Crossposted from ProudToBeAFilthyLiberalScum.com
As yet another enormous financial scandal unfolds in the UK, it’s time to ask why this keeps happening. Yes, insufficient regulation plays a role even as the GOP demands less of it but what is it that drives these institutions to consistently engage in shady practices? Do they only hire crooks? Probably not but they certainly promote the conditions where illegal behavior becomes the norm.
A quarter of Wall Street executives see wrongdoing as a key to success, according to a survey by whistleblower law firm Labaton Sucharow released on Tuesday.
In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.
Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow. And 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.
I actually have first hand knowledge of how this works in a retail environment. The company would assign 150 hours of work to a manager but only give 110 hours of payroll. In the same breath, the company would threaten the managers’ job if the work wasn’t completed and then warn that employees couldn’t work off the clock. Of course, that is the ONLY way to get the work done unless the manager worked the extra 40 hours by themselves. The end result was that employees were coerced (or begged) to work off the clock and the company could sit back and claim innocence.
I imagine it works in much the same way at the banks. Jim gets the promotion because his numbers were the best even though everyone knows that Jim breaks the law pretty much every day. Upper management claims ignorance but no one actually believes that, so now the precedent is set: you must lie, cheat and steal to get ahead and management will reward you for it.
The worst part is that the survey, without a shred of doubt, under reports the problem as most people, even under the promise of anonymity don’t normally admit that they are thieves and liars. The fact that so many did should be cause for deep concern.
Or just more deregulation if you’re a Republican.
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