• Susan Seligson

    Susan Seligson has written for many publications and websites, including the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Yankee, Outside, Redbook, the Times of London, Salon.com, Radar.com, and Nerve.com. Profile

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There are 4 comments on How Does a Bank Lose $5.8 Billion?

  1. The fact that lobbyists – working for the banks – write the laws that the government uses to regulate our banks is indicative of so much that is wrong with our government today. Would anyone mind if I wrote the portions of the tax code that apply to me alone?

    Bankers, financial consultants, and their ilk are rapidly approaching lawyers and insurance salesmen in the lowest ranks of public respect for their professions. But very few of these rich bankers and Wall Street insiders care what the unwashed masses think of them. We are merely the suckers in their self-serving, unethical, and rigged “shell game”.

  2. The “stock and investments” part of the USA economy has been transformed into gambling and speculation. IMO, this started with the Chicago Board of Options Exchange issuing of Exchange Traded Funds in 1993. The success of trading Index funds like SPX, essentially gambling on the direction of the stock market as a whole, was a a full refutation of the capitalist notion of investing in company stock and an acceptance of the “greed is good” predatory idea of gambling on the health of the american economy. – – personally, I think the American economy is too important to allow gambling on it’s health, especially at such a large scale that the gambling could hurt the economy. And the Glass Steagel act following the 1930s market crash was designed to prevent this level of speculation. – – In 2008, when the power of financial institutions became powerful enough to buy off the american government and repeal Glass Steagel, the american economy became the plaything of greedy financial executives and traders. These traders are essentially, gambling addicts. They are gambling with your money, your jobs and the health of your national economy.

  3. To what extent are we changing the culture of future bankers? What is SMG doing in terms of proactively changing the conversation and focusing on not ethics, not laws, but affirmative morality toward the ‘duties’ of a banker toward society? In other words, the perversion of securities laws over the last several decades to change the meaning of ‘fiduciary responsibility’ and ‘shareholder value’ to mean maximization of profits at any cost or risk to anyone needs to be debunked.

    There should be a duty to society at large in banking, just as there is in medicine, and as there someday might be in law, to ‘do the right thing’.

    We have seen, unfortunately, society also change from a culture of compliance with the law to aggressively interpret perceived loopholes and become a culture of avoidance. Banks, high tech companies, and AIG in particular used to think about regulatory fines as a cost of doing business. So it is up to our educational system to instill in the young MBAs to think differently–responsibly–morally before ethically, and put our collective societal values ahead of our own individual or shareholder avarice. Only when that happens will we begin to dig ourselves out of these kinds of financial meltdowns and scandals. It is up to BU and others to lead the way in their instruction and curriculum…where are the changes at SMG? When will the first bold step occur?

    1. It isn’t the 97% of business school graduates with a moral compass that cause the problems, it is the 3% of gradutes who are sociopaths without a conscience. Unrestrained, that 3% will destroy shareholder value and destabilize financial markets again and again. – – 97% and 3% are made up numbers used for illustration purposes. It is the same principle for 80% and 20%. – – Most people will ‘do the right thing.’ We need laws and criminal prosecution to deal with the rest of the people.

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