There are important lessons to be learned from the 2008–2009 global financial crisis – but there are equally important lessons to be taught. The public quickly blamed greedy business leaders, particularly those in the financial sector, as well as globalization for the financial crisis, but perhaps the blame lies elsewhere – first with our education system, and second with the political dogma that nourishes many students.
Some suggest that business and legal education, particularly in the United States, creates robber barons devoid of morality and ethics. Too often they point their finger at the present models of professional education, not realizing that business and law schools almost always integrate values and ethics into their curricula. While there is a need to strengthen business and legal training to assure that students have a better understanding of right and wrong, there are other serious problems waiting to be addressed – and almost certainly at an earlier stage in the educational process.
Frequently business leaders, lawyers, politicians and, importantly, other members of civil society, do not have much familiarity with basic economic principles, international economics and international economic institutions, and more specifically about the economic and political benefits of a sound international trade, investment and competition policies. Without this knowledge it is difficult to appreciate the economic benefits of open markets, international trade and sound competition laws.