Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bankers and psycopaths

The characteristics that make for good traders and investment bankers are pretty much the same as those that define psychopaths, according to Michael Price, co-director of the Centre for Culture and Evolutionary Psychology at Brunel University in London. Indeed, Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko has clear psychopathic tendencies, he says.
“The banking industry is an ideal target for psychopaths,” Prof Hare (a specialist on psycopaths) told me recently. The ructions of the past few years will only have helped their rise. “These areas are tailor-made for the psychopath. Where things become chaotic and the normal rules don’t apply, enter stage right the psychopath.”

That's from an article in the FT. Even more interesting is this tidbit on high flyers in the corporate world in general:

A small-sample study by Prof Babiak, Prof Hare and a colleague found that while the average result in a common psychopathy test was the same for executive high-flyers and the wider population, 3 per cent of high-flyers scored highly enough to be classed as psychopaths.
Maybe it's time ask: how come these lunatics are making big bucks and calling the shots?

1 comment:

Ajey said...

Very interesting observation. May be every coin has two sides..