Photo: Flickr Andrea Allen
From the beginning of their careers, Wall Streeters know that they’re heading into a job that can take a toll on them physically. Think: days spent in front of a computer, little sleep, bad diets… you ge the picture.The money’s good though, so tons of young people flock to Wall Street year after year. We know all that.
But what one psychologist, who treats banker clients in London’s ‘The City’, told The Guardian about what happens to young people at banks caught our attention.
What would shock readers most when they saw what I see? Let me think. How so many brilliant, arrogant, super-talented young people get abused, sucked dry, burned out and then tossed aside by corporations and banks. In the early days of capitalism it seems the game was to exploit the less gifted; miners, factory workers etc. Today it’s about taking advantage of talent. People are used, then discarded. Especially these days with the crisis. Fear rules supreme. You can get fired any moment, five minutes and you’re gone. Corporations fan out over universities making all these promises.
Does he think bankers are the new downtrodden working man? Not quite. The psychologist also says that banking is immoral/and amoral, driven by individuals who do not sympathize with others. But these people weren’t born without understanding, the Street conditions them that way.
“Mid-30s is also when people are just before their mid-life crisis. They have more or less found out who they are, they can sort of see the limit of their potential, and it leads to disenchantment, disillusionment. ‘I will not become the next Richard Branson’, they realise. “At the same time they see that all good intentions aside, the world is tough place, and you need to be tough to survive and succeed. This is the age when you see people suddenly become serious. They have lost their innocence.
Those who are the hungriest, and the wiliest then lead the pack toward immorality, he suggests. “Criminals and CEOs are remarkably similar.”
So basically, if you aren’t born a sociopath, Wall Street can turn you into one. Cheery.