A sign of the times? Crowd converges to scoop up 'free money'

money grab
money grab

An armored truck dropped boxes of cash on a downtown Indianapolis street and a frenzied money grab ensued, with drivers stopping short, bolting from their cars and scurrying away with armloads of cash clutched to their chests. Reports say a few homeless people stood by, not partaking, but people walking on the streets certainly did. A good Samaritan eventually put the remaining boxes in his van and waited for the police to come, ending the mayhem.

No one is yet saying how much money got away, but there is plenty to be said about how we got to this point in the recession where the chance to take what clearly doesn't belong to you feels like a blessed opportunity. Certainly the recession has tested our mettle and we all wonder when it will be over, but does being resourceful include resorting to thievery -- which is what this was?

Actually, crowd behavior like this is par for the course, says Dr. Rushworth M. Kidder, president and founder of the Institute for Global Ethics and author of The Ethics Recession: Reflections on the Moral Underpinnings of the Current Economic Crisis.

What began as a financial recession has become an ethics recession, he says.