Friday, October 15, 2010

Not A Pretty Picture

We don’t need any more evidence that people on Wall Street are self-serving, arrogant pricks, but here’s more evidence that people on Wall Street are self-serving, arrogant pricks:

“The first thing that needs to happen, I think, is to get these people out of their homes,” a man wearing a bespoke blue-striped shirt, a Hermés tie patterned with elephants and Ferragamo loafers said recently. “Correct! I’ll explain,” the veteran member of a bank restructuring and advisory team said.

Amid evidence of sham documents and widespread paperwork gaffes, if not systemic fraud that increasingly looks like it may be terrifically deep, Bank of America recently halted all foreclosure proceedings around the country. That followed similar announcements from the home-loan giants JPMorgan Chase and GMAC.

But Wall Street does not sympathize. “You had people putting zero down to get massive houses they couldn’t afford to be in,” he said Monday morning, “but now they want to stay. And the government wants to let them stay, because they’re voters.” A few hours later, the Goldman Sachs arm Litton Loan Servicing said it had suspended certain foreclosure proceedings, too. “Talk about a financial scandal,” a Wall Street Journal editorial this weekend joked. “A consumer borrows money to buy a house, doesn’t make the mortgage payments and then loses the house in foreclosure — only to learn that the wrong guy at the bank signed the foreclosure paperwork. Can you imagine?”

No matter how bad you think these guys are, they always turn out to be worse. Their greed, callousness, and utter lack of self-reflection is pathological. In fact, I think it’s downright psychopathic. But hey, we’re an insane country:

WASHINGTON — Around half of US teens meet the criteria for a mental disorder and nearly one in four report having a mood, behavior or anxiety disorder that interferes with daily life, American researchers say.

Fifty-one percent of boys and 49 percent of girls aged 13-19 have a mood, behavior, anxiety or substance use disorder, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In 22.2 percent of teens, the disorder was so severe it impaired their daily activities and caused great distress, says the study led by Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).


Teen mental disorder rates mirror those seen in adults, suggesting that most adults develop a mental disorder before adulthood, say the researchers, calling for earlier intervention and prevention, and more research to determine what the risk factors are for mental disorders in youth.

Our ruling elite is composed of sociopaths and narcissists. The rest of us are anxious and depressed. What a pretty picture we make. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve created a culture that is totally inimical to human happiness and good mental health. I think it’s even safer to say that nobody seems to have a clue what to do about it.

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