Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Whiz Kids

A universal human trait that we don't really like to admit is that we secretly rather like having our prejudices confirmed, so I bet a lot of us got a kick from this story in the The Times yesterday.

CITY brokers have never enjoyed the best of reputations. The popular image is of a brash and boastful twentysomething with more money than sense or sensitivity.

But now a study by a group of eminent American academics suggests that star performers on the stock market may be even worse and could best be described as 'functioning psychopaths'.

In a study of investors' behaviour, the team from three US universities suggest that people with brain damage can make better financial decisions than the rest of us.

I'm no stranger to schadenfreude myself, so this has brought to mind the rather ungenerous response of Thump the Clouds to the fate of those dumped on their uppers by Black Monday, the Stock Market Crash of 1987 as illustrated by the following extract.

924 from door to door was temporary glory.
Equity from equities was just a fairy story.
Chinese walls were not designed to stand the wind.
Puts and calls and bless me father I have sinned.

Whiz kids and was kids
Don't mean a lot to me.
Wish kids have been washed up kids
Since the 1970's.

That seems rather crass to me now.

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