After watching Charlie Munger compare investment bankers to heroin addicts this morning (above), we had the idea to put together a list of people who’ve been directly involved at some level with Wall Street and are now outspoken critics. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:
Neil Barofsky, former attorney general of SIGTARP: “They’re psychologically incapable—and I really do believe this—that the ego and the narcissism of these people, they’re unable to acknowledge fault, that they could actually make mistakes.”
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s business partner: “I do not think you can trust bankers to control themselves. They are like heroin addicts.”
William Cohan, Bloomberg journalist who worked on Wall Street for 15 years: “All of us are subsidizing the big bonuses that those on Wall Street complain about because they’re not big enough.”
Nassim Taleb, options trader for 21 years: “We trust military and homeland security personnel with our lives, yet we don’t give them lavish bonuses. … Having worked with both groups, I can tell you thatmilitary and security people are not only more careful about safety, but also have far greater technical skill, than bankers.”
Alexis Goldstein, OWS activist, worked on Wall Street for 7 years: “On Wall Street, it is not frowned upon to “rip the faces off” one’s own clients. If the client is dumb enough to get hoodwinked, that means the client didn’t work hard enough.”
Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia economist: “I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now, and I’m going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological.”
Phillip, an ex-trader in London who remains anonymous: “Bankers and traders have a superiority complex. We don’t want to be surrounded by people who go to the bookies and play on slot machines.But ultimately I know it’s the same. I know I have a problem.”
James Theckson, VP for Chase Home Finance: “If you had some old bag lady walking down the street and she had a decent credit score, she got a loan … The bigwigs of the corporations knew this, but they figured we’re going to make billions out of it, so who cares? The government is going to bail us out.”
We’re sure there are more out there. What quotes would you add?
We’ll include here the Neil Barofsky interview on The Daily Show from February, which is where the Barofsky quote above comes from. It’d be hard to find a more succinct, biting take down of Wall Street than Part One and Part Two below.
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