Boomer (LACK OF) Business Ethics

by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt


I recently had lunch with a friend of mine, one of the most sophisticated financial planners in the country. He has an interesting practice, about half wealthy executives and entrepreneurs, and the other half labor union pension plans. He made a huge ton of money for most of them by anticipating the financial meltdown and bear market.

As we started lunch he launched into a tirade.

“Tom, when we started in this business most of our clients were from the WWII generation, and they were honest, loyal, diligent and easy to work with. Sadly they are dying off.

Our own generation, the boomers are a bunch of self-centered, disloyal, unfocused, undisciplined bunch of greed heads. I hope Generation X does better.”

I agreed with most of this, as I have seen a rapid deterioration of business ethics over the past 35 years. To be fair though, there are many ethical boomers, including my friend. Just not enough.

No surprise that most of the key players in the financial meltdown were boomers, with a helping hand from Gen X.

Can we turn this around, or is the self-indulgent drug, sex and rock-and-roll ethical framework now more or less permanent?