The Amazon story can be replicated at all sorts of companies that haven’t yet received the Times treatment.
Curtis Carroll, sentenced to life in prison following a murder conviction, is spending his time teaching financial literacy to other prisoners.
Perhaps some high-achieving types feel pulled to Wall Street because finance is something they and their parents have heard of, because they know it is associated with a certain amount of prestige, power, and money, and because what really are the alternatives?
The Wall Street bonus pool may be double the full-time minimum wage earnings combined, but an individual bonus could be twelve times as much as a minimum-wage worker earns.
Theory: Expecting X and getting X+ = happiness; expecting Y and getting Y- = unhappiness, even if Y- > X+.
There is a secret fraternity on Wall Street called Kappa Beta Phi whose inductees include successful financiers like Michael Bloomberg and former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead. Each year the fraternity hosts an annual black tie dinner event to welcome new inductees, whom they force to dress in drag and perform skits and songs.
A private equity firm named Blackstone bought credit default swaps against a Spanish gaming company called Codere, betting that Codere would fail to make its debt payments on time, and then paid Codere to purposely miss a debt payment so that it would receive a payout triggered by the swaps. Blackstone made at least $15.4 million through the scheme, which was legal. On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart compared the scheme to buying insurance on a restaurant, and then burning down the restaurant to collect the insurance money.
Chris Arnade, a former trader who worked on Wall Street for 20 years, explains in The Guardian why it’s so hard to be ethical while working on Wall Street (a new report shows that 53 percent of executives in the financial services industry say that “strict adherence” to ethical standards “would make career progression difficult”). It’s not surprising that money and greed would produce unethical behavior, but Arnade says that unethical behavior was supported by those around him.