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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?

Guests:

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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  • cory

    This seems like overthinking to me. Greedy, amoral men, women, and institutions caused the crisis. I’ll be interested to hear the angle they take.

  • Rick Evans

    Substitute a female hormone as an explanation for some negatively perceived behavior and imagine the American Association of University Women reaction.

  • John

    The testicles of the iconic bronze bull statue have been rubbed so much that they are now discolored.

  • Yar

    If testosterone is truly responsible for excessive risk, then an appropriate punishment for financial crimes involving risk would be castration. I wonder if the threat of loosing more than other people’s money would change behavior?

    I would like to hear some discussion on the concept of Jubilee. Throughout history the reset button on capitalism has been pushed repeatedly. Through revolution, reorganization, war, currency reissue or other means. It is difficult to get the next generation to pay for the sins of our fathers. I believe the unrest in TEA movement is really a statement of “Hell NO, we won’t pay.”
    No payment has been made to bail out banks or anyone else, we have only shifted numbers on a ledger.

    How do we avoid revolution in the US while making our debt a small enough part of our GDP to pay and large enough to keep our creditors from invasion? It must involve both inflation and taxes. Both will go up.

  • Larry

    No, hormones on the trading floor are not the cause of the crisis. The cause of the crisis is criminals in the executive offices.

    And just in case anyone is wondering why no one went to jail for causing a financial meltdown? It’s because the corruption in America goes straight to the top of companies and our enlivenment.

  • Todd

    Why, of course! Bernie Madoff isn’t truly to blame for his criminal actions; he was merely the victim of his overactive endocrine system! Bernie doesn’t need jail time, the poor guy just needs HORMONE THERAPY! It was Bernie’s endocrinologist that should have been held accountable for that Ponzi scheme. We’ve had the “Twinkie” defense, now have the “Dinkie” defense. Testosterone made me do it!

  • Larry

    meant to say…..corruption goes straight to the top of our companies and our government.

  • Larry

    The criminals at the top are using the traders’ hormones to get their dirty work done.

    It is a joke to blame it on the traders.

  • Gary

    In a similar vein…I was hearing something repeated over and over again in the media in regard to the celibate pedophiles priest problem. It was said that if these men could marry, then they would not be pedophiles.

    The translation of this is, that ALL men are pedophiles but for the love of a good woman. I find this philosophy darkly abusive of all men in general.

  • Ferial

    Any woman who lives alone in the city learns that three or more young men walking together or sitting together on the bus *might* present a problem, but if there’s a young woman or two with them, no problem at all.

  • Peter

    I agree that men are more risk taking than women but plenty of women are also risk takers. Admission to Wall Street, particularly the trading floor, requires risk taking and the woman who enters will be just as big a risk taker as the men with whom she competes. The same can be said for women entering combat units in the military. Again, the women applying and successfully competing in the military will be as aggressive, authoritarian and risk taking or whatever it requires to win.

  • JP

    Wait a minute. There are more women in Wall St. now than at any point in history– so shouldn’t Wall St. be getting incrementally more risk averse compared to 10 or 20 years ago? Alas, that is clearly not the case.

  • Larry

    The women on Wall Street are there to serve a eye candy for the men.

    Go stand outside any Wall Street firm and you will not believe what the women wear to work.

    Four inch heels and skirts as high as they can get away with.

    They are mostly young women and I suspect many are there to catch a man with the way they dress.

  • Ferial

    Gary, you misunderstand the argument, which is more subtle. The argument is not that celibacy causes pedophilia (and certainly not that “the love of a good woman” etc.). The argument is that men who are drawn to a life of celibacy may have underlying issues of disordered sexual expression. That is, if a man has been taught that (or fears that)his sexual nature is aberrant, he might quite logically believe that celibacy is his only choice.

  • Ellen Dibble

    No woman money-manager-type has ever treated me like an idiot. No women have been in that position. One man has treated me fairly. About a dozen men seem to think that I as a female should be patronized; you wine them and dine them (at the cheapest place available) and then feel a little guilty when you have cheated them and try to make up for it by directing them towards a wealthy husband (or something like that). You make-nice with social glad-handing and make a graceful exit. But basically you don’t even try. I looked for a mortgage for rental housing (from banks — “are you crazy?” or from a mortgage specialist; “I can do anything” — but apparently couldn’t help with multi-unit housing.
    Lady, you have to play by the good-old-boys’ rules.

  • Larry

    The high testosterone men are TOOLS OF THE CRIMINAL TOP.

    Why are they ignoring this fact????????????????????????

    Sounds to me like another case of blaming the people taking orders like the torture in Iraq rather than the people giving them.

  • brian

    I’m curious how, exactly, this line of thinking re: men and chemicals and testosterone and biology etc. and the stock market failure is different from, say, former Harvard president Larry Summers’ comments re: women and biology and science…?
    (My answer: it’s not, and both are legitimate lines of questioning–i.e., if we’re going to get into a discussion of men and women and biology.)

  • Sherrie

    I’m skeptical about the no female bubbles idea: did I imagine beanie babies?

  • Steve T

    You guys are really, throwing the BULL.

  • John Smith

    Reverse the situation a bit.

    What if the majority of wall street were women. Wouldn’t there be other problems which will arise?

  • Bonnie Pomfret

    Great show! I am reading the book The Big Short and it all seems so very exaggerated, I had no idea.

    I think the guys on the top of this heap are rewarding the behavior that gets them and their employees high on profits. Does it matter whether the money or the high is more important to them? Behavior is the same, whether it is pure greed or pure testosterone as the motivator. And we sheep go right along and allow them to be bailed out. Further reward for this risk-taking behavior.

    I’m personally ready for a bailout, but seem to be in the wrong business (teaching)!

  • http://- Toby Frost

    Please comment on the amazing story of Brooksly Born, who foresaw the crash, but whose warnings were ignored – That story appeared on TV as ‘The Warning’ – and Born was shoved aside by the top financiers.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The idea herein promoted that the honchos at the top are to blame for encouraging the high-testosterone behavior of their minions reminds me a little of the hierarchical situations in the Catholic church, where mutual protection (instead of huge wealth, in the church what is being protected is the monopoly on high virtue), and so the mentors at the higher level protect those below them, and there evolve scandals, as we know.

  • Wait one minute…

    Caller Lea is right.

    Many women are very competitive, but they seek more socially acceptable rewards.

    A BIG HOUSE and mortgage with a variable interest rate is a high-risk investment. I would like to see some comparison of how many women were on the other end of the transaction (the material end as opposed to the financial end) Maybe it would say more about heterosexuality?

  • Chris

    I thought Capitalism was supposed to be about investing in companies that had great ideas for great products or services, etc. I thought it was about taking a risk to help, thru investment. That’s what they told us in junior and senior high school. The emphasis was NOT on making money exclusively. Did they mislead us, or was there a halycon time (1959-1965?) in Capitalism?

    I really HATE those “products” that allow betting on the success or failure of stocks!!!

    Personally, I prefer the social democracies of the Scandinavian countries to our oligarchy posing as a democratic nation. Do the Scandinavian counries have their own stock exchanges, or, do they dip into Wall Street’s stock exchange? How does that work???

  • Manoog in Providence

    Saudi Arabia, of all places, is where women may be behind the veil but, have for generations, been the management of Saudi wealth.

  • Lawrence McSwiggan

    It seems reasonable that testosterone and intrinsic male characteristics, compounded by societal reinforcement- from the way in which boys are raised to where monetary rewards lie, exacerbate the swings in an economy and contribute to boom/ bust cycles. However, and thankfully, programs like yours providing this information may lead to the slow demise of the wall street culture as people realize that you don’t need to be on wall street to analyze or trade and that you can hire people anywhere to do what these wall street insiders do, and do it from home on the internet. The fact that women outperform men will eventually lead to the diversification of the gender makeup of the money industry and, most likely, all industries, as consumers realize that performance is what matters and that the aura of wall street, expensive commercial real estate, entertainment and the general wall street culture (and many sales cultures) are superfluous to actual tasks required by a particular job.

  • Ellen Dibble

    When we talk about competition in Wall Street jobs, something has gone awry. I’d say competition among insurers has gone awry as well. If everyone charges 39% more and everyone offers costly drugs this year that were not available last year, what happens? The low-cost option disappears. And in Wall Street, the Wall Street trader who sees a reasonable salary as a moral salary disappears from the equation.

  • Matt

    The entire issue seems a moot point. Hiring based upon sex is clearly descriminatory and therefore precluded by Federal Law.

  • Julia

    A good female friend of mine was a stock broker for one of the biggest traders. She was the most ferocious and smart competitor I have ever known, and did very well for her customers.
    However, she ended up feeling forced to leave for two reasons:
    -She saw all of the good accounts routinely given to males, regardless of performance or seniority, and
    -She was under constant pressure to sell products that she thought were bad ideas.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Remember the scandalous very costly regrouping weekends at spas in LA that the bankers enjoyed at the height of the bubble popping? I recall a young high-testosterone trader going snow-boarding in Canada for a week with “the boys,” all mutually pumping up their cover stories, their deceptions — as it turned out — I thought don’t sue them; richer people will catch up with them. That was in 2000.

  • John

    what a bunch of bunkum. If women have an edge on wall street, how come they aren’t making boatloads of cash off and on the street where they already are present?

    women aren’t on wall street because they don’t want to be. If women want to be there, they can be like firefighters and all the other previously men-only professions.

  • Darren

    I have my own business. It is nice to own something, take care of it, nurture it, and watch it grow. Could this appeal more to women? After all, they themselves are a vessel for “creation”. I see the stock market as more of a money-managing business than actually creating something. Maybe a stretch here… I am a male by the way.

  • Jim Fox

    Myers-Briggs typing, based on Karl Jung’s personality theories, describes people who tend to be decisive and “git ‘er done” types: the “Judging” function. Their counterparts have a higher tolerance for taking it slow and gathering more information before coming to a conclusion. They are stronger in the “Perceiving” function. More men are “Judging”, and more women tend to be “Perceiving”. Japanese businesses have used personality typing to compile their teams with a balance of personality types. This is not unlike a male-female balance. Testosterone is the likely difference. (What would be interesting, would be to see if testosterone levels spike in “Perceiving” male traders during a bull market or bubble.)

  • Steve

    doing business runs on intelligence even if it is driven by energy from testosterone, caffeine, estrogen, what have you.

    Human thought is not bound by the chemicals in our body to whatever degree the permutations of their expressions may be indicative of it.

  • Steve Lowry

    The problem with Wall Street and the “Market” is not, strictly, testosterone, it’s GREED.

    I do accept that male biology creates more risk taking but can be women just as greedy. Perhaps greed exhibits differently by gender but greed is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason – it blinds us to the ramifications of our actions.

    For capitalism to work for the society, there MUST be a moral compass.

  • Manoog in Providence

    The problem is that are financial system is the oldest and conceived well before women worldwide had the possibilities of even showing their value in any field.

    If modern trading, banking and money and asset management were introduced today the likely gender mix could be reversed.

    The case ca be easily drawn by discovering that from Saudi Arabia asset management to the first president of the College of Banking for the Republic of Armenia in the former Soviet Union are all women.

  • Julie

    The bottom line is these traders/brokers are selling products.
    I’ve seen these guys in and out of their offices.
    Basically they are salesman….and as far as the testosterone is concerned, most of these guys dont know which end of a screwdriver to use or how to change a flat tire.
    High stakes used car salesmen.
    Measuring their manlyness should be compared to the the guy earning much less working two jobs to support his family other than these guys riding on their own egos.

    Julie

  • Wait one minute…

    So asset management is like sitting on an egg
    verus the quick “in and out” on the trading floor?
    This conversation is hilarious.

    I think you would find that most women, and most men for that matter, are not willing to be the pioneer in a one-gendered environment, just like a working class guy may stick to the bowling alley when he would be happy playing golf.

  • Larry

    The “churn” on Wall Street is from the computers. Not the traders. So this is once again a false flag. Never put the blame where it belongs……on the criminal top.

  • Mari

    A fascinating segment. I wonder what will happen to global economics when effects of the socially engineered “gendercide” in China and India kick in.

    Currently, there are 120 boys to every 100 girls, due to gender selection before birth. By 2020, that number will grow to about 140 boys to 100 girls. Any comments about this impending global testosterone explosion and what the West can do to stay in the game?

  • Manoog in Providence

    The problem is that are financial system is the oldest and conceived well before women worldwide had the possibilities of even showing their value in many fields.

    If modern trading, banking and money and asset management were introduced today the likely gender mix could be reversed.

    The case ca be easily drawn by discovering that from Saudi Arabia asset management to the first president of the College of Banking for the Republic of Armenia in the former Soviet Union are all women.

  • http://wnpr.org Rob Saracino

    Having read some on this topic, allow me to make a point from another perspective. Women, generally, dislike winners & losers; they want everyone to be included and everyone to be friendly i.e. mothering, peacemakers. Where men see the world in winners and losers. See the games kids play-naturally-you generally find girls playing dolls and princesses and boys playing more physical winner and loser games e.g. sports, “war games”, etc…See Tanner, “Men & Women in Conversation”…

  • Ellen Dibble

    Regardless of testosterone or estrogen, there is an equivalent differentiation in morality, it seems to me, with females in business maneuvering — as noted by Jim Fox above, with Myers-Briggs personality typing — with perhaps more perceiving before jumping into “get-it-done” mode. That might not seem very “executive,” yet females do become executives without totally buying into the high-testosterone mode this program addresses.
    I’m thinking of some women on Wall Street who backed out, having made the money, wondering what else is there in life, while I’m still young enough to figure it out. Here I am 40 and fabulously rich. What is life all about?
    And I’m thinking of some testosterone-type females in the workforce. I don’t want to name names. They are ones I am very cautious about.

  • Dave

    There would be so many ways to acheive money and power for women if they truly had a better -ie more profitable -way to do business on wall street, that investors would already have been supporting this idea were it truly good for the bottom line.

    In reality, it just seems like more feminist claptrap.

  • Larry

    Dave

    There is a moral way to make money and a criminal way.

    What they are essentially saying is that woman are very good at making money the moral way.

    Put that in your “feminist claptrap” pipe and smoke it.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’d say women with their mothering attitude are not only more inclusive but also more long-range thinkers.
    They don’t think in terms of profit for the next quarter, for the next rating. They think in terms of what is going to work out best in the long run, regardless of some pain up front, some tough spots along the road.
    If men are thinking what wins today, or at the end of the month, women are thinking what wins for my children, for my country.
    I think women can persuade men to think this way too, by the way.

  • Rich4321

    Testosterone? I am not sure about that. My take is there are greedy cells in the brain of these scums. Like drugs addicts, compulsive gamblers and serial murderers, once these Wall street crooks get their hands on money, they rob, they kill and they do anything to satisfy their greedy cells. What these Wall street thieves need is a brain surgery to remove these cells.

  • Todd

    I am just tired of these people being held up as something to aspire to. They are elaborate middle men who produce nothing and add nothing to society. Their money made off the backs of people who actually produce things.

  • Dave

    arrest the criminals, but please don’t find them guilty simply by gender.

    This is what I’m smoking, Larry:
    gender predisposition for job-selection is bigotted.

  • Brett

    I remember when women first began to hold positions of upper management in my field some 35 years ago. At first it seemed they were trying to overcompensate, so many of them became aggressive and…well, the “B” word. Then there seemed to be a point at which they found their level. Over the years I’ve found they’ve brought a very important balance of perspective to the workplace. I think this would probably happen on Wall Street, as well.

    It is faulty science (using that word loosely) to suggest that one aspect of our biological/physiological differences as men and women defines what determines our personalities/gender traits. I’m sure the environment itself to a great extent drives behavior in any situation.

  • Larry

    gender predisposition for job-selection is bigotted
    Dave

    What do you think it has been along? For men.

  • Gary

    A recent episode of South Park revealed that money causes sex addiction. I weigh the ideas of these authors on the same balance. My counter weight is bulls**t.

  • Cherie

    DOWN WITH MEN! Let’s get rid of all of them! Then we can be happy. lol. No, seriously, just the evil white ones. They’ve ruined what they primarily built. Lets go live in a mud-hut, and be happy.

  • paul

    ERIN.
    CALLAN.
    FEMALE.
    LAST CFO OF LEHMAN BROTHERS.

  • rosebud

    As a senior woman on Wall Street, I don’t need academics tell me what I think or what my life and work culture is like or should be like. I have never had any problem being a woman among men and have never been held back based on my gender. When people are paid for performance, gender becomes less of an issue. Academia is a far more sexist work environment than Wall Street. The reason there are so many men at senior levels is that it is virtually impossible to be a hands-on parent and a senior Wall Street executive. Not enough hours in the day when an average work week is 80 hours, and women are ultimately forced to make a choice (unless stay at home dads like my husband become more socially accepted). The financial crisis was driven by an excess of power due to flawed regulation (and, let’s face it, a general public that was as greedy as the financiers). Populate Wall Street with social workers or spirtual leaders under the same regulatory structure, give them the same latitude in terms of behavior, and you will get the same outcome. Male/female, red/blue, nuturing/aggressive, won’t matter. Even the most basic undergraduate pysch experiment proves this.

  • Peter

    “Academia is a far more sexist work environment than Wall Street.”

    I agree with rosebud’s assessment. I used to work in Wall Street and am now in academia, and can say that Wall Street is more of a meritocracy, albeit a very twisted one.

    Academia, particularly in the social “sciences,” is riddled with ridiculous ideas that win out on nothing more than the poetic eloquence and personal charisma of their ideological advocates. I don’t see any less of a problem there, where women tend to dominate more.

  • jp

    Just because men are running Wall Street hardly means that
    male hormones are the problem. A correlation is not a CAUSAL
    connection.

    On another note, do these guests imply that women don’t have
    emotional ups and downs due to hormones? Are the guests
    implying that women aren’t susceptible to money and/or sales?

    This whole article is pseudo-science, or hearsay and conjecture
    at best.

  • purpleoctopus

    @rosebud – as one who works within an industry highly reliant on statistical data, you should give the academics here more credit.

    It’s hard to argue that the endocrine system is the sole determinant of our economic state – at the same time, biology is an ingredient in the soup.

    For some reason when you start discussing mass behavior as related to biological mechanisms it seems to drive everyone into a tizzy. There’s a middle ground here. It’s not all determinism.

    As someone who’s worked in the health and wellness industry for over a decade now, I can tell you that testosterone very much DOES matter. I know more executives than I can count who regularly monitor their testosterone levels – I’m talking blood tests and testosterone injections here. That quite literally changes the reality for the individual involved. And it’s not as if you need an artificial spike to do it either. Ever played basketball with that friend who gets a little too competitive? Starts saying stupid things because he’s all T’d out?

    To me it’s pretty preposterous to imply that testosterone-driven behaviors don’t have a significant impact on business decisions across the country. What, testosterone can be blamed for guys getting into needless brawls or cheating on their wives but not on business decisions? Like suddenly reason kicks in when they walk through the office door?

    Granted,the implication that testosterone is the ONLY key element in the equation is just as preposterous.

    So people – get over it. Acknowledge that aspects of our biology affect our reality which in turn affects decision making. Male and female bodies generate different levels of hormones – WHICH AFFECTS BEHAVIOR.

    Now being conscious and accepting of this fact we can all make the necessary adjustments so our decisions and judgments are the correct ones.

  • Maria Cuevas

    Rosebud hits it on the head– that is, she and others still miss the point. From a sociological perspective (not psychological), it is the structure– i.e,. how Wall Street is structured– that creates the behavior. Modify the structure and you change behavior. That said, Wall Street, like other aspects of gendered behavior, is structured according to masculinist ideas of finance and competition; basically capitalism as it is currently structured is a male-defined activity. Paid work as opposed to unpaid work (that it is argued, is just as important–without women to support men and raise the next generation of workers we would not experience our current form of work and economy). Women can be, and are, just as aggressive as men depending upon the situation–see 3/21/10 New York Times Sports section on female aggression in sports. By the same token, men can be nurturing, compassionate, caring depending upon the context. We are talking about human emotions expressed according to society’s gendered norms (ideas about what is masculine and feminine behavior).

  • Dave

    It is quite incorrect to imply that financial bubbles are caused by young men driven mad by excessive testosterone. Financial bubbles are created by intelligent rational men in order to make large amounts of money. Financial companies are sales organizations that earn income from the sale of securities to the public. At any given time there is a finite supply of quality investments for them to sell, putting a limit on their profits if they operated in a strictly ethical manner. To get around this inconvenience, they mass produce low quality or even worthless securities in some legitimate and profitable area of investment such as junk bonds, tech stocks, or mortgages. They then hype them through their sales staff and the media, and while the mania lasts, the investment industry rakes in huge profits from fees and comissions, while society as a whole suffers when the investing public learns the true value of these bogus securities and the bubble pops.

  • dnh

    If you want to indict our holy altar of getting and spending as immoral, fine.

    But, please, at least have the decency not to scapegoat men.

    Testosterone may shape the manner in which some of the ideas of some men are expressed, but the validity of said ideas comes from the degree to which they conform to the aseptically embedded values of an airless economic system.

  • gary arthur thomson

    Women were brokers in the world’s first private treaty stock exchange in Sumer (ancient Iraq) 4000 years ago. In my book, THE GENESIS OF WALL STREET IN ANCIENT IRAQ, hundreds of stock market tickets—clay tablets written in cuneiform—name the brokers on the first recorded inside trading exchange.

    Hundreds of years later in the time of Hammurabi’s barons, the power had shifted to a male ordered market not unlike the unfettered brokers and bankers of our own time.

    Gary Arthur Thomson, McGill University

  • Wait one minute…

    rosebud,

    If wall street is such a meritocracy then why do they not have to face the consequences for ther actions like homeowners do? why don’t they get of their butts and help out at home? why is homework not compensated while gambling with other people’s hard-earned money is?

    If this fiasco proves anything is that male-dominated industries can get away with murder, while poorer, blacker, and less testerone-laden get the hammer.

    If the government insurers male dominated industries against catstrophic loss and then puts these same golden boyz in charge of the “reforms” and lets them keep their precious bonuses and prestigous jobs…

    hmmm… maybe I should go back to college to learn what risk means.

  • Wait one minute…

    It’s not socially acceptable for men to be stay at home dads?

    Says who?

    Men?

  • twenty-niner

    The idea that American business is going to be saved by diversity seems to be a bit of a red herring. Japan, with one of the most homogenous populations on earth, managed to go from a crushing defeat in WWII to the second largest economy (which may have been surpassed by China, another homogenous population) in two generations. Japan also out-traded us in 2008 by over 5 billion dollars. Further, Japanese are granted nearly 8 times as many patents per capita as the US. So having everyone look alike or not look alike doesn’t seem to be a predictor of success. I think the real factors are hard work, street smarts, and inventiveness.

  • joshua

    This feels like misdirection–it must be testosterone or unfortunate events and not the fact that most of these people are extremely greedy, amoral, immoral and worship money and power–destructive forces in society. These kind of people have no concern–no concern for people–they brush humanity aside with ease to line their pockets. The bottom line in America is everything. Our economy is based on casino logic and/or bulls in a pen–fighting dogs.

    Im so sick of the excuses. The American system from health care to war to our extensive prison system and punishment of the poor–the poor treated as criminals, is really an evil system. Americans are like crack addicts–addicted to narcotic capitalism, delusional, insane, ignorant, immoral…it is stereotypical to say women are somehow more nurturing–actually, they every bit as ruthless as men, even more in some cases. Women support more as much as men, even more ravenously. Women are are ruthless with each other, hate each other, and can be extremely shallow in their personal relationships among other women–envious and jealous of one another

  • joshua

    women support WAR as much as men…

  • joshua

    i like the point that women demand expensive fashionable items–always spending–and demand the biggest and best of everything–they want it all-and many choose men with bigger pockets to provide that for them. This is very real–it is not just male prejudices or misogyny. Their shallow nature is related to their envy and competitiveness of each other. I would like to see a study to see if testosterone levels are related to penis and breast sizes.

  • joshua

    Tom’s guest uses the story of the tortoise and the hare and asks who do you want to be? And Tom chuckles, well, their are more issues here. Thank you Tom. This quest embodies wall Street–morals, humanity–never figured into his equation. Money is everything–money at everyone elses expense.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Joshua, it’s an interesting point that women choose and encourage the testosterone-driven behavior (if that’s what it is) that sends Wall Street into apparent madness.
    I don’t think anyone is saying that Adam was evil and Eve was divine. Each has their share of, shall we say, difficult permutations. If women had been at the helm for many centuries, there would surely be good cause for a program on the problems associated with an estrogen-driven Wall Street.
    The idea here is that ONE rather “driven” approach seems to have gotten its unregulated way with us all, and that women are almost programmed by evolution to stand counter to that — well, that’s my take on it.

  • tvtech

    I know this is late, but could some one enlighten me to how this risk theory could be applied to china, and it’s male dominant society? How would this be affected in a collectivist culture versus an individualistic culture?

  • BC

    You are messing up my Biopsychology course. I’m just trying to counteract all the common misconceptions about testosterone that you are taking as given. Perhaps your speakers have data on changes in testosterone levels in Wall Street traders, but unless I missed it they haven’t mentioned them on the program. Yes, there is a “winner effect,” but the relationship to behavior is nothing like as straightforward as you suggest.

  • Louis Profeta

    I realized recently that some people prefer to live in society with as little risk as possible. Retired, I decided to study poetry and concluded risk is the spark that makes life interesting and exciting.Risk is every where,from vows at the altar to the food on you plate.Men as well as boys like to turn up the volume to increase the risk.It’s not a bad thing open for judgement, it’s testosterone folks, an internal fluid, subject to something called a rush.Add money and instant gratification to this action and you have the greatest sport in the world. Gov’t regulation is needed because when risk wins you lose, Uncle Sam doesn’t bail you out.Remember you play with men, no one wipes you tears. Can’t pay, don’t play.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

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Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

 
Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

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Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

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Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

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