Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sociopaths in Banking

Mike the Mad Biologist recently featured a piece by Brian Basham on the subject of sociopaths in the banking industry.

You should read Mike's piece in its entirety, but here are a couple teasers from the original Basham piece:

Cut to a pleasantly warm evening in Bahrain. My companion, a senior UK investment banker and I, are discussing the most successful banking types we know and what makes them tick. I argue that they often conform to the characteristics displayed by social psychopaths. To my surprise, my friend agrees.

He then makes an astonishing confession: “At one major investment bank for which I worked, we used psychometric testing to recruit social psychopaths because their characteristics exactly suited them to senior corporate finance roles.”

Here was one of the biggest investment banks in the world seeking psychopaths as recruits.

Mike goes on to say:

There is no way to understand the collapse of Big Shitpile [the international financial collapse] without understanding the criminal mind. This is as much a problem of fraud, as it is macroeconomics (and microeconomics). We would be better served by listening to professors from criminal justice and psychology departments, as opposed to economics departments.

We are so screwed.


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