Apparently it is a good idea to have a recession if that means you can focus on making money at the expense of everything else. Stefan Stern thinks that “now the recession’s here we can forget all that nonsense about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and get back to trying to make some money”. This seems to me precisely the attitude of the bankers that got us into this mess in the first place.
He may be right to point out that doing good doesn’t necessarily have to be good for business, at least in the short run. Yet isn’t it such short run thinking that is responsible for the long term problems we now face?
And he may be right that much CSR is ‘babies, dolphins and forests’. A lot of CSR reporting does indeed suffer from smiling baby syndrome. But then, that is just poor CSR.
So if the consequences of corporate activity really don’t matter beyond making money, perhaps he should explain whether he thinks it necessary to have a planet around to make money on.