Commonalities between Wall Street speculators and/or Fed bankers and sociopaths

Inability to recognize predictable outcomes.

Belief that the party will never end.

Belief that facts don’t matter, only perception. (This is particularly true for pseudologues — simultaneously pathological liars and sociopaths.)

Overweening arrogance.

Inability to self-regulate or restrain the self.

Strange use of words. “We need oversight” when the very structure presented allows no oversight whatsoever by design. Sociopaths seem to think that words have a tangible realty in and of themselves, as opposed to having meaning only and as far they do in fact represent reality. But I forget, it’s perception that matters.

180 degree lying: “public service,” “taxpayers’ interests come first,” calling uncollectible debt assets, etc.

All that said, I’m not inclined to consider either Paulson or Bernanke to be actual sociopaths, at this point. Except for the arrogance and contempt I don’t see what I look for in attempting to ascertain sociopaths. Of course, both of them are polished public performers, so they are well masked. However, also, their lying just isn’t that smooth — think of burglars who convince law enforcement personnel to hold the ladder.  . . . Hmm . . . Or think of Charles Ponzi whose own victims asked for his release from jail to continue his magic. I do think of Bernanke and Paulson as conmen, but while all sociopaths are conmen, not all conmen are sociopaths.  I’m not dogmatic about this however, these two (or one of them) may very well be sociopaths.

Charles Ponzi, of course, reminds us of the long history of sociopaths in economic flim flammery. I have no doubt that this fiscal crisis is the direct result of not restraining sociopathic bankers. In prisons, sociopaths are often model prisoners because proper behaviors are clearly delineated and punishments for crossing same swift. The same needs to be true for investment banks, stockbrokers and investment bankers. If corporations are given the freedom to act sociopathically, sociopaths will climb to the top and/or corrupt individuals will follow the sociopathic example.

Further, it’s hard to imagine anyone else who would believe a serial bubble economy would be viable. All sociopaths are cause and effect disordered. This childish sense of cause and effect cause sociopathic inventors to invent and reinvent, over the ages, perpetual motion machines. A let’s-inflate-bubbles economy is the economic equivalent of perpetual motion. If the perpetrators and looters come across as “learned worthies,” all the better for their purposes.

I don’t believe the Paulson bailout plan is actually intended as a bailout plan, at all — it is merely a swindle to take care of themselves and their cohorts before worse happens (one last chance for the looters to have a go at it). In solitary investment bank bankruptcies you see this all the time, management will reward themselves great bonuses knowing that the house is going down and that ordinary employees will lose their jobs and much of their 401Ks.

I was at Drexel when it went bankrupt. Shortly before the denouement, the directors called a meeting to discuss what was happening. Many of the support staff showed up, after all their lives and livelihoods were being severely impacted. Also, to my experience, most of the foot soldiers of Wall Street are very proud to be working for Wall Street and Fortune 500 firms. Once seated, a chosen secretary informed the assembled group that it was for banker professionals only. Even in a lifeboat, the Drexel bankers would allow no thought of equality or that anyone else could matter.

6 thoughts on “Commonalities between Wall Street speculators and/or Fed bankers and sociopaths

  1. “Sociopaths seem to think that words have a tangible realty in and of themselves, as opposed to having meaning only and as far they do in fact represent reality”.

    Being a gene carrying member of the psycho community, I honestly cannot claim this as ours. Maybe I need better examples.


    • There’s the proverbial story of the parent killer begging the court’s mercy as an orphan (there actually are come real life examples). Though perhaps this is an example of supposed slyness.

      I once had an employee who couldn’t do part of the job he had said he could. I took to asking him (as a joke) how the job was going and his reply was always “I’ll get right on it, chief” and walk away with a self satisfied manner as though those were magic words.


  2. It is not as if these sorts don’t understand cause and effect. Their natural mechanism is to seek new resources to exploit until all is depleted. This has been going on for thousands of years. A rich fertile cresent invited the thief mentality to thrive. No need to work for a living, just kill and steal what one needs. It has worked for almost every culture alive today.

    Does a parasite care whether the host dying will kill it? No, it can’t, being in its nature to simply crawl out of one host and into another nearby. Parasites thrive in an envirnment of plenty.


  3. Thank you. Yes I do think they are THAT dumb (or maybe disordered). This is a game of shadows and mirrors, and reality has just caught up with them, imo. The fact that they come across as learned worthies is all part of the con. We’ve always just assumed that individuals in high positions know what they are doing. However, we’ve just seen them allow the tail to take over the dog. Financiers serve the economy, not the other way around. Derivatives are nothing short of insane.

    Unfortunately, I think worse is yet to come. Follow the value of money. Could political repression follow? You’re right, we should keep that possibility in mind.


  4. Bravos on the debut of your blog. “Cause and effect disorder?” Cute. Are they THAT dumb?

    Your observation that the Paulson Plan is really not a bailout at all has me all a-twit.

    Naomi Wolfe (of “Shock and Awe” fame) is all over that point in a recent online interview, which you can hear at

    It’s the final payout to the villains as the ship goes down. What made me gag was the $100 at W’s discretion, which she points out is to pay the 1st Brigade of 3000-4000 brought home to be ready for civil disorder, and I suppose Blackwater et al.

    She describes how the same thing happened in Chile.


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