Socially Useless

The ultimate insult in life is to be labeled “socially useless.” And that is exactly the preferred term for the bankers and others who caused suffering to millions of innocent people around the world through greed, one of the seven deadly sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride.

Actually, since the banking crisis any one or all of these terms have been accredited to the bankers. But the phrase to aptly sum up the banks actions was made by Jonathan Turner of the British FSA (Financial Services Authority – an odd title for a, well, useless service) when he said: “… some of it is socially useless activity.” 

It was not the first time that the stock market speculation was called socially useless. A few years ago Murray Kemp and Hans-Werner Sinn published the study A Simple Model of Privately Profitable But Socially Useless Speculation in which they stated: “speculation in the forward market is profitable and stabilizes prices but is useless from a welfare point of view. Reconciling the Siegel paradox with the theory of incomplete markets, we show that banning speculation by closing the forward market may increase social welfare.”

In the 1920’s, Psychologist Alfred Adler described the possible reasons and personalities of socially destructive persons. The behavior is explained by Richard Erickson: “A person’s lifestyle may be self-defeating and socially useless because he is discouraged and pursuing mistaken goals described as self-protection and self-aggrandizement at the expensive of the community.”

The socially useless actions by the banks seem to be never-ending, from municipal bond-rigging, the foreclosure scandal, the Libor interest rate manipulation, and more.

The simplest explanation: a socially useless person is someone prohibiting another person from getting a fair deal.

06/28/2012. Category: money. Tags: .

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