It’s pretty striking when you have an entire industry that attracts literal psychopaths to it at 10x the rate of the standard population. Who can forget the Goldman Sachs executive that left the firm and wrote an EPIC op-ed in the NY Times declaring that employees from the investment bank called their clients “muppets” and typically did not have the customer’s interests at heart – (source). And just a few days ago – JP Morgan Chase announced it was likely to lose at least $3 billion on risky proprietary trades despite having spent the last several years trying to water down regulations on Too Big To Fail banks (source). We have learned in our history that the banking sector can be either a huge blessing if it’s heavily regulated or a huge curse if left to it’s own devices. We do not need to give the keys to America’s future to actual…literal psychopaths.
The WEEK has the study:
What are the symptoms of Wall Street psychopaths?
They “generally lack empathy and interest in what other people feel or think,” writes DeCovny, who bases her report on interviews with several trade psychologists. Financial psychopaths are capable of displaying “an abundance of charm, charisma, [and] intelligence,” but also possess an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.”
Why are there so many psychopaths on Wall Street?
In some cases, people with psychopathic personalities seek out jobs in the financial industry, where charisma, confidence, risk-taking, and a singular focus on self-interest are often rewarded. In fact, DeCovny finds that the best candidates for Wall Street positions often display such characteristics. But some Wall Street workers also develop these traitsbecause of the job and its attendant pressures. DeCovny says compulsive gambling, for example, is “often latent — neither they nor anyone else knows they have this propensity.”
We’re written about the study that showed the rich were more likely to lie, cheat and steal HERE
William Deresiewicz writes an Op-Ed in the NY Times – article HERE:
I always found the notion of a business school amusing. What kinds of courses do they offer? Robbing Widows and Orphans? Grinding the Faces of the Poor? Having It Both Ways? Feeding at the Public Trough? There was a documentary several years ago called “The Corporation” that accepted the premise that corporations are persons and then asked what kind of people they are. The answer was, precisely, psychopaths: indifferent to others, incapable of guilt, exclusively devoted to their own interests.
There are ethical corporations, yes, and ethical businesspeople, but ethics in capitalism is purely optional, purely extrinsic. To expect morality in the market is to commit a category error. Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones. (How the loudest Christians in our public life can also be the most bellicose proponents of an unbridled free market is a matter for their own consciences.) Capitalist values are also antithetical to democratic ones. Like Christian ethics, the principles of republican government require us to consider the interests of others. Capitalism, which entails the single-minded pursuit of profit, would have us believe that it’s every man for himself.
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