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Wall Street Cheating

(Photo: Fang Guo)

A new survey of 500 financial service professionals in the U.S. and the U.K. finds that 26 percent of survey respondents “had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace” and almost 25 percent “believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful.”

Depending on your worldview, you may read that previous paragraph and think, Oh my goodness, that’s outrageous! Or, conversely, you might think Only 26 percent?!

The survey further notes:

16% of total respondents were at least fairly likely to engage in insider trading if they could get away with it. Perhaps more troubling, only 55% of all respondents could say definitively that they would not engage in insider trading if they could make $10 million with no risk of getting arrested.

Again, that last sentence might seem damning to some while others might say $10 million and no risk — where do I sign?

Nineteen percent of men said they’d consider insider trading compared to only 10 percent of women. Which means, perhaps, that a) men are less honest (because they’d cheat); or b) men are more honest (because they’ll admit to a surveyor that they would cheat). And/or: remember the macho trading culture.