I am a recently retired investment banker and senior executive of Bank of America Merrill Lynch who feels that ethics is the problem on Wall Street. AMA!
I consider myself an individual of high moral standards, who started from a very modest upbringing and who rose to the top of Wall Street through hard work and responsible decision-making.
I have unfortunately worked alongside individuals (many of whom are praised in the financial media as masters of the universe) with highly compromised ethical standards, and the aggregate of this across one of the largest industries in the world has been a major factor in the financial crisis. I've seen firsthand the way that financial institutions may take advantage of loose regulations and a flawed compensation system to feed their own greed. Often, this takes the form of pulling the wool over the eyes of regular people when it comes to their personal financial affairs, but more often, it is the result of the ability to manipulate the internal policies and procedures of a "too-big-to-fail" bank.
Ask me anything!