Some habits are hard to break
We’ve all heard the old saying “once a cheater always a cheater.” Now thanks to Wall Street we’ve been given a new variation: “once Wall Street, always Wall Street.” In other words; once you cause the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression due to bad behavior and wrongdoing, you will continue to engage in that bad behavior and wrongdoing since you won’t have to face any consequences as some habits are hard to break.
A recent New York Times report on a study conducted by the University of Notre Dame, comes as bad news to anyone who had thought that Wall Street had learned from their woeful ways. The study which included more than 1,200 British and American traders, portfolio managers, investment bankers, and hedge fund professionals, reported that about one-third of people who made over $500,000 annually “have witnessed or have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.” A shocking surprise to anyone who believes the ethics on Wall Street had changed since the 2008 financial crisis, and a clear indication that on Wall Street “old habits die hard.”
Unfortunately, this worrisome behavior does not come as surprise to those of us who spend day in and day out battling Wall Street through the judicial system. As for the rest of the country however, who may believe Wall Street has changed their ways or that their old habits were harmless it is important to remember that we are talking about Wall Street’s “habits” of greed and deception which led to a crisis so massive that to this day we are still reeling in the aftermath.
In case you needed more proof Wall Street doesn’t plan on changing, just this week after five big banks plead guilty to anti-trust violations, The New York Times questioned whether the heavy fines due to illegal “habits” will affect Wall Street’s conduct or whether these “habits” will just be considered “cost of business.”
*By the way this grey cloud does come with a silver lining; the British may have even less moral fortitude than us Yankees. The New York Times reported that “[r]espondents from the U.K. are either more willing to commit a crime they could get away with — or are more frank about it.”