The economy should not be an end in itself, an irresistible force that we fail to serve at our peril -- yet that's the conventional attitude. The economic suicides of Europe are testimony to the prevalence of this belief.
The obscenity of this viewing moment -- microphone aimed at the rubble -- has nothing to do with the ethics of the profession, or "ethics" at all. It's infinitely bigger. It' about our relationship to poverty.
The U.S. can settle its debts and get its own house in order, but that would cause world trade to contract. A substitute global reserve currency is needed to fuel the global economy while the U.S. solves its debt problems.