Curtis Carroll, sentenced to life in prison following a murder conviction, is spending his time teaching financial literacy to other prisoners.
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.
Related to my post earlier this morning about enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, hedge fund giant SAC Capital Advisors has agreed to plead guilty to insider trading, and the Times says this is “the first large Wall Street firm in a generation to confess to criminal conduct,” which is pretty remarkable.
A new survey of hundreds of people working on Wall Street shows that even people working on Wall Street are distrustful of people working on Wall Street.
“Wall Street is not so much like a haunted Victorian mansion as a quiet, creeping fungus right where you live: it grows fast and takes root everywhere, silently.”