What was one factor that largely contributed to the financial crisis? According to Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, it was the guys who all thought they were suchhhhh big shots, whose formidable market savvy was matched only by the formidable bulge in their pants. “There are a fair number of the senior folks who actually believe they are uniquely qualified on all issues relating to finance,” Gorman said today. “As we saw, it’s just not true.” These people, Gorman says, need a smack to the face of reality, and it's not until we break them down and inform them that, no, they are not the market gurus they think they are and, in actuality, that they don't know shit, that we'll be able to fix this thing.
Gorman, speaking at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conference, said some individuals “who in many cases were frankly pretty average” made as much as 10 times that of people in other industries during the financial crisis...Fixing the culture will require “creating a compensation system that better aligns or balances shareholders’ interests and the broader society’s interests with the individual’s interests, and changing the perception that it’s the individual that’s the hero,” Gorman, 52, said. “As an industry, we can have larger-than-life personalities, but individuals don’t make institutions.”
How do we start? By not encouraging these people with literal and literary blow jobs.
“The more you have this hero individual status, and lots of things written about them by journalist friends in the paper, the more likely that they are going to act out, because they start to believe it,” Gorman said.