What Wall Street Can Learn From Steve Jobs

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. — Steve Jobs

The leaders of Wall St. need to undergo an enormous paradigm shift from the course of dark times that they’re living in now.

They need help to grow away from the lives that they’ve set up for themselves. They cannot blame anyone else for their milieu. Intention equals results.

Steve Jobs passing yesterday has thrown into sharp relief how fantastically disconnected Wall St. is from the world.

Whereas Wall St bankers are lamenting tonight because no one has been able to find a way to securitize the global outpouring of sympathy for Steve Jobs, package it up, and sell it as an IPO , Main St. is praying that their ATM fees don’t rise and their homes not repossessed. As President Obama noted, many learned about the death of Steve Jobs on devices he and Apple created.

The financial benefits of investing have become so lopsided that only Wall St. wins, and everyone else loses. The exchanges have effectively sold out to the High Frequency Traders who have collocated their servers. New financial products such as Constant Obligation Leveraged Originated Structured Oscillating Money Bridged Asset Guarantees have become so hard to understand that even their names obfuscate what they heck they are.

America does not need anything more than the basic unit of ownership…common stock. We don’t need engineers to construct new financial products.  We need the existing establishment to become more self-aware and to become more spiritually connected to what they’re doing.

To begin with, let’s look at the passing of Steve Jobs.  Everyone loved him. Everyone wanted to be like him. Everyone used his products because of him. I saw on my Twitter stream that people were sending flowers to the Apple stores around the country. Jobs didn’t need someone as motivated as Dylan Ratigan to tell his followers to #putmoneyin on Twitter. They did so because everyone from Apple fanboys and Steve Jobs groupies to grade school children felt the integrity of Steve’s inner voice, if not literally, in the palms of their hands.

In lower Manhattan, thousands have marched and put down stakes for Occupy Wall St. They may play banjo and where certain athletic clothing, but so what? Maybe they cannot articulate the exact spots where Wall St. has gone wrong, but more importantly I think, is that they can FEEL it. Feeling is emotional…thinking is intellectual.

In this regard, you should all follow @DylanRatigan and the Twitter streams of #OccupyWallStreet and #takemoneyout to keep track of the movement. If you read either of the streams, you’ll actually hear some good ideas beyond the normal rants of anonymously penned snarky garbage that you find on Twitter.

Unlike Steve Jobs, everyone hates Wall St. No one wants to be in business with Wall St. Everyone would love to take their money out of the banks, although we don’t have much of an alternative. I think this is because Wall St. doesn’t seem to feel anything emotionally and Wall St. lacks a spiritual centre.

In order to bridge the spiritual and emotional gap, Wall St needs to embrace a much stronger inner voice in the way Steve Jobs meant it. I was moved to see Deepak Chopra visiting and meditating with the protesters, but they are not the ones who need the spiritual undertaking.

He’s in the “wrong place at the right time.” Guruji should be meeting with the heads of the banks and the Broker/Dealers to bring meditation and yoga to them and teach them what how to get connected. But first, everyone needs to get on the same page.

For that, I think @DylanRatigan should call a Town Hall meeting at Madison Square Garden (161St in the Bronx will be busy) with @GuyKawasaki, @DeepakChopra, @SusanPiver, the CEOs of the major Wall St banks —Brian Moynihan (BAC), Vikram Pandit (C), Lloyd Blankfein (GS), James Gorman (MS), Jamie Dimon (JPM), John Stumpf (WFC), and Robert Benmosche (AIG), and members of the public in order to help Wall St get more connected to humanity.

Thinking of a career on Wall St? Forget about Graham & Dodd, and read Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment, Simon Mainwaring’s We First, and take a streaming yoga class online.

Michael Martin is the author of The Inner Voice of Trading, FT Press

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