Good Bankers = Bad Brains

December 26, 2008

A report from the Wall Street Journal has shed some light on what it takes to be a successful investment banker. The report is rather revealing as it says things like…

The 15 brain-damaged participants that were the focus of the study had normal IQs, and the areas of their brains responsible for logic and cognitive reasoning were intact. But they had lesions in the region of the brain that controls emotions, which inhibited their ability to experience basic feelings such as fear or anxiety. The lesions were due to a range of causes, including stroke and disease, but they impaired the participants’ emotional functioning in a similar manner.

The study suggests the participants’ lack of emotional responsiveness actually gave them an advantage when they played a simple investment game. The emotionally impaired players were more willing to take gambles that had high payoffs because they lacked fear. Players with undamaged brain wiring, however, were more cautious and reactive during the game, and wound up with less money at the end.

Some neuroscientists believe good investors may be exceptionally skilled at suppressing emotional reactions. “It’s possible that people who are high-risk takers or good investors may have what you call a functional psychopathy,” says Antoine Bechara, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, and a co-author of the study. “They don’t react emotionally to things. Good investors can learn to control their emotions in certain ways to become like those people.”

So Joel Bakan has shown (in his book and documentary, The Corporation) that corporations are inherently psychopathic and now studies in neuroeconomics have shown good bankers to be brain damaged; which kinda proves what most of us already suspect – that the lunatics have taken over the asylum!

If you were told that a psychopath would be looking after your children you would be concerned; and yet we let these bastards make daily decisions that will effect the lives of billions of people 😦

One solution – revolution!

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