Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If the snake suits, bear it?

Here is a wikipedia entry for psychopathy:

A lack of empathy

After reading the book "The Devil in the White City" and reflecting upon capitalism, it occurred to me that immense companies are naturally attractive to psychopathic personalities (or PPs for short). In fact, I have begun to believe our largest institutions are headed by the morally insane, for this belief explains much that I notice about the conduct of Wall Street big-shots.

If True, and the corporation ensures that the wealth of the CEO is dependent upon the wealth of the corporation, then it is a symbiotic business relationship.

If True, and the wealth of the corporation is deemed to be dependent upon the wealth of the CEO (as Goldmann Sachs repeatedly argues), then the corporation becomes subservient to the CEO and you have an unhealthy business relationship.

With this belief in mind statements like that made by Arianna Huffington recently become self-explanatory:

Watching the CEOs, I was stunned by the utter lack of even a feigned sense of empathy for those whose lives the banks have destroyed. Only a complete inability to feel empathy could explain the fact that the bankers are not just back to operating at their old bonus levels, but at their old smugness levels as well.


Expecting empathy from a psychopath is as misguided as expecting good moral conduct from a PP-led corporation. In fact, they are identical delusions.

In this context one should view the Glass-Steagall Act as a way to protect the wealth of corporations for the investors, rather than as a hindrance to the wishes Wall Street CEOs. It should send shivers down one's spine to consider the wishes of the CEO paramount.

I found there is a book on the subject called "Snakes in Suits" that examines PPs in the workplace. I expect it is an interesting read.

It would seem plausible that immense corporations are best served by morally insane leadership, provided that leadership is forced to use its' unique "talents" on behalf of the corporation.

But, such leadership would strive energetically to escape such restrictions. In the event of their success, our economy would suffer even as our CEOs grew richer. Thank goodness no company is so idiotic as to transfer wealth to the leadership at a time they did a lousy job of generating wealth!

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"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

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