Many Wall Street executives says wrongdoing is necessary: survey

Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:07am EDT

A sign is seen on Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A sign is seen on Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange June 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

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(Reuters) - If the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes were to go out with his lantern in search of an honest man today, a survey of Wall Street executives on workplace conduct suggests he might have to look elsewhere.

A quarter of Wall Street executives see wrongdoing as a key to success, according to a survey by whistleblower law firm Labaton Sucharow released on Tuesday.

In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow. And 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.

"When misconduct is common and accepted by financial services professionals, the integrity of our entire financial system is at risk," Jordan Thomas, partner and chair of Labaton Sucharow's whistleblower representation practice, said in a statement.

The survey's release comes as the fallout from Barclays PLC's (BARC.L) Libor-rigging scandal continues and other banks including Citigroup Inc (C.N), HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA.L), Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS.L) and UBS AG (UBSN.VX) await the outcome of an industry-wide probe.

(Reporting By Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Comments (24)
KnowledgeCKer wrote:
In the words of one famous philosopher “are we going to interpret history or change it?”

Jul 10, 2012 2:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Decatur wrote:
The entitlement class that we really need to clamp down on are these “high finance” managers who unethically, dishonestly or illegally gamble with other peoples money and invent arcane ways (short sales, high speed trading, derivatives) to skim a little more instead of buidling a US factory… ‘wealth creation’ for themselves long ago separated from ‘job creation’ for anyone else, they are different than the other 99.9% and “entitled” to be greedy, to cheat, and so on…

And according to Reuter’s February article about direct campaign contributions through last December – these guys are all behind Gov. Romney. His top 5 constributors were Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, etc., all Wall Street or big banking. Given recent scandals it’s no wonder they are lined up behind the “smaller government” guy who’s one of their own and knows they really just want less policing.

Jul 10, 2012 3:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
hginandon wrote:
If the system is broken, fix it!
Or, is the system of Government broken?
When corruption becomes “Acceptable”, that is bad enough. When the government takes the public’s monies to “bail out” the corrupt financial institutions, that is worse then criminal.

Jul 10, 2012 4:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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