‘Ethics in Action’ to spotlight Wall Street reform in public forum

“Every citizen needs to be better informed,” said the leader of New York’s Ethical Society.

New Yorkers who think what happens on Wall Street only pertains to the so-called “1 percent” are encouraged to think again.

“The everyday person who’s lucky enough to have a pension should be aware of what’s happening on Wall Street,” Dr. Anne Klaeysen of the New York Society for Ethical Culture told Metro. “And if you’re involved in an organization like an institution, church, synagogue or Ethical Society and you’re lucky enough to have any endowments or ethical funds, you’re also looking to Wall Street to see how to best invest those.”

That’s why the Ethical Society, or Ethical NYC, is beginning a conversation about Wall Street with a public forum for the February installment of its “Ethics in Action” series.

Moderated by noted author and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Thursday event features Ari Melber, chief legal correspondent for MSNBC; Sheelah Kolhatkar, a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of “Black Edge;” Judge Jed Rakoff, U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York and an adjunct law professor at Columbia Law School; and Bob Ivry, staff reporter at Bloomberg News and author of “The Seven Sins of Wall Street.”

The panelists will have their discussion, which will cover the good, the bad, the moral and immoral of Wall Street, earlier in the day before coming to a consensus that will be presented to the audience at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re excited not only about raising awareness for people, but giving people a vocabulary and language and a way to talk about it in a public square to make all these ethical issues part of the public discourse,” Klaeysen said.

Klaeysen was involved with Occupy Wall Street, and sees this discussion as “a continuation of that in the sense that we need to be better informed. ‘We’ meaning everyone. Every citizen needs to be better informed.”

The timing couldn’t be better, as “we have so many Wall Street insiders that are going to be on (President Donald Trump’s) Cabinet,” she added. “There has to be transparency.”

“Ethics in Action” is an expansion upon the work that Ethical NYC has done since Felix Adler founded the society in 1876. The organization is “a congregational setting for humanists looking to lead ethical lives,” a news release said, and it offers year-round programming. “Ethics in Action” runs through September. Its March 2 edition is “Climate Change and NYC.”

To register for Feb. 9’s “Ethics and Wall Street,” click here. The event is free and open to the public.

This originally published on Metro.us on Feb. 7, 2017.

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