Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Psychology of City Cats

As the furore over Barclays (and what other banks...?) and the Libor Scandal goes on, with discussions over resignations and the question of appropriate justice, I started thinking about the employees behind it.  To work in the finance arena, I'm presuming that you need to be a sharp, hard-hitting, manipulative type of person who is basically out to make as much money as possible (do correct me if I'm wrong - if you work in the City and are a fluffy type who knits at your desk and eats home-made lasagne every night).

I can imagine such a personality getting obsessed with performance, with working out how to make the bottom line look better (for the company and for themselves); at any cost, or without consideration of the cost...?   Did those who manipulated the figures stop and think for one moment about what would happen if they were caught?  Or do they think that they are above normal humans and untouchable, and 'getting caught' did not enter their minds? Did they even realise that they were doing anything wrong, or do they get so enmeshed in it that they are blind to that.

There is much talk at the moment of how it should be treated, of banks getting away with a large fine, and a few individuals resigning or being fired rather than being treated in the same way as others who commit serious fraud (or other more minor infractions) - ie. prison.


How do the untouchables feel when the axe falls?  Maybe they are losing some sleep now, now that this particular bubble that they were flying on has burst...

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