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Palgrave Macmillan

Unmasking Financial Psychopaths

Inside the Minds of Investors in the Twenty-First Century

ISBN 9781137370754
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

As financial markets expand globally in response to economic and technological developments of the twenty-first century, our understanding and expectations of the people involved in these markets also change. Unmasking Financial Psychopaths suggests that an increasing number of financiers labeled "financial psychopaths" are not truly psychopathic, but instead are by-products of a rapidly changing personal and professional environment. Advances have been made in identifying psychopaths outside of situations accompanied by physical violence, yet it is still difficult to differentiate psychopaths in cultural settings that have adopted psychopathic behavioral tendencies as the norm. Within the investment sector, a fundamental transformation has occurred: the type of person employed by financial firms and the environment within which finance is conducted have both changed. Society's expectation of financiers adapted to these subtle, behind-the-scenes shifts, resulting the public at large perceiving more individuals in the financial sector as acting in a psychopathic manner. Being able to distinguish the truly psychopathic financier from individuals who conform to behavioral expectations is the first step towards a cultural shift away from accepted psychopathic behaviors in the financial sector.

Deborah W. Gregory is Lecturer in Finance at Bentley University, USA. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Jungian psychoanalyst (IAAP). Her work has been published in the Journal of Finance, the Financial Analysts' Journal, and the Journal of Financial Crime.

1. Introduction
2. Entry into the Universe of Finance
3. The Impact of Culture
4. (R)evolutionary Happenings
5. Opportunities and the Changing Players
6. Identifying Psychopaths
7. Rogues and Psychopaths
8. Biotrophic Parasites and Psychopaths
9. Financial Psychopaths Unmasked

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"As a broker on Wall Street and member of NYSE for more than four decades, I've seen a lot of changes in the market, not all for the better. This book describes the background of how the mindset of market participants has changed, leading to unintended consequences arising from increased high-frequency trading and other technologically-driven modifications in the market, such as dark pools, internalization, decimalization, and short sale rules. These changes have resulted in markets that have deviated from their original purpose, which was to serve investors and facilitate the capital formation process for businesses. Unmasking Financial Psychopaths doesn't simply unmask psychopaths – it also shows how changes in regulations intended to achieve specific goals have actually resulted in a new market environment that rewards participants for acting in their own self-interest, not necessarily in the best interests of the capital markets or the investing public." - Ted Weisberg, President, Seaport Securities Corporation, USA
"Deborah Gregory has written a thoughtful and penetrating study into the contemporary ills of Wall Street that affected us all in our individual financial security and in our level of trust in those who manage our financial system on a daily basis. Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a university professor in finance as well as her training and clinical experience as a Jungian psychoanalyst, she weaves together the many threads that have produced a culture of financial psychopathy of those drawn to the field of investment finance." - Thayer A. Greene, IAAP, Jungian Psychoanalyst and Training Faculty, C.G. Jung Institute, USA
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