Giuseppe Bognanni via FlickrAn academic, who was fired from being the British government’s drug tsar for saying ecstasy was as safe as horseback riding, recently said cocaine use is what caused the financial crisis.
Professor David Nutt, who teaches neuropsychopharmacology, told the Sunday Times that coke made bankers overconfident leading them to take enormous risks, the Telegraph reported.
We’re not sure we buy his argument, but we have dug up some of the crazy tales of Wall Streeters and cocaine.
Months before the market crash of 1987, there was a drug crackdown so-called 'Operation Buy and Cry.'
It was called that because when they would be caught buying the illicit drug, they would cry because they destroyed their careers, the Sun Sentinel reported.
Mid-way through the month of April of 1987, authorities had busted more than a hundred as part of the operation.
During one of those stings, which was code-named 'Operation Closing Bell,' a bunch of Wall Streeters were arrested for cocaine. What's even crazier is they were selling the drug for stocks and information.
The Trinity Place location of TGI Fridays was busted in 2009 for selling marijuana and cocaine to its Wall Street patrons.
According a report from The New York Times, the bartender would pass the drugs folded up in napkins, in exchange for cash. The dealer/bartenders reportedly sold drugs to undercover cops over a dozen times.
As they say: 'In here, it's always Friday'
Source: The New York Times
Jordan Belfort admitted he had a daily regimen of cocaine and quaaludes in his memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street
And it's not surprising that it didn't end well. He ran notorious Stratton Oakmont brokerage house with a recklessness immortalised in the 2000 film 'The Boiler Room.'
On this cocaine diet Belfort managed to crash a helicopter, crash his Mercedes into five other vehicles and sink a yacht, all while laundering money to Switzerland and performing pump and dump schemes to boost his own income.
A former banker was wrongly jailed after being caught with $15 million worth of cocaine on his yacht
Back in 2007 Trevor Collenette, a retired Lloyds banker, was caught with £8 million worth (that's over 450 lbs) of Cocaine aboard a yacht he was 'crewing,' reported the Evening Standard
From the beginning, Collenette said that he was set up.
The charges were ultimately dropped and he was reunited with his family and friends. It's still unclear who put the drugs on the yacht.
In Charlie Gasparino's book, The Sellout, he says former Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne allegedly kept an antacid bottle full of coke at his desk
In his book 'The Sellout,' Charlie Gasparino relayed a tale of how Jimmy Cayne, the former Bear Stearns CEO on whom many blame the firm's collapse, once asked an employee if he knew what was in the Bromo-Seltzer bottle on his desk.
After the employee responded 'Bromo-Seltzer?' Cayne said 'No, it's cocaine.'
Cayne denies the story.
Source: The Sellout
20-eight year-old banker David Firth was caught dealing cocaine at his desk at the Barclays offices in Basingstoke, Hampshire in 2007.
The Sun reports that Firth was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.
Source: The Sun
Canadian hedge funder Matthew MacIssac got himself in big trouble for buying cocaine for an undercover cop in the Toronto hot spot Comfort Zone.
He was one of 33 club-goers busted that night, which happened to be St. Patrick's day. Luck of the Irish, or not.
Source: Globe and Mail
An ex-banker told The Guardian just how rampant coke-abuse was during his years working in London's financial district.
From The Guardian:
You call your dealer who is driving around town in his car. He picks you up, you get in, and he tells you to open that box, take out the drugs and put in the cash. Or you pay by bank transfer. I swear that happens, you sit there taking the guy's banking sort code.'These are not your stereotypical dealers. They are white, dressed in a suit, middle-aged… They have business cards. They understand the demographic they are servicing extremely well...
Source: The Guardian
In a tell-all interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company, former madam Natalie Rowe revealed some intriguing tales about U.K. treasurer George Osborne.
According to Rowe--who is also a dominatrix-- the two shared many a coke-fuelled night in the 1990s.
Source: Daily Mail
Reports said that convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's office had so much cocaine it was called 'the north pole'
After Bernie Madoff was exposed by federal authorities for orchestrating a $50 billion ponzi scheme, there were some interesting revelations about the happenings in the upper echelons of the Lipstick building.
According to a 2009 CNN report citing court papers, during the mid-1970s Madoff would allegedly send people out to go buy cocaine for company use.
Because of the ridiculous amount of cocaine in the office it was dubbed by insiders as the 'North Pole.'
According to the Daily Mail, the fraudster would also provide 'topless entertainers wearing only G-string underwear serving as waitresses.'
But there is a bright side, and some people have made amazing comebacks. Larry Kudlow was fired from Bear Stearns for his coke use, went to rehab, and rebuilt his life..
Larry Kudlow--the CNBC host and former Bear Stearns staff economist--has been open about his past substance abuse.
According to a 1995 tell-all by New York Magazine, Kudlow would spent tens of thousands of dollars a month of drug binges throughout the '80s and '90s.
Kudlow was fired from Bear Stearns in 1994 for missing an important meeting because of a binge, entering rehab shortly thereafter.
After a while, Kudlow got clean, found religion and became the well-respected economic pundit that he is today.