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Jesse: Wall Street Thinks You Are a Jealous Little Malcontent

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January 15, 2010 – Comments (2)

This is a fantastic rant by Jesse. Not only because it is topical and I agree with much of the rhetoric, but it digs into another part of the problem: The types of people that financial institutions attract. Now before you jump down my throat, I am NOT implying that everybody who works for a financial firms is bad / evil / corrupt. But I think the upper echelon of many financial firms have exactly the personality that Jesse describes in this post. His description of the amoral pathological personality he had to deal with is very similar to a personal story of my own. Tasty and I were discussing this very personality type on some post a few weeks ago (I can't remember which). And when I hear the "We are doing God's Work" type statements and the other justification for the exorbitant bonuses that these failing firms are making with Taxpayer money ... it gets under my skin.

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Wall Street Thinks You Are a Jealous Little Malcontent

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[excerpt]

After thinking it over, and listening carefully to the discussion on financial television and the news today, I can come to no other conclusion. Wall Street thinks that the American people are stupid cows and jealous little malcontents.

They believe that the public wants to limit the bonuses paid by Wall Street because they are just jealous and stupid. Or at least they wish to leave the view or reader with that impression.

That's the long and short of it. You, average working stiff and retiree, are just a jealous little malcontent who envies the great success of the financial sector, much like some foreign agitator who attacks the West because they envy its freedoms.

And you are seeking retribution, revenge. That is what this bank tax is all about, retribution.

An economics professor just admitted that he too feels a need for retribution at times, as an emotional response, but being a more educated fellow he sees how negative that is. Instead he proposes that if we must have some bank tax that we divert the funds received into a bank holding fund, a kind of a TARP II, to pay for future financial disasters. Forget about reform. The banks are too smart for it.

I would not call it jealousy or a need for retribution. I would say that the people as a whole have a sense of right and wrong, a sense of fairness and balance, a sense of outrage that is being held in check by patience, a remarkable forebearance, but wish to see justice done for themselves and their children, because it is the right thing, the only practical thing, to do.

But I can also understand why the Wall Street Bankers and the financial elite would see this as jealousy and envy.

    Sociopath: (so⋅ci⋅o⋅path) a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.


The most amoral, pathological son of a bitch I ever worked with, who by the way was enormously charismatic and charming when on public display, was a big tech entrepreneur from the Boston area. When his grandiose schemes started to fall apart, as much from the impracticality of his ego as from the fact that no one would trust him any longer, having senselessly betrayed everyone including his closest friends, he said to me in all the sincerity he could muster, "I am failing because people want to drag me down to their level."

And I can assure you, the halls of too many corporations and big government are infested with such power needing, neurotically driven personality types. This is what makes the rule of law, the Constitution, so indispensable.

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2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 15, 2010 at 5:46 PM, Tastylunch (29.53) wrote:

Heh, I sorta remmeber that convo Binve.

I know of very few people who think they themselves are evil or are doing evil. 

Humanity is very adept at rationalizing events in their own favor. There a lot of good reason for this as counter intuitive as that may seem, one of which being forgetting painful things is actually pretty good for your emotional health. (ever notice how any people with really great memories seem to be grumpier, I think this is a key factor why).

So if you are a wall street bank CEO what are you more likely to think that

A) you got lucky in life and are directly benefitting through  systemic abuse of other people 

 or

B) You made it to the top because you are faster,smarter,hungrier, tougher etc than others and than anyone who doesn't is either lazy or stupid or both?

 I'd think most people who think A (or acknowlegde A exists at all)would self select out of the banking business. I've had a lot of friends who end up doing this.

The other thing is to make deals in banking you have master the art of BS, so that builds your arrogance up as well. After if you can land major deals based on promises you know little about, chances are afterawhile you'll feel invincible.

It goes back to that humans prefer cockiness to expertise thing as well.

So the system may attract all types, but the least introspective, most arrogant get selected systemically to go the top.

I think it's why you see the smartest minds end in hedge funds etc and not as CEO of the IB's. 

 

FWIW I do think the bank tax is stupid. It doesn't fix any of the problems and just makes Washington look dumb.

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#2) On January 15, 2010 at 5:55 PM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

Tastylunch,

Thanks man. I have only one word in response:

amen.

I completely agree.

FWIW I do think the bank tax is stupid. It doesn't fix any of the problems and just makes Washington look dumb.

Oh, I totally agree. I think the bank tax is idiotic, because it is a "fix" to a problem that should have never occurred to begin with. See Schiff's blog for a perfect explanation as to why:

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/ViewPost.aspx?bpid=327523..

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