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In defense of self-interest and profits

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John Allison, CEO of BB&T (a bank with $121 billion in assets) defends self-interest and profit in the latest episode of EconTalk [2]. It’s clear that Atlas Shrugged is a huge influence on his business philosophy and how he trains his executives and employees. Is he for real or is it just talk? I Listen in and let me know what you think. I’m also interested in whether you find this kind of podcast valuable—it’s a little different from our usual fare.

My favorite moment is when he mentions "justice" as one of the core values of the bank that they use to train employees in the company’s culture. I’m always skeptical of these kind of platitudes so I asked him to define justice. His answer is something like "those who produce more, get more." Not exactly the standard definition.

Next week: Cass Sunstein on his latest book, Infotopia.

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