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Institute for Enterprise Ethics The Discussion

Dealing with the Unintended Consequences of Artificial Intelligence

Ethically SpeakingIn Episode #18 of Ethically Speaking, Dan Sweeney is joined by Bart Alexander of Alexander Associates to discuss the Unintended Consequences of Artificial Intelligence.

Click here to listen to the podcast.


Busy, busy, busy…

Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Yes, indeed the SEC and the Labor Department have been busy promoting changes in rules governing trading desks, bank board rooms, corporations’ financial disclosures and other Wall Street interests.  The effects of these changes will be to:

·       Make it easier for banks to gamble with depositors’ funds.

·       Allow larger bonuses providing greater incentives for traders to take on riskier investments.

·       Allow brokers to invest their clients’ funds to their own advantage rather than to the clients’

·       Make the banks’ stress tests easier to beat so financially stressed banks will have an easier pass not quite 10 years ago.

These do not appear to me to be the best policies in dealing with some of the most egregious pratfalls that brought done most of the world’s financial systems ten years ago.

An Open Letter To Charlie O’Donnell

Institute for Enterprise Ethics

On August 24, 2017, the Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled “Silicon Valley Scandals Open Dialogue Between Male VCs and Female Founders” reported:

“Charlie O’Donnell, of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, reached out to Ms. (Julie) Fredrickson (co-founder and chief executive of New York-based cosmetics startup Stowaway) earlier this summer to discuss a recent sexual-harassment scandal at a Silicon Valley firm. During the course of their conversation, the topic turned to their own interactions.

Ms. Fredrickson told Mr. O’Donnell that he had made her uncomfortable when he asked last fall if he could bring Creamsicles to her apartment late one night.

Mr. O’Donnell apologized for crossing the line and said, ‘I can be friendly w/o being flirty’.”

And then Mr. O’Donnell added:

“Any male VC that isn’t reexamining their behavior towards women in light of recent press … just simply isn’t doing his job as an investor or as a person of privilege and influence.

Click here to view the letter.


Business Ethics, Governance and Compliance News

Say It Isn’t So, eh?

Institute for Enterprise Ethics | Catalyst Canada
According to the Wall Street Journal, our neighbors to the north are looking into complaints Catalyst inflated values and deceived borrowers. Canada, with their good boy prime minister has always seemed so good and so pure. How disappointing!

Making Your Company More Ethical

Harvard Business Review | December 2016

Recently two scholars associated with the University of Pennsylvania published a short article in the Harvard Business Review on What You Can Do to Improve Ethics at Your Company. This advice is based on a study of a sample of C-Suite executives from around the world as well as on the experience the authors gleaned from their own consulting practices.

The 30 leaders in the study recalled a total of 87 “major” ethical dilemmas from their career histories. More than 50 had occurred in the course of the last five years. Another surprise was how few of the incidents were caused by bribery, corruption, or anti-competition issues (only 16 percent of all ethical dilemmas mentioned). More often the dilemmas were the result of competing interests, misaligned incentives, clashing cultures.

Their advice is simple, clear and very practical.

University of Colorado Professor Makes the Case for Restricted Equity

Institute for Enterprise Ethics | Dr. Sanjai Bhagat

Our colleague and Friend of the Institute, Dr. Sanjai Bhagat, Professor of Finance at the University of Boulder Leeds School of Business and author of the recent book Financial Crisis, Corporate Governance, and Bank Capital presents a compelling argument that basing senior executive compensation on restricted equity can help boards of directors meet three important criteria for an effective compensation program: “simplicity, transparency and a focus on creating and maintaining long-term shareholder value."

Whistleblowers: Not just corporate tattle-tales, but actual change agents.

Institute for Enterprise Ethics

In a Fair Game column in the New York Times, Gretchen Morgensen reported on a research study by Assistant Professor Jaron H. Wilde at the University of Iowa that found “a sharp and lasting drop in financial wrongdoing at companies that were subject to whistle-blower investigation.” While, this finding seems quite reasonable from an intuitive perspective, it is very gratifying to have some hard empirical evidence that whistleblowers do provide some measureable value to the companies being whistle blowed upon.

Who’s Responsible for the Opioid Epidemic?

Institute for Enterprise Ethics | Opiod Epidemic

More than 300,000 American have died from opioid addiction since the late 1990’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Atlantic magazine reports: “In 2012, there were 793 million doses of opioid prescribed (in Ohio), enough to supply every man, woman and child with 68 pills each.”Too many doctors prescribe too many doses. Pharmacies fill too many prescriptions. Distributors deliver too many shipments. Manufacturers produce and promote too many pills. All of these businesses are aware of the severe personal crises these medicines are causing and to which they are major contributors. Why don’t they do something about it?

Strategic Partners

NetImpact's mission is tNetImpact | University of Denvero cultivate a community of Daniel's College of Business students and professionals dedicated to using business as a platform for creating positive social, environmental, and financial impact.

Strategic Partners

National Association of Corporate Directors | Colorado Chapter

The vision of the National Association of Corporate Directors is to develop the best educated directors with a focus on skills, ethics and leadership.  Their mission is to provide real learning and quality networking for directors and board engaged “C” suite officers and to be the voice for the director.


About the Institute

The Institute for Enterprise Ethics was established at the Daniel's College of Business as the vehicle to extend the College’s expertise and resources in business ethics to the practitioner community of executives, officers and directors of commercial and social enterprises in the region.

To learn more about the Institute, click here.

Institute Sponsors:


Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative
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Deloitte Consulting
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