The results of a Swiss study may come as no surprise to people already inclined to think the worst of an industry that has seen a parade of events that included another rogue trader’s loss of billions at Société Généralejust a couple of years ago.Der Spiegel, the popular German weekly magazine, reported that a new study at the Swiss research University of St. Gallen found that stockbrokers’ behavior tops that of psychopaths when it comes to manipulation and recklessness. Psychopaths exhibit, among other characteristics, charm, dishonesty, callousness and a fondness for irresponsible behavior, according to a Scientific American article about the personality disorder. Certainly the loss of some $2.3 billion via trades that should never have been made matches up with a couple of those. They also feel little, if any, guilt and tend to blame others for what they have done.
There is really no surprise here. Stockbrokers have a duty to their employers and not to their clients. Remember action does not equal better results.
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