Psychoanalyze the Banker

An interview with a psychologist who mostly works with folks in the finance industry reminds me of, well, a lot of things I’ve seen.  The psychologist points out the insecurities inherent in many trading jobs, as well as the problem of working in the industry and then hitting your 30s.  Inevitably there’s the reference to CEO as psychopath which is a bit overdone but in any case it’s worth a read.

One highlight:

About a quarter of my clients are corporate but not finance.  Is there a difference?  They are all incredibly tough and everyone says their motivation is money.  But when you drill down into what’s driving people in the corporation world, other motives come to the surface.  With people in finance, it really is money, I find.

Here’s another good one:

This is what’s intriguing about the current financial crisis so far…where are the thought leaders indicating the path to a new phase in our economic evolution?  Who will augur in the growth moment from this crisis?  I don’t see new ideas coming to the fore.

And then, on leaders in the finance world:

They present themselves as to the outside world as posh and erudite and sophisticated; as supermen.  But they are just like you and me, with similar needs and fears.  We shouldn’t fall for their spiel.

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I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying to score points over next year’s budget – it is a weakness of our civil society. For reals. It’s also really fun for me.

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