Tuesday, February 3, 2009

When you think "Dangerous Criminals", Picture These Guys

Left to Right: General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally

Dick Cheney, Former Vice President of the United States of America

Donald Rumsfeld, Former U.S. Secretary of the Defense, and George W. Bush, Former President of the United States of America

Lee Raymond, CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation

Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto Agriculture Company

These bureaucratic and capitalist crooks, some of whom were U.S. Government genocidalists, some of whom were or are savage CEOs of genocidal corporations, and countless others who maintain positions of great U.S. national power and control, should be regarded as threats to our political and communal safety and should be considered highly dangerous, in my opinion. They would never have "made it" had they not first been trained to be white male supremacists.

Dick Fuld, Former CEO of Lehmen Brothers Holdings, Inc.



Christina said...

Here is a link to an article called “Too much testosterone on Wall Street?” It could certainly contribute to Corporate America getting rid of all these criminals.


Julian Real said...

Thanks, Christina, for that link.

I'm going to link to it again, and post it below as well, as when I tried the link it led me to a page that said "No longer available".

Here's an alternate link:

http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/hewlett/2009/01/too_much_testosterone_on_wall.htmlAnd the text of the piece, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett:

Too Much Testosterone on Wall Street?

3:57 PM Wednesday January 7, 2009

Finance has always been dominated by men and driven by a testosterone-enhanced culture. If women had been running our banks, might we have avoided the sub-prime mess and the resulting economic meltdown?

Halla Tomasdottir, a prominent Icelandic financier, answers yes. In a recent BBC interview she shared her outrage at the wild risks male bankers had taken in Iceland, resulting in three banks being nationalized and the country being frozen out of foreign exchange markets. At least two smart women saw it coming - Tomasdottir herself and her partner Kristin Petursdottir, who set up Audur Capital in 2007, recruiting mainly women and exercising risk awareness in their choice of investments. Audur was one of the few Icelandic financial companies to survive the crisis. "Our ground rule was simple, we didn't invest in anything we couldn't understand," says Tomasdottir. In early 2008 she published a report warning Prime Minister Geir Haarde that Iceland's financial model was unsustainable.

He appears to have listened. Two months ago he appointed two women to rebuild the financial system. Elin Sigfusdottir and Birna Einarsdottir now head up the nationalized New Landsbanki and New Glitnir banks - their mandate to move away from the macho culture of irresponsible, aggressive risk-taking that many now blame for Iceland's troubles.

The notion that men are aggressive - and sometimes irresponsible - risk-takers, while women are responsible and risk adverse, has been around for years but is bolstered by new research.
Early last year a team from Cambridge University explored the behavior of 17 male City traders and showed that when traders recorded high levels of testosterone in the morning they made more profit for the rest of the day, but they also indulged in impulsive, sensation-seeking behavior. Dr John Coats, lead author of the Cambridge research study and a former trader himself says "rising levels of testosterone turns risk-taking into a form of addiction."

Another new study "Global Financial Crisis: Are Women the Antidote?" published in October by CERAM, the French Business School, demonstrates that women have a beneficial restraining effect on the excesses of men. This research shows that firms in the CAC 40 (the French equivalent of the Dow Jones) with a high ratio of women in top management have shown better resistance to the financial crisis. Report author Michel Ferrary found that the fewer female managers a company has, the greater the drop in its share price since January 2008. BNP Paribas for example, where 39% of managers are women, has seen its stock fall by 20% since the beginning of 2008. While Credit Agricole, the largest retail banking group in France, where only 16% of managers are female, has seen its share price fall by 50%. Ferrary comes to the conclusion that "the feminization of management seems to be a protection against financial crisis."

The idea that we need more women in top jobs in finance is gaining traction. "The current crisis gives us the opportunity to insert gender into the re-writing of the rules" says Nadereh Chamlou, a senior adviser at the World Bank. "We need more women at the table."

Barack Obama's appointment of Mary Schapiro to head up the SEC would seem to be a step in the right direction, thought it's not at all clear that Wall Street is learning this lesson. The last year has been marked by an exodus of top women - Zoe Cruz, Sallie Krawcheck and Erin Callan, come to mind. Indeed, it's hard to think of any Wall Street women who have risen to prominence in these turbulent times.

Julian Real said...

I'll add that I find the "it was the testosterone that did it" defense, or critique, not my own experience, and in many ways dangerous, as it leaves out the power of structural oppression to shape human beings into dehumanised tyrants, rapists, and white supremacist activists.

As Peggy Sanday noted, there are some cultures which are more rapist in their values and practices than others, and the difference between them doesn't appear to be level of testosterone found in the males of the society.

White male supremacy, from my point of view, can impact and "infect" anyone, and does, regardless of race, gender, or economic status.

People with power who are not held accountable, in my experience, are capable of doing many horrendous things, especially if social mores, or religious ones, have their back.

There are so many factors in place that allow white Western businessMEN to go to much poorer regions of the world and sexually exploit and/or rape the girls and women, boys and trans folks who live there. I don't think the common denominator of what those men, and all batterers, and all rapists, and all CEOs destroying the Earth, and all genocidalists have in common is a certain level of testosterone.

Considering white racism alone, there are plenty of white women who maintain white supremacy, and, we presume, at least, they, on average, are not as physiologically impacted [negatively] to act in oppressive ways as white men.

The very fact that white men are more dangerous, as a group, than any other group of men, rules out testosterone as "the" main factor.

See also Dworkin's essay on Biological Superiority, which I concur with, noting that this is the time called Yom Hashoah, or Day of Remembrance of the Nazi Holocaust Victims and Survivors.

I know many very gentle, nurturing men who not, in my experience, and in the experience of those women I know who have been around them, interpersonally capable of sexual assault, or signing a policy that would kill many Indigenous people, non-human animals, and sections of the Earth.

It takes a few things to be able to do that sort of destruction, and testosterone isn't one of them:

1. Structural/institutional support and either popular support, or the presence of oppressively manufactured consent to atrocity.

2. Being in a social-political position to act out power-as-domination. GWB and Dick Cheney could do things a year ago that they simply cannot do now, and it's not because their hormone levels have changed.

3. The conscious will to destroy inhumanely, or levels of ignorance or denial of what one is doing that has these effects. Willful knowledge or ignorance and denial that one, or one's group, is doing what it is doing is not, as far as I can tell, biologically determined. Children can be horrible to one another, and no high levels of testosterone are even present.

4. A well-established system of non-accountability around those who behave in these ways.

It's not paleness and maleness that makes "a person into an oppressor" it's socially/culturally imbuing paleness and maleness (among other attributes) with political meaning, status, advantages, entitlements, privileges, and institutional or structural support that makes someone or a group opppressive.

I don't think Finnish men have committed less atrocity, globally, than have English men, due to physiological factors.

How do you understand "what creates oppressive behavior" among white men?

Christina said...

White men have never been held accountable for their crimes against women and people of colour and therefore see no reason to stop now.
White men have never been on the receiving end of oppression.
White men have all the power and have no desire to share it or give it up and they use oppression, rape etc as a form of holding all other groups down.

Julian Real said...

I agree completely.