This essay investigates the literature available on corporate psychopaths. It establishes how inappropriate actions and behaviour of such people fleece the institutions, for which they work. In addition, it elucidates the level of insincerity that drives corporate psychopaths to steal money belonging to the investors of the companies that they represent. According to some researches on the topic, global recession could have resulted from unscrupulous actions of corporate psychopaths, who used their positions of leaders to manipulate the banking systems. Generally, psychopaths are persons who are totally deprived of moral sense of humanity. Their actions, thus, are in total disregard for humanity and the impact that their actions are likely to have on other people. Although some of them assume violent behaviour, they are generally peaceful people, however, of ill intent. The unfortunate trends in the world today, especially global terrorism and economic recession have pointed to a possibility that psychopaths have significantly penetrated today’s society. Indeed, it looks like they are the policy makers of the time, as all policies seem to be designed against the public interest (Whitlock 1982).
According to Dr. Ermer and Dr. Kiehl, psychopaths usually seem to be perfectly normal. In fact, they may pretend to be even friendlier that the average man is, in order to hide their other side. Besides, such people are rather intelligent and are able to give sound answers when they are confronted with questions related to morality and ethics. This shows that they perfectly understand what should be done, but willingly choose to do the opposite. Initially, researchers had thought that psychopaths could be lacking the inherent ability to understand social norms that other people struggle so much to observe. Using the Wason selection task, they have shown that psychopaths are perfectly normal in terms of thoughts and the way of thinking and that they have a perfect grasp of the terms and conditions of the social contract, especially with regards to ethics (Millon 2002).
The fundamental principles of human dignity and personal responsibility are alien to psychopaths. In today’s democratic systems, the government is supposed to serve only the interest of the people. However, this is not always the case with most governments. Although models of governance differ considerably from one country to another, elements of psychopathic behaviour are evident in all of them. The social democracies, like Scandinavian countries, have policies that aim at ensuring social equity. They provide the same healthcare for every citizen regardless of his/her social status. Indeed, they have a system of taxation that basically aims at fixing the social gap between the rich and the poor. Nonetheless, such social democracies have outlived their socialist characters. Instead, they collect more taxes and provide less service to the general public, and thus, they contradict the principle of equity, for which the system tends to advocate. As a result, they end up creating a special clique of the rich from amongst the ruling class at the expense of other citizens, who are tirelessly working to pay taxes to the government. In most countries of Asia and Africa, psychopathic nature of leadership reigns supreme. This is seen in the manner, in which the general population remains in poverty while a clique of the ruling class squanders money from public coffers. Undoubtedly, there is no ethic remaining for this group of people (Whitlock 1982).
In the United States and other re-known capitalist democracies, the level of insensitivity to the public could easily get out of hand. The continued collapse of corporations that were previously regarded as economic tigers has certainly exposed the ugly tricks that are played in boardrooms where public policies are supposed to be created. These actions are undertaken in total disregard for those, who will be affected adversely; the fact that thousands of people would lose their means of subsistence when these companies collapse. Ideally, the Constitution and other economic legislations should let a person, who is supposed to have responsibility towards other people, to manage these corporations. In fact, this principle is perfectly enshrined in the missions and visions of most companies. However, once people with psychopathic tendencies take over the reins of these institutions, they completely get consumed with the same inhuman features. In most cases, these institutions end up making a few people extremely rich. On the other hand, some investors, who have trusted these businesses with their money, move below the poverty line. The situation becomes even worse when the government, which is supposed to be a custodian of the rule of law, largely abets corruption and impunity. This is the desperate situation that the world has found itself in (Buss 2009).
The damage that psychopaths do to humanity can never be underestimated. It is an idea that does not just grab what genuinely belongs to the people, but also weakens their source of protection from exploitation. This vice utterly contaminates the government to extent that ethical standards that are set up to restrain social morals are not valued. For instance, lobby groups with ill intent of serving their managers considerably influence the social and financial policies of nations or some groups of people. Thus, the society ends up with sets of laws that serve the interests of psychopathic bosses instead of the need of the general public (Millon 2002).
According to financial analysts, the global recession was quite predictable from the onset of corporate collapses. However, top chief executive officers of the major financial institutions failed to act appropriately in due time. Instead, they adopted a wait-and-see attitude, watching as ordinary citizens lost all their savings and their livelihood. The only possible explanation to this level of insensitivity is the idea that the today’s institutions are not just headed by people of questionable character but by psychopaths who rejoice when their countries submerge in an eminent economic downfall. Indeed, the fact that they looked completely indifferent in the face of these corporate collapses strongly suggests that they had created them on their own. They, instead, engaged in a blame game meant to shift attention from their organizations to the housing sector and other market players. Their sole contribution, however, could not have possibly brought down the world economy (Whitlock 1982).
There is no doubt that corporate psychopaths caused the economic crisis and that they will do it again whenever they feel that it suits them.
Although people with psychopathic traits are said to make up only 1% of the world population, their evil machinations can cause untold sufferings to humanity. Indeed, they seem to be calling for the shots both in politics and the corporate world. However, the question that lingers is how such characters manage to reach the top leadership positions. According to Boddy, it starts with an individual psychopath wrongly getting the top leadership position, either through politics or public appointments. In fact, most of them possess a great deal of charm and charisma, and hence, they are able to conceal their ill intentions until they get to the top. Indeed, this makes their behaviour completely invisible to the general public, making them appear the best leaders the public can ever get. However, once they reach the top, they call up other psychopaths to help them complete their task of fleecing the public coffers. Until recently, most corporate institutions were quite stable financially, and it was almost impossible to imagine their collapse. In fact, people, who considered themselves to be in lifetime employment, have got a rude shock with recent corporate collapses. Thus, these people cannot take long term investment loans as they can never be certain to pay them back. The chances that the corporations that they work for will collapse at some point are quite high. This causes a sense of uncertainty and panic that restrains people’s willingness to take part in big investments (Millon 2002).
The world has to take drastic measures to weed out corporate psychopath in order to attract new interest to the business. This can only be done by stabilizing the economic environment so that the unscrupulous actions of the psychopaths can be easily noticeable to the general public and concerned regulatory bodies. Indeed, there have already been some spavined efforts in Wall Street before. According to analysts, the rapid changes that were achieved in Wall Street only served to conceal the unethical practices. These changes saw private institutions become public institutions, thereby providing a safe haven for the psychopaths. They strategically made their way to the corners of financial institutions as heads or financial advisors. In these positions, they have considerably influenced the moral climate in banking and finance sectors in their selfish advantage. In fact, it is postulated that they precipitate occasional crises in the sectors to create an impression that things are not well for everyone when they know that they are enriching themselves behind the scenes. If the world is to regain its sense of humanity, it has to revert to the initial corporate culture that ensure adequate checks and balance in the financial institutions. This is caused by the fact that the current situation does not really seem to work for the general public, who are supposed to be served by the same institutions. It has brought society a system that steals from people, whom it should protect, rather than uphold the standards of ethics, upon which it was built (Buss 2009).
The facts presented above give a true representation of what goes on behind the scenes of economic institutions, especially in the corporate world. For instance, lack of clear empathy has caused a situation where investments are only made for the benefit of the psychopathic dealers and brokers. Although this culture may flourish for some time, it will certainly crash the entire financial system at some point. This, in turn, will call for huge bailouts designed to resuscitate the economy. Unfortunately, the whole system seems to favour the psychopaths, as they still get away with misappropriation of funds meant for economic stimulus packages. Indeed, it is a vicious cycle that the world has found itself in leading to complete destruction of American savings and thousands of people desperately looking for jobs. The only solution to the menace is thorough scrutinizing of the financial sector and setting up official watchdog institutions (Whitlock 1982).
Governments should consider testing financial leaders for psychopathic traits, to ensure that such people are not entrusted with the public interest. According to a study titled “The Corporate Psychopaths Theory of Global Financial Crisis”, psychopaths in the banking sector have potential to bring down the entire global economy. Mainly, this is caused by the fact that they hardly care about consequences of their actions and lack the inherent ability to gauge what impacts their actions could have on the general public. Thus, it falls squarely upon everyone to question why corporate institutions have, in the past, given promotions to questionable characters instead of people of tested integrity. Although it must be conceded that this group of people holds the machinery and the political power to influence public appointments in their favour, the power of the people must now take charge. For instance, the civil society must up the pressure on different government institutions to put in place the right mechanisms, to ensure accountability and the rule of law in the financial sector. It is something that has to be done because delaying by a single day means lots of job losses and lost revenue (Richard, 2000).
The public should become more cautious with the political class as it seems that their political activities are funded by such psychopaths. When they get to power, they will protect the interests of their masters instead of the general public that has voted them into office. Indeed, it is an accusation that has been coming from both sides of the political divides, with each side accusing the other of working for corruption cartels. In fact, the political leaders themselves could be the psychopaths, considering the fact that individuals with their ethics and morality would not abet such non-violent atrocities against their supporters. Besides, these are people, who also double up as relatives and friends of the same political leaders. It is utterly immoral to imagine that they would just sit and watch them fleeced. In light of this, the psychological tests that have been proposed for heads of financial institutions should be extended to the representatives of the political class, especially those seeking influential positions of leaders. This will ensure that the person at the top utterly curtails the evil pursuits of psychopaths. This would certainly make the world a much better place to live and investment a meaningful venture again (Whitlock 1982).
In conclusion, corporate psychopaths have completely eroded investor confidence in the global market. Instead of championing for the rights of the people they serve, they have colluded with individuals, who want to make wealth out of people’s savings or investments. In addition, they have devised ways of manipulating the global market in such a way that things work their way. This is how they were able to destabilize the market and precipitate a global financial crisis.