Ethical Lapses on Wall Street

wall_streetWhat? No! Speaking of which — if you have ever wondered why most of the political contributions from Wall Street go to the Democrats here’s part of the explanation: they share the same value system. From USNews:

The second annual survey of Wall Street ethics (or the lack thereof) from the law firm Labaton Sucharow generated much interest but few surprises for me. Did you really believe Wall Street changed for the better since 2010 when the Dodd-Frank Act was passed by Congress?If anything, the data is not as disturbing as I thought. The fact that only about half of the respondents felt their competitors engaged in illegal conduct, or that almost a quarter believed their own companies acted illegally, was less than I would have projected. The online survey of 250 people who work in the financial services industry including traders, portfolio managers, investment bankers, hedge fund professionals, financial analysts, investment advisers, asset managers and stock brokers found that almost a quarter (23 percent) of those responding have observed illegal conduct or had first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.

I actually found some good news for the securities industry in the survey. Only 28 percent of the respondents felt that the industry doesn’t put the interests of their clients first. Wall Street should consider that figure a victory. I would have put that figure closer to 90 percent. Brokerage firms have been lobbying hard to avoid being saddled with a true fiduciary obligation toward their clients (which every registered investment adviser firm has) because they want to continue putting their own interests ahead of those of their clients.

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