Professor Claims That Wall Street Has Been Run By ‘Psychopaths’


British business professor Clive R. Boddy contends that the reckless Wall Street executives who wrecked their firms, the economy and taxpayers are psychopaths ? that is, “people who, perhaps due to physical factors to do with abnormal brain connectivity and chemistry” lack a “conscience, have few emotions and display an inability to have any feelings, sympathy or empathy for other people.” (See Cohan: “Did Psychopaths Take Over Wall Street?” Bloomberg). Cohan is a former investment banker himself, and the author of “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World.” Boddy’s article is called “Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis,” and was published in the “Journal of Business Ethics.”

Psychopaths, Boddy says, made it to the top of their corporations by capitalizing on the “relative chaotic nature of the modern corporation,” especially the “rapid change, constant renewal” and high turnover of “key personnel.” Such dynamics allowed them to take over through a combination of “charm” and “charisma,” which makes “their behaviour invisible” and “makes them appear normal and even to be ideal leaders.”

Wall Street provided such a rapidly changing and highly dynamic corporate environment that allowed psychopaths to charm and manipulate their way to the top of important financial institutions, where they were “able to influence the moral climate of the whole organization” to wield “considerable power,” according to the article.

Corporate psychopaths “largely caused the crisis,” as their “single-minded pursuit of their own self-enrichment and self- aggrandizement to the exclusion of all other considerations has led to an abandonment of the old-fashioned concept of noblesse oblige, equality, fairness, or of any real notion of corporate social responsibility.”

Page Perry is an Atlanta-based law firm with over 150 years collective experience protecting investor rights and fighting Wall Street greed.