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From the Editor – Issue 56

This issue features a look inside a moviemaking and publishing company, Walden Media. Meeting Micheal Flaherty (the correct Irish spelling of the name) opens an uncommon view into business. I want to call attention to one of his statements:

“Another great story Kate (DiCamillo) wrote is Tale of Despereaux. This is a wonderful story of forgiveness that will also come out as a movie, though unfortunately not from us. It will be out in December 2008 with the screenplay and direction by Gary Ross, who wrote and directed Seabiscuit. It is definitely one of the best books I have ever read and I cannot wait for that movie” (emphasis added).

How many business leaders do you know who are excited about a product coming from a competitor? Micheal offers refreshing insight into what it means to run a business for its purpose, where profit is the means, rather than the end.

A less positive tale has been unfolding in the subprime lending meltdown. We went to a number of sources to try to gain insight into events in the housing market that have led to such widespread economic difficulties. That starts on p. 16. Even in the face of this challenge, however, some banks have had a bigger purpose that allowed them to sidestep the ethical pitfalls in this market. Bruce Williams, CEO of HomeStreet Bank, describes in the Best Practices section on p. 19, the role of his bank’s guiding principles in navigating through this mess.

Other standard features in this issue include letters (p. 3), Technology Watch dealing with how technology fragments work (p. 4), NewsNotables (p. 13), InReview (p. 14), and this issue’s ethical dilemma involving the work of an IT professional (p. 20).

Next issue will feature a Conversation with Pat Gelsinger, executive vice president and general manager of Intel. He offers a fascinating look into the ongoing development of technology that will continue to reshape business for years to come. We will also get an update from Rosalind Picard, a research scientist at the MIT Media Labs, whose work in getting computers to respond to human emotion was featured in Ethix 13, October 2000.

We have updated our website at www.ethix.org. Our goal is to make it easier to navigate through all the material on the site. But in the transition, we lost some communications links for a time. They are now working again, so please use the site to respond to the current forum question.

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Al Erisman
Executive Editor

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