Jul 14, 2012

A Little Bankster Bedtime Story about Big Banks still Ripping You Off

How Big Banks Are Still Lying, Cheating and Ripping Us Off

The American media are downplaying a huge banking scandal that's rocking the UK. 
 
Earlier this year, researchers at the university of Southern California published the results of a study examining whether the wealthy – the mythical “engines of our economy” – display a better character than the rest of us.

As it turned out, after conducting seven experiments they found that the narrow pursuit of self-interest at the top of the economic heap leads our elites to behave like complete dirtbags. As Bloomberg summarized, the researchers found that the richest among us “were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to raise their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work.”

“It’s not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks -- whether as a person or a nonhuman primate -- you become more self-focused,” Paul Piff, the lead author of the study, told Bloomberg. It is their lust for wealth, paired with a lack of empathy for others – their disregard for the consequences of their actions on the “little people” – that makes them, at times, appear to simply be evil.

That research may help us understand why high-flying traders at Barclays Bank – and those at an as yet unknown number of other financial institutions – were willing to risk the credibility of the entire financial sector, as well as their cushy jobs, to rig interest rates in order to squeeze out more profits. And it certainly helps explain why they didn't think twice about the individual and institutional investors they ripped off: millions of ordinary people with credit cards, auto and home loans and other lines of credit.

Read the Rest of this Alternet essay....
 

No comments: