If ethics are constructed by individuals and entities without empathy, or with interests that conflict with humanity, then ethics can become corrupted or likewise can corrupt. Additionally, without an awareness of the physical dynamics of the universe encompassing humanity we may also end up corrupting the universe and the outcome.
If you want to understand ethics you need to comprehend how they are derived in the first place.
Ethics are a set of rules that govern how you operate in a given realm and should reflect both the natural competitive dynamics of that realm and the competing rights and responsibilities of individuals and entities in that realm.
But ethics also require an objectivity as to the intent of the rules, which implies the existence of imperfection in the universe at hand. Ethics are therefore driven by an objective view of an harmonious, resource efficient universe. Ethics exist because of imperfection and therefore ethics must be aware of the imperfection gap itself and the forces that create that imperfection.
But, we cannot just go from imperfection to an idea about perfection, because that may not be realistic. What we need to do is to assess how the universe would operate without the imperfection that corrupts what would otherwise be a natural harmony. We need to understand the dynamics and fundamentals of the universe itself.
So A is the benchmark, B is the imperfection and C is the objective (as close to A as possible) that ethics are designed to effect.
Ethics therefore create an operational framework in which the competing rights and responsibilities of individuals and entities are held in balance, a balance that reflects, as discussed, the natural order of those beings and entities.
Given that most ethical codes are short, simple and broad, ethics are a simplified skeleton model of the universe they relate to. The question therefore must be, whenever assessing a code of ethics, is do the ethics adequately reflect the natural order and harmony of the universe and the relationships they describe? Does the code have objectivity and does it have roots in the universe itself? Ethics define the rules of the universe where the rules have become corrupted for one reason or another.
So, as noted, before we can have ethics we need to understand the competing rights and responsibilities of the entities of the universe and the dynamics of the process to which those rights apply. But, ethics as we know them tend to deal with one branch of the paradigm (human rights), and not usually the dynamics of the underlying process, which is a weakness when attempting to apply ethics to areas such as finance.
Let us just for the moment address the issue of human rights, one of the branches, upon which ethics are constructed. Is it sufficient to know those rights, or should we be able to infer those rights from our understanding of the human condition and our empathy with that condition. I believe that ethics derive not from human rights per se, but from an awareness and a deep association and identification with the fundamentals of the humanity that deserves those rights.
If ethics are constructed by individuals and entities without empathy, or with interests that conflict with humanity, then ethics can become corrupted or likewise can corrupt. Additionally, without an awareness of the physical dynamics of the universe encompassing humanity (the second branch of ethics construction) we can end up corrupting the universe and hence the outcome.