to serious reflections on how to approach the concept of ethics. It is also worth pointing out that fragmentations on financial markets have impacted regulatory practices. Financial markets fragmentation, de facto, leads to regulation. Such regulation is also fragmented and puts forth an ethical approach to the more divided, complex and convoluted markets. In this regard, the multiple ethics layers within the regulatory architecture should be looked into in an attempt to understand them.


States have suffered two major setbacks: firstly they faced the collapse of their economies and were forced to guarantee the solvency and legitimacy of the financial system during the 2008 financial crisis. They were also accused of acting with delay to the situation. This event questioned the exercise of public authority as a result of a double movement born of globalisation and financial deregulation. Consideration should be given to different kinds of regulatory tools. How risk modelling has been involved in this process ? How risk modelling is leading to a risk of regulation ? In this context, how can regulatory policy be reshaped with the emergence of a total and contextual ethics ?

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