The Jewish Ethicist: Speculation

The Jewish Ethicist: Speculation


By: Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, Business Ethics Center of Jerusalem

Q. Some people make a lot of money on speculation. Is it really ethical to make money without producing anything, just by guessing which way prices are going to move?

A. Fundamentally, speculating is an economically productive activity. But there is no question that it does present some ethical challenges.

The economic importance of speculation is that it encourages the efficient allocation of resources. When speculators hoard a commodity anticipating a future shortage, the result is that when there is indeed a future shortfall in supply, adequate stockpiles will exist. In the framework of modern competitive markets, speculation contributes to effective exploitation of scarce resources.

Continue reading

Jewish Business Ethics: Halakhot of Investing in the Stock Market

Jewish Business Ethics: Halakhot of Investing in the stock market

from by Rabbi Asher Meir


The extent to which stock ownership is considered active partnership in a corporation is a critical question in numerous areas of halakha. Conceivably, by buying a single share of stock a person could find himself committing transgressions from all four sections of the Shulchan Arukh! Some examples include:

Continue reading