On English

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Essays

Fiduciary does not have roots in the words for money or profit or cash. Fiduciary simply means: “of, and relating to, trust between individuals.” coming from fidere, Latin for trust. People say “well, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our X” to justify the need to make more money. The people who are using fiduciary correctly there are referring to an agreement between parties that financial outcomes will be prioritized above all. But most legal agreements don’t say that. They are neutral, and people infer that, when push comes to shove. And plenty of legal agreements actually have mission-based charters in them, suggesting that there is another outcome that must be prioritized above all. In these cases, then, fiduciary responsibility might mean maximizing an impact goal.

Conclusion: profiteering isn’t as justified as our culture has led us to believe. But now that the culture is changing, one must imagine that will, too.

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