Comments on NYCGA (Occupy Wall Street) meeting on Psychopathy in Banking/Finance

My post at http://www.nycga.net/groups/alternative-banking/forum/topic/minutes-from-sunday-march-11-2012-subgroup-topic-psychopathy-in-bankingfinance/:

I totally agree that the “Wall Street financial services sector attracts psychopaths” far beyond the norm in the general population. I have worked, at least a year, for some seven investment banks over the last 25 years, including 11 years at UBS, so I claim to speak with personal knowledge. Deceitful ruthless cutthroats rise to the top.

Part of this is due to corporations having the freedom to act sociopathically (as someone else pointed out, they can be sued if they don’t). Sociopaths naturally will rise to the top — they have no ‘friction’ or ‘drag’ from consciences holding them back from going for the greatest profit. And part is due to the nature of capitalism itself and the profit drive.

My suggestion is simply to keep corporations relatively small, so sociopathic or not, the damage they can inflict is limited. Taking an example from nature, infants do indeed get murderously angry, but being small it doesn’t matter (unless they grow up with unmollified, unresolved infantile rage). As an added bonus, smallish corporations couldn’t overpower democracy.

There were suggestions that Wall St. employees be given psychological tests for sociopathy. I don’t think that is necessary (or would be effective, see below). I don’t mean to be flip, but we don’t want millions of sociopaths on welfare. There is nothing rare about sociopathy.

Just as sociopaths very often make rule abiding prison inmates they can also be rule abiding investment professionals. The rules just have to be very clear and punishment sure and swift. Unfortunately the financial services sector has been set up by and for sociopaths. So we have a problem.

Regarding tests, I don’t believe there is a psychological test in the world that advanced sociopaths wouldn’t simply laugh at. However, research has shown that there are now detectable brain structure differences in sociopaths. All regulators need to be tested for and filtered out by these structures. (See links at bottom.)

These advanced sociopaths are called SAPs — socially adept psychopaths, who can be unbelievably skillful at both manipulation and avoiding detection.

In terms of unionization, it’d be great if it could work. Though to my experience Wall St. support staff are incredibly loyal to and proud to work for Wall St. Of course the loyalty is only in one direction. I was at Drexel at the end, I recall a meeting to explain the firm’s demise and many of my co-workers went (I was freelance so I couldn’t go), seeking to find out what had happened to their livelihoods — only to be told the meeting was for professionals only. The support staff were clearly only ‘so many truck o’ dog’ to the bankers.

“Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes” is one of the great books of history. It is a scientific study of the development of pathocracies (governments under the control of evil individuals and movements).

Selections and commentary on “Political Ponerology”: http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/political_ponerology_lobaczewski.htm, http://www.sott.net/articles/show/159686-In-Memoriam-Andrzej-M-obaczewski . To purchase the book: http://www.ponerology.com/ .

It is discussed further here:
http://occupywallst.org/forum/ponerology-101-snakes-in-suits/
http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-book-everyone-needs-to-read-and-its-free-dr-andr/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/democide-when-your-government-kills-you

If interested here are some links to my own blog:

https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/pathwhisperer-postscomments-on-occupywallst-org/

On SAPs:
https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/post-redux-are-saps-socially-adept-psychopaths-real/

https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/sociopathic-through-lines/

On sociopathic brain structures:
https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/criminal-minds-will-testing-the-brain-even-before-birth-separate-the-good-seeds-from-the-bad/

https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/the-tucson-tragedy-reopen-the-mental-hospitals-require-candidates-to-submit-brain-scans/

https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/psychopaths-caused-the-financial-crisis-and-they-will-do-it-again-and-again-unless-they-are-removed-from-power/

Wall St./General:
https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/welcome-to-our-sociopaths-gone-wild-economy/

https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/commonalities-between-wall-street-speculators-andor-fed-bankers-and-sociopaths/

https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/sociopathy-and-the-nypd/

Pathwhisperer posts/comments on occupywallst.org

From Forum Post: Know you enemy – Bank Criminal Gangsters are Narcissists , posted by OccupyLink:

I prefer the term psychopath. We are not all one human family, we are not all brothers and sisters under the skin. Psychopaths have a different brain structure, they are human alternates.

. . . . . .

Narcissists are ill, psychopaths are true to their nature. Fighting crime, corruption and evil without reference to (and a separate response for) psychopaths is like fighting with both hands tied behind one’s back.

It’s not accidental that we are at this turn in history. We’ve been blind to the predators in our midst too long.

From 2008, but nothing’s changed: https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/welcome-to-our-sociopaths-gone-wild-economy/ ; https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/commonalities-between-wall-street-speculators-andor-fed-bankers-and-sociopaths/ . Far from being reined in, Wall St. sociopaths are even more in control.

Obviously individuals are punished for crimes not for what they are. Most psychopaths (but not all) are persuadable, concerning following laws and societal norms, through educated self interest or utilitarianism. But it is disastrous to ignore their presence.

. . . . . .

Wow! Is this a joke or are you for real? Assuming the latter, thanks for writing in and illustrating bankster criminal psychopathy.

Since you are into sharing, could you have your brain scanned and share the results with us?

I could tell you that the lowest IQ of a Wall Street trader would still be 50% higher than the average IQ of a OWS protester

That’s delusional, but I’ll humor you. Would that license you to frontrun the market?

Wall St./the financial services sector is just that, a service sector. If you look at a national economy as one business, it’s not even a profit center. But it has become parasitic on the larger (real) economy. Understanding this is probably beyond your limited intellectual capabilities.

You looters are destroying the world economy. Thanks for the depression you’ve given the U.S. and the world.

Obviously I am not the only one aware of the danger of sociopaths in the financial industry. From Forum Post: Occupy Psychopaths 1 (OWS vs. the Pathology of the 1%), (mine)

“An Occupy Wall Street Activist [a Mr. PinkWhiteBlack]  explains why he thinks its very important to spread knowledge about psychopaths and psychopathy. Find out about the important connection between psychopaths and the ruling 1%:

“So basically the reason I come down here every so often is that I’m trying to spread information about psychopathy. I think it has an over-arching impact on why people are down here camping out, and why the financial industry and the government really doesn’t care about the people anymore. These people are about 1-5% of the population and they have no concept of empathy, remorse, guilt, conscience – they’re just not biologically capable of it. They’ve shown this in fMRI studies and there’s been a lot of actual hard science that proves the point that their totally different from normal humans.””

. . . . . .

pathwhisperer

It’s more subtle than that [in reply to the comment that psychopaths are insane]. Psychopaths are clever chameleons, hiding their true nature. Technically they are not insane but true to their own nature.

. . . . . .

Anachronism

I believe we are misdiagnosing the sociopathy/psychopathy of the “1%” as steeming from some innate biology rather than modern socioeconomic structures.

I think it is both. If corporations are allowed the freedom to be sociopathic, sociopaths will and do rise to the top — they don’t have the “problem” of a conscience and the “friction” it induces. Our current socioeconomic structures draw them forward.

I have no idea what percentage of the 1% is in fact sociopathic, but even a limited number can act as a “bad seed” in influencing corruption.

Fighting crime, corruption and evil without any reference to sociopathy is like fighting with both hands tied behind one’s back. It seems we never make inroads on sex trafficking, child prostitution, illicit organ transplant rings, etc. Sociopaths laugh at our laws.

. . . . . .

From Forum Post: Ponerology 101 Snakes in Suits, posted by whatishumanity:

pathwhisperer

Wow, great to see this post. Lobaczewski’s (and others, it was a saga) “Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes” is one of the great books of history. It is a scientific study of the development of pathocracies (governments under the control of evil individuals and movements).

Selections and commentary on “Political Ponerology”: http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/political_ponerology_lobaczewski.htm,http://www.sott.net/articles/show/159686-In-Memoriam-Andrzej-M-obaczewski

Purchase the book: http://www.ponerology.com/

Hi whatishumanity, I notice the comments are all your own. The topic of psychopaths in control of power seems to be too big for most people to wrap their heads around. I’ve seen this many, many times.

. . . . . .

Blaming the victim is their specialty. They still want to blame unqualified buyers for the worldwide economic crash, these buyers weren’t even to blame for the mortgage meltdown. Mortgage backed securities were the cause, they supposedly freed the brokers from risk. The brokers then went out vacuuming up any buyers.

The crash has been caused by untramelled greed and the creation and fraudulent selling of “risk free” financial “products”, out of control derivatives, bubble economics, etc. — they actually thought they had beaten the business cycle and had created a risk free capitalism by securitizing everything and thus diluting the risk.

Nothing structural has changed since 2008. The banks are even more too big to fail, derivatives are even more out of control. We still have a casino economy designed by sociopaths who think they can’t lose.

In terms of people not realizing what they’re up against, everybody seems to think that sociopaths only fool the other guy, not them.

. . . . . .

From Forum Post: All activists should work at recognizing sociopaths (nowadays called anti-social personality disorder) (mine):

“[L]et me list some traits to keep in mind. Look for (in no particular order) any or all of the following: a Zelig like ability to be all things to all people, an incredible ability to inveigle themselves into the good graces of authority figures, individuals for whom the phrase two-sided is a vast underestimation, a delight in causing discord through subtle puppet mastery, a vast and deep irresponsibility, an “eggshell” type personality which is always threatening to respond in childish anger if thwarted, and as always both a deep arrogance with no discernible cause and an extreme talent at eliciting pity. Some of these insights may come in “a blinding flash” — you should pay attention to them. Of course some of these traits are not unique to sociopaths, however in sociopaths they have a “unique flavor” which I think will become evident after recognizing the first few sociopaths.” https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/items-of-interest-some-recent-some-not-so-some-that-suggest-possible-sociopathy-some-that-scream-it/

If interested, further material of mine on the forum can be found through searching “site:http://occupywallst.org pathwhisperer”