When business terms are used to describe the actions of people, then we can perceive an objectification of the human being as a product or an asset or a liability. The following article that describes the financial deleveraging that is necessary for a healthier financial system, gives us an understanding of how banks like Goldman Sachs view people. The words used in the article can serve to illuminate the character of present-day banks.
Consequently, when employees are viewed as capable of being "deleveraged" as a debt is deleveraged, we visualize the bank objectifying its employees; that is, treating them like a product that can be used and when no longer of value can be discarded. So a person who works for Goldman Sachs and does not make huge amounts of money for top executives becomes a "debt-burden" and can be eliminated without remorse. Such people are viewed by banks as little more than "machines."
Wall Street has to be "forced" by regulation to be ethical as it cannot act on its own ethical standards which do not exist except for the benefit of the bank alone. If banks are seen as "high-income workers collectives" and if the compensation set aside for partners and high level manages is reduced, then someone has to be fired. There is no thought of sharing in the bad times where the decreasing compensation could be distributed amongst all employees until the good times come again. It is sort of like getting profit from fraudulent CDOs in good times and getting bailed out by government in bad times! Only human beings inside the banks profit; those outside the banks lose.
If the banks view everyone as "human debt" then we are all objectified in the same manner and woe betide us when the banks want to deleverage all of us!
Wall Street's (Other) Great Deleveraging
By John Carney - NetNet
Wall Street has good reason to be rattled by the news that Goldman Sachs laid off senior personnel, including managing directors, last week. It is likely the beginning of a new kind of deleveraging that will occur at every major Wall Street firm.
It’s well known that Wall Street has been forced by markets and regulators to delever in the wake of the financial crisis. For the most part, this has been a matter of financial deleveraging: reducing debt to capital ratios, reducing dependence on short-term debt, reducing compensation (especially bonuses) to revenue ratios.
But many Wall Street firms, especially Goldman Sachs [GS 93.72 1.51 (+1.64%) ], have engaged in another form of leverage that has persisted through the crisis but now seems ready to crack. Despite being public companies seemingly dedicated to capitalism, many Wall Street firms remain as high-income workers collectives. Regardless of the legal ownership structure, they are compensation machines for their employees.
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