A Modest Proposal (Drug Tests Edition)

Perhaps it is time to subject investment bankers and derivatives traders to routine random drug tests. It’s widely believed that many of them use cocaine (although meth use may be rising), and I read that drug use on Wall Street is a real problem, although of course it has also beem rampant for a long time. The health of the economy is too important to be left in the hands of potentially drug-addled brains.

After all if it’s necessary to drug test welfare applicants and unemployed people seeking job training (who have the same 2% positive rate as found on Wall St) and high school football players, it is all the more important to drug test the masters of finance given the enormous effect that their work has on others.

Or, perhaps, we should agree to only drug test people armed with weapons or holding security clearances?

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5 Responses to A Modest Proposal (Drug Tests Edition)

  1. Just me says:

    lol…reminds me of calls to reinstate the draft after we went to war in Iraq.

  2. Eli says:

    For the sake of consistency, perhaps the drug tests should be limited to the companies that received government bailouts.

  3. jones says:

    On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.

    During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.

    More shocking, and more important, the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn – a sum equivalent to one-third of Mexico’s gross national product – into dollar accounts from so-called casas de cambio (CDCs) in Mexico, currency exchange houses with which the bank did business.

    At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the United Nations office on drugs and crime, said he had evidence to suggest the proceeds from drugs and crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks on the brink of collapse. “Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade,” he said. “There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.”

    Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs

  4. CDW says:

    I just listened to an October 25th, 2011 podcast called “Blame it on Testosterone: from APM: The Story. John Coates, an ex-WS trader, has turned to neuroscience research at the University of Cambridge to explain the recent upheaval in the financial sector. He has found evidence that testosterone probably played a role in egging on the male risk takers, especially the young ones. His prescription? Add some estorgen in the form of female traders, who would be less prone to the “master (or mistress) of the universe” syndrome.

  5. Frank says:

    How about a “psychopath test:”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-03/did-psychopaths-take-over-wall-street-asylum-commentary-by-william-cohan.html

    “According to Boddy’s “Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis,” these men were “able to influence the moral climate of the whole organization” to wield “considerable power.””

    Pretty close to William K. Black’s work on criminogenic pay structures, I think.

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