I admit that I have a deep revulsion to banker/brokers. I can't help it. I worked on the sell side for 6 years and I know the beast intimately. Call me a reformed smoker I suppose. Sure many of the people who work at broker/dealers are “nice” people, but they are either don't care about the outcome to their customers or they are wilfully blind; either way, not much to respect. A drug dealer is a drug dealer even if they wear a nice suit. Remember Martin Sheen’s character in “Wall street” and how he warned his son that fine wine and art collections don't mean you aren't hanging with moral reprobates.
Until one of them gets arrested or sued of course; notice the way star-traders for financial institutions become “rogue” traders when things go the wrong way or an immoral practice is finally revealed to the public. It’s a vicious business; dog eat dog. Many of the star finance brokers that were buying exotic cars and building mansions 3 years ago are now desperately trying to sell them for pennies on the dollar in falling markets. Perhaps this is fitting reciprocity. It will always be thus. Watch for the same cycle to play out a few years from now.
Worst of all I think, is the social status that these firms and individuals are bestowed in our society. If they earn enormous sums and inhabit high end real estate, they are assumed to be upstanding citizens. Yikes. Most people are easily impressed; just the appearance of wealth is often enough for a character reference; a board appointment, or a leadership role in government. My greatest disappointment with the Obama administration to date has been their incestuous entanglement with the investment sales establishment. All of the key financial advisors to this administration were key players in the financial implosion that went before. Obama has left the wolves in charge of the sheep. I had hoped he would have the moral fortitude to resist this tradition.
Nonetheless professionalism and civil society ask that one take the high road in our commentary and steer clear of name calling where possible. Once in a while though someone breaks convention and speaks plainly on the topic. Sure few will remember the message after this most recent financial meltdown has passed, but plain talk now can be very cathartic as shown in this recent interview:
Cory’s Chart Corner
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