Blogs & Comment

Young male traders: Weapons of mass destruction?

The decisions governing the world's financial markets are being made almost exclusively by stressed out young men.

(Photo: Image Source/Getty)

A recent study from the University of Cambridge illuminates a disturbing lack of diversity among those responsible for the world’s financial markets.

Fact: Financial markets around the world are a reflection of the decisions of human beings.

Fact: The vast majority of these particular human beings are traders.

Fact: The vast majority of traders are young men.

Fact: Young men have high levels of testosterone.

Fact: Testosterone is the chemical responsible for irrational exuberance.

Fact: Irrational exuberance leads to bubbles.

Fact: Bubbles are bad.

Fact: Men typically produce ten times more testosterone than women.

John Coates, senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance and author of the study, explained the situation to Bloomberg: “On Wall Street, we have one slice of the population—young men—running our trading floors,” said the former derivatives trader. “That leads to extreme behavior: They go wilding.”

If there was ever a case for gender-based affirmative action, surely this is it.