In the aftermath of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, there has not been a work that comprehensively addresses the systemic root causes of a global recession that has had a profound domino effect, including worldwide public unrest, grassroots political movements, Dodd–Frank reforms, government agency audits, and general disgust with Wall Street corporate excess.

The groundswell of public anger against the perceived evils on Wall Street and the financial markets has been extraordinary. Not since the Vietnam War has the United States rapidly mobilized behind a cause in such a passionate manner. Between the conservative Tea Party movement and the left-leaning Occupy Wall Street protests, “Main Street” has found a convenient scapegoat for all that ails the US economy and society as a whole.

Is it really right to blame only those Wall Street “criminals?” What is structurally wrong with our entire system, culture, and ethical notions as a society? Has it lost its original moorings and morphed into managerial or crony capitalism where managers can routinely loot their firms without reprisal or prosecution?

Defects in our societal moral fabric have produced financial swindlers, perhaps more evident than ever before. For example, Bernie Madoff and Tom Petters stole billions of dollars from everyday Americans as if it was standard business process to do so.

CEOs such as Jon Corzine, Jimmy Cayne, and Dick Fuld presided over the demise of proud international ...

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