Wall Street, Testosterone, and Risk

The charging bull in lower Manhattan is seen on Oct. 18, 2006. (AP)

When Wall Street goes to work in the morning, it is overwhelmingly men who pour onto the trading floors, men who slap on their headsets, fire up their flashing computer displays, and go to war.

Could that be part of the problem that sent Wall Street over a cliff and the U.S. economy into an epic tailspin? Maybe.

Wall Street loves testosterone, and testosterone loves risk. Even stampedes. New regulations are in the works. But some are saying maybe it’s endocrine diversity that the Street needs. A hormone rebalance.

This hour, On Point: What if women ran Wall Street?


Joining us from New York is Sheelah Kolhatkar, contributing editor at New York Magazine. Her  current article is “What if Women Ran Wall Street? Testosterone and Risk.”

Joining us from London is John Coates, senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance at the University of Cambridge. He researches the interplay of the endocrine system and financial risk-taking, and formerly ran a derivatives trading desk for Deutsche Bank New York.

And with us in our studio is Nancy Koehn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, and an expert on entrepreneurial leadership and its history.  Her latest book is “The Story of American Business: From the Pages of the New York Times.”

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