Reading The Guardian’s latest entry in its Banking blog you might come away with the impression that Wall Street is full of psychopaths.But that wouldn’t be a close enough reading. The blog’s latest subject, a psychologist that talks about treating banker clients in London’s ‘The City’, suggests that the industry’s true madness is that it’s run by some pathological individuals. Aside from them, everyone else is just a disillusioned follower.
Those at the top, he says, have completely lost touch with reality (like other psycho/sociopaths) and are incapable of understanding why their actions harm others — that knowledge conflicts with their desires (from The Guardian):
“It gets more interesting still when your company has failed on a range of issues, and at the end of the year you still pay yourself those £8m. There’s an outcry but you say: ‘it’s in my contract’. Now, take a step back, how has that £8m become so important to you that you can’t even see why you shouldn’t get them? Apparently your need for the money is so strong you stop registering the anger you provoke.
“For many years I worked with pedophiles….with hard drug addicts; their brain seems to have taken on a life of its own, and developed into something so clever, so entirely focused on satisfying their needs. For those brains, lying and cheating become acceptable, normal even.
“When we treated them, or tried to, the key was to make them realise that they created victims, that people suffered because of them.‘
He goes on to say that a common misconception among people he speaks to is that the industry is capable of solving this. They can’t, he says. The industry is a “they” and “they” cannot stop this morphing of individuals on their own.