Bankers Need Shrinks

1223560017In the stock market crash of the 1920s, lore has it that bankers threw themselves off skyscrapers because they couldn’t handle the pressure. (That didn’t happen, but we like the mental image.) In the new millennium, it seems our financial masterminds are landing on the therapist’s couch to deal with their losses.

“Many are perfectionists, and many are feeling very bad because they’re doubting themselves and their skills,” [psychologist Jim] Grubman said. “It’s terrifying . . . I’ve seen them lose tens of millions of dollars over the course of the last nine months.”

Maybe it’s because we’ve never had tens of millions of dollars to lose, but it’s hard to muster up much sympathy for these guys.

What about the people who got hoodwinked into subprime mortgages? Where’s their therapy? Unless they manage to strip the copper pipes out of their home before the constable comes to foreclose, they probably won’t have the money to pay for it—unlike the financial giants, who can pawn their art collection or vacation homes to make ends meet.

Our prescription for what ails these self-doubting financial types? Have a stiff drink and relax. As long as you have a roof over your head and can collect unemployment, you’re doing better than the people who lost their homes because of your actions.

  • aging cynic

    The canard about people being “hoodwinked” into subprime mortgages ignores the same issue as formerly rich financiers. If they define themselves by money, the game is already lost. The people buying $400k houses they couldn’t afford are as culpable as the people who lent them the money. Trying to legislate away the Seven Deadly Sins has never worked, yet we continue to idealize (and elect) people who tell us the same lies, over and over. Our Pogo moment has arrived.