Bernie Madoff, Raj Rajaratnam and Doug DeCines: Do you know the connection between these three?
If you follow the news then you probably have a good idea — all three of these “gentlemen” were accused and convicted of insider trading (except in Major League third basemen DeCines’s case — he settled for $2.5 million).
But there’s another connection here that may be missed because it’s just too simple — all three of these fraudsters are men.
Men more inclined to cheat?
According to a recent survey of 500 financial professionals from the US and UK, nearly 25% believe people in finance might sometimes “need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful.”
The study put professionals in the hot seat by asking if they’d consider taking part in insider trading if they could make $10 million with no risk of being arrested — all hypothetical, of course.
The result is surprising to say the least: 45% indicated there was at least a chance they’d do it. Among those who agreed, 19% were men and only 10% were female (We assume the rest declined to give their gender).
So, do these numbers prove women are more honest than men?
Possibly. But it could also be that men are just more ready to admit they’d succumb to the temptation of insider trading.
What about Martha?
No question about it: When you think “insider trading,” Bernie Madoff and Raj Rajaratnam, who had a record sentence of 11 years in prison for insider trading, probably come to mind.
But we can’t forget about Martha Stewart, who served five months for her shady dealings as well.
To suggest only men are capable of shady, backdoor insider training scandals may be a bit shortsighted, but there may be some validity to the claim that, since men are typically higher up on the food chain, they’re more likely to engage in these activities.
What do you think? Are men more likely than women to participate in insider trading? Let us know in the comments.