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Posts Tagged ‘Lehman Brothers’

Here’s A Real Horror Film! “Inside Job” Details The Financial Meltdown

In behavior, business, Crime, entertainment, History, Media, men, Money, news, politics, US, work on December 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm
NYSE

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Go see this movie. Right now!

“Inside Job” is a film that is so utterly horrifying, so enraging, so depressing that you can’t leave the theater unmoved.

Nor can you shrug it off as “just a movie.”

This amazing documentary, all two hours of talking heads and graphs, is a totally compelling explanation of how the recession came to be, and the men who so skilfully engineered it, raking in billions as they did.

Writes Felix Salmon, of Reuters:

No financial journalist could have made this film: we were all far too close to the people and events depicted in it, which turn out to have really needed an outsider’s perspective. This is surely the first and last piece of financial journalism that Ferguson will ever make and it’s much more effective for it.

As Bob Mondello says on NPR:

“pretty much any 30 seconds of interview footage in Inside Job will make you want to throttle the nearest banker, broker or economic analyst.”

Testosterone + Money + Pressure For Profit = Too Much Risk. Time For Women To Run Wall Street?

In behavior, business, men on March 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm
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This week’s New York magazine has an interesting piece by ex-Portfolio staffer Sheelah Kolhatkar asking “What if Women Ran Wall Street?”:

Despite what we’ve been led to believe, the market isn’t rational or efficient at all—it’s all about feelings. The major plot points of the crisis largely turned on emotion: Dick Fuld was too egotistical to sell Lehman Brothers when he had the chance, so his pride drove it into the ground; Bear Stearns hedge-fund managers lost huge sums of money on subprime mortgages despite the fact that they suspected the worst (“I’m fearful of these markets,” Ralph Cioffi e-mailed a colleague back in 2007); Merrill Lynch was the “fat kid,” as the investor Steve Eisman has put it, so desperate to be like Goldman Sachs that it barreled into every dumb investment imaginable and had to be bailed out by Bank of America. Almost every single bank chief doubled down on mortgage junk at exactly the wrong moment. Emotions led otherwise intelligent men—because, let’s face it, all of them were men—to make terrible decisions.

According to a new breed of researchers from the field of behavioral finance, Wall Street’s volatility is really driven by our body chemistry. It’s the chemicals pulsing through traders’ veins that propel them to place insane bets and enable bank executives to make risky decisions—and those same chemicals tend to have the same effect on everyone, turning them into a herd of overheated animals. And because the vast majority of these traders and finance executives are men, the most important chemical in question is testosterone.

Here are a few things we know about testosterone: Both men and women produce it, but men make fifteen times as much of it as women, on average… Behaviorally, it does all the things that one would expect: It is linked to increased aggression and dominance, confidence, hostility, violence, sensation-seeking… One of the most fascinating things about testosterone is the way it can be influenced by the environment.

The link between risk-taking behavior and high(er) levels of testosterone has been posited before.

How much worse — or better — could women make it?

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