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Machiavellian and Kantian Analysis of Buddy Fletcher and SEC

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Machiavellian Analysis Buddy Fletcher was able to use his financial success and philanthropy to win respect and power. His high esteem combined with his ability to deliver strong profits lead to blind deference. As Machiavelli wrote, “he who is highly esteemed is not easily conspired against”11 (Ch. 19). In the beginning of his career, Fletcher embodies the spirit of a Machiavellian leader by commanding influence through his success. However, in the spirit of Kant, he seems to adhere to strong moral principles, such as not lying and using others as merely means to his end. However, as details of his success were revealed, his moral character becomes increasingly questionable. Firstly, he did not disclose the methods by which he was making enormous profits, and the stakeholders, with their singular desire for profit, did not care about the legitimacy of its conception nor did not ask questions. As Machiavelli writes, “It is unnecessary for a prince to have all good qualities… but it is very necessary for a prince to appear to have them”11 (Ch. 18). Fletcher looked like an upstanding citizen. He donated to charity and was extremely smart and charming. Machiavelli also writes, “the means will always be considered honest… because the vulgar are always taken by what a thing seems to be and by what comes of it”11 (Ch. 18). This points to Fletcher’s ability to appeal to unwitting investors, paralleling the “common folk” Machiavelli rudely called “the vulgar”. Through charm and exciting results, he convinced many to invest in his fund. As long as he maintained the image and promise of high returns, it did not matter how the ends were achieved. As we now know, it was all a fugazzi, and his motivations were self-serving. He took money d... ... middle of paper ... ...Rep. New York: n.p., n.d. Print. 7. "Ethics." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. 8. Fletcher Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. 9. Harris, Phil. "Volume Information." Journal of Business Ethics 84.1 (2009): n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. 10. Healy, Beth. "MBTA Pension Fund and Hedge Funds Sue Fletcher Asset Management and Its Owner for $50 Million." BostonGlobe.com. The Boston Globe, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. 11. Machiavelli, Niccolò, and James B. Atkinson. The Prince. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1976. Print. 12. Shafer-Landau, Russ. The Fundamentals of Ethics. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Print. 13. Leonard, Devin. "The SEC: Outmanned, Outgunned, and On a Roll."Bloomberg Business Week. Bloomberg, 19 Apr. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
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