Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Sunday column on Wall Street Ethics, Incentives, and Culture

You can find the survey mentioned in this column at: Survey Link

My column:


  1. Your conclusions are very pessimistic, that our financial system will remain broken because of the Wall Street culture of unethical and illegal activity. Would not laws and penalties affect this behavior? Has anyone gone to prison for financial crimes during the 2008 meltdown.

  2. New laws, such as Dodd-Frank, have been enacted and companies have paid massive fines. The culture hasn't changed. Perhaps criminal indictments of some of Wall Street's senior executives would have helped. However, ethical behavior isn't simply doing what is legal. It is about doing what is right. You can be sure that most of the unsavory practices utilized by Wall Street have been vetted by some of the finest legal minds in the country. As a result, most Wall Street activity operates within or right on the edge of legality. A mindset that believes that if something is legal it is okay, leads to a corrupt culture. Yes, I am pessimistic.