Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 20:44 UK

Markets need morals, says Brown

Gordon Brown says markets need "morals"

Gordon Brown has urged global markets to abide by a system of "morals", including "responsible risk-taking" and a "work ethic".

After UK shares experienced their biggest one-day fall, the prime minister said successful economies had to have shared values.

He told a dinner in London the government would do "whatever it takes" to see out the current crisis.

The "good economy" would help create the "good society", Mr Brown added.

On Monday the FTSE 100 list of leading UK shares experienced its biggest ever one-day points fall, losing 391.1 points - or 7.85% of its value.

'Wider issues'

Speaking to MPs earlier, Chancellor Alistair Darling said the government would act to support the banking system as a whole as well as supporting individual banks

At the annual dinner of the United Jewish Israel Appeal, Mr Brown said ministers were working with European allies to regulate markets more effectively.

He added: "But there is a wider set of issues: this financial crisis has gone to the heart of how you create a good economy and a good society.

"We believe in markets. We also know that our success as a market economy - and indeed the operation of the market itself - depends upon upholding values which the market alone cannot generate.

"Successful market economies need trust which can only be built through shared values.

"My values, the values of the country, celebrate hard work, effort, enterprise and responsible risk taking - qualities that markets need to ensure that the rewards that flow are seen to be fair."

'Effort and enterprise'

Mr Brown said that risk-taking sometimes "crosses the line" between responsible entrepreneurship and irresponsible behaviour.

He added: "And that is why we back the work ethic; we support effort and enterprise and responsible risk-taking. These are the morals markets need.

"And where there has been irresponsibility we must now have instead transparency, integrity, responsibility, good housekeeping and international co-operation as the vital foundation stones of our financial system and the international financial system."

Earlier, the prime minister addressed a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

MP George Howarth, one of Mr Brown's leading critics, said: "Hostilities are over".

He added that, at a time of national crisis, the Labour Party had to come together.

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