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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Occupational Hazards of Working on Wall Street

By Michael Lewis
Bloomberg View
Originally posted on September 24, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Here’s a few that seem, just now, particularly relevant:

-- Anyone who works in finance will sense, at least at first, the pressure to pretend to know more than he does.

It’s not just that people who pick stocks, or predict the future price of oil and gold, or select targets for corporate acquisitions, or persuade happy, well-run private companies to go public don’t know what they are talking about: what they pretend to know is unknowable. Much of what Wall Street sells is less like engineering than like a forecasting service for a coin-flipping contest -- except that no one mistakes a coin-flipping contest for a game of skill. To succeed in this environment you must believe, or at least pretend to believe, that you are an expert in matters where no expertise is possible. I’m not sure it’s any easier to be a total fraud on Wall Street than in any other occupation, but on Wall Street you will be paid a lot more to forget your uneasy feelings.

The entire article is here.