Scandal After Scandal, Lie Upon Lie ... What's Going On?Many bankers, regulators and politicians have been caught in lie after lie and scandal after scandal.
Why haven't they been shamed by all of the disclosures about their behavior, and chastised by the destruction their actions are causing?
Why do we keep falling for the same shenanigans over and over?
We'll answer each of these questions one at a time.
Many of the People Running Wall Street and D.C. Are - LITERALLY - PsycopathsAccording to psychologists and sociologists - many on Wall Street and D.C. are not like you and me. They are literally psychopaths.
Reuters reported Tuesday:
In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.A number of commentators think the numbers are low, because of self-reporting. For example, Richard Eskow writes:
Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow. And 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.
I discussed the survey with a few other people familiar with the banking industry, and they had the same reaction I did: If anything, those numbers sound low. That makes sense. Admitting your criminal inclinations to a total stranger isn't as easy as telling a them your favorite color or what kind of music you like.As we've repeatedly noted, psychopaths caused the financial crisis … and they will do it again and again unless they are removed from power.
The March/April issues of CFA Magazine notes that the rates of psychopaths in Wall Street is much higher than the general population, and reports: