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Guest Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue on Ethics of Debt

Guest Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue on Ethics of Debt Guest Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue on Ethics of Debt a b c William H. Carter, Jonathan Fox, Kate Padgett Walsh ebt is often central to financial decision making, The second theme explores how debt contributes to or dimin- and it plays a key role in financial counseling and ishes well-being. Kyoung Tae Kim, Melissa Wilmarth, and Dplanning. It also raises important ethical questions Robin Henager consider the connection between poverty and for individuals and families, small businesses, and lawmak- indebtedness. They find that individuals in severe poverty, ers. Which forms of debt, and at what levels, are most con- although less likely to be in debt overall, are more likely to ducive to financial well-being? Does financial literacy— carry high debt loads and be delinquent in repayment. Jennifer such as understanding the often complicated terms of Hunter and Claudia Heath examine multiple measures of debt—contribute to financial success, and is there any cor - household well-being in light of credit card use during the relation with ethical behavior? Which policies would best Great Recession. They analyze the relationship between car- support individuals and families as they acquire, repay, and rying a credit card balance and self-reported feelings and per- sometimes default on debts? ceptions of general household financial conditions. The idea for this special issue grew out of a conference on The third theme addresses the policy implications of debt the Ethics of Debt at Iowa State University (ISU) in Sep- practices. Mark White considers regulatory reforms enacted tember of 2015. The interdisciplinary conference, supported in response to the 2008 financial crisis. He argues that many by ISU’s Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, of these reforms are ethically problematic in ways that pro- brought together scholars from across the disciplines to dis- ponents have failed to realize. Ralph Abbey Ssebagala ex- cuss debt from multiple perspectives including the history amines the current state of bankruptcy law in South Africa, of debt, philosophical approaches to debt, representations where many households are highly indebted. He contends of debt in art and literature, the meaning and experiences of that the existing legal framework is inadequate and should debt, debt and the economy, education and debt, and debt be replaced with a more straightforward method for dis- and the state. charging debt. The articles selected for this special issue address three themes Together, these articles address many of the most pressing that emerged from the conference. The first concerns the rela- ethical questions raised by debt today. Financial counselors tionship between debt and individual knowledge or behavior. and planners regularly intervene in individual and family Martin Seay and colleagues examine the connection between debt decisions. Often serving as client educators, they may financial literacy and the use of interest-only mortgages. They prescribe optional use of debt to improve financial well- find that borrowers who were less financially literate were being. Moreover, financial counselors and planners need to more likely to use such mortgages, compared with fixed-rate serve as reliable and informed resources for policymakers and adjustable-rate options. Jay Zagorsky studies the connec- in the development of ethical lending and borrowing prac- tion between ethical behavior and wealth accumulation. He tices. This special issue, we hope, will challenge readers to argues that certain ethical decisions are correlated with finan- consider the ethical implications of their work and encour- cial success, especially later in life. age more collaborative efforts to this end in the future. Assistant Professor of German Studies, World Languages and Cultures, Iowa State University, 3102 Pearson Hall, Ames, Iowa, 50011. E-mail: wcarter@iastate.edu Ruth Whipp Sherwin Endowed Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, 4380 Palmer, Suite 1317, Ames, IA, 50011. E-mail: jjfox@iastate.edu Associate Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Iowa State University, 402 Catt Hall, Ames, IA, 50011. E-mail: kpadwa@iastate.edu Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, Volume 28, Number 2, 2017, 167 167 © 2017 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1052-3073.28.2.167 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Springer Publishing

Guest Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue on Ethics of Debt

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
1052-3073
eISSN
1947-7910
DOI
10.1891/1052-3073.28.2.167
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Abstract

Guest Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue on Ethics of Debt a b c William H. Carter, Jonathan Fox, Kate Padgett Walsh ebt is often central to financial decision making, The second theme explores how debt contributes to or dimin- and it plays a key role in financial counseling and ishes well-being. Kyoung Tae Kim, Melissa Wilmarth, and Dplanning. It also raises important ethical questions Robin Henager consider the connection between poverty and for individuals and families, small businesses, and lawmak- indebtedness. They find that individuals in severe poverty, ers. Which forms of debt, and at what levels, are most con- although less likely to be in debt overall, are more likely to ducive to financial well-being? Does financial literacy— carry high debt loads and be delinquent in repayment. Jennifer such as understanding the often complicated terms of Hunter and Claudia Heath examine multiple measures of debt—contribute to financial success, and is there any cor - household well-being in light of credit card use during the relation with ethical behavior? Which policies would best Great Recession. They analyze the relationship between car- support individuals and families as they acquire, repay, and rying a credit card balance and self-reported feelings and per- sometimes default on debts? ceptions of general household financial conditions. The idea for this special issue grew out of a conference on The third theme addresses the policy implications of debt the Ethics of Debt at Iowa State University (ISU) in Sep- practices. Mark White considers regulatory reforms enacted tember of 2015. The interdisciplinary conference, supported in response to the 2008 financial crisis. He argues that many by ISU’s Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, of these reforms are ethically problematic in ways that pro- brought together scholars from across the disciplines to dis- ponents have failed to realize. Ralph Abbey Ssebagala ex- cuss debt from multiple perspectives including the history amines the current state of bankruptcy law in South Africa, of debt, philosophical approaches to debt, representations where many households are highly indebted. He contends of debt in art and literature, the meaning and experiences of that the existing legal framework is inadequate and should debt, debt and the economy, education and debt, and debt be replaced with a more straightforward method for dis- and the state. charging debt. The articles selected for this special issue address three themes Together, these articles address many of the most pressing that emerged from the conference. The first concerns the rela- ethical questions raised by debt today. Financial counselors tionship between debt and individual knowledge or behavior. and planners regularly intervene in individual and family Martin Seay and colleagues examine the connection between debt decisions. Often serving as client educators, they may financial literacy and the use of interest-only mortgages. They prescribe optional use of debt to improve financial well- find that borrowers who were less financially literate were being. Moreover, financial counselors and planners need to more likely to use such mortgages, compared with fixed-rate serve as reliable and informed resources for policymakers and adjustable-rate options. Jay Zagorsky studies the connec- in the development of ethical lending and borrowing prac- tion between ethical behavior and wealth accumulation. He tices. This special issue, we hope, will challenge readers to argues that certain ethical decisions are correlated with finan- consider the ethical implications of their work and encour- cial success, especially later in life. age more collaborative efforts to this end in the future. Assistant Professor of German Studies, World Languages and Cultures, Iowa State University, 3102 Pearson Hall, Ames, Iowa, 50011. E-mail: wcarter@iastate.edu Ruth Whipp Sherwin Endowed Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, 4380 Palmer, Suite 1317, Ames, IA, 50011. E-mail: jjfox@iastate.edu Associate Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Iowa State University, 402 Catt Hall, Ames, IA, 50011. E-mail: kpadwa@iastate.edu Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, Volume 28, Number 2, 2017, 167 167 © 2017 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1052-3073.28.2.167

Journal

Journal of Financial Counseling and PlanningSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2017

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