Gangs and Wall Street Firms: Some Similarities

– Both need organizational consultants who advise on financial structure, trust management, sales projections, marketing, and cash receivables. In the case of street gangs, the advice concerns such issues as the boundaries of turf control, income to be derived from gun sales, and expenses which are needed to make that happen.

– Both street gangs and Wall Street firms need to specify under what conditions employees can leave. On Wall Street they’re often referred to as severance agreements while gangs will often use force to prevent someone from exiting a gang.

– Both entities need event planning units. On Wall Street sales conferences are scheduled to discuss prospects while the gangs have meeting to plan assaults on targeted individuals.

– Vetting is an important function in the hiring of new employees at both types of organizations. This role is handed on Wall Street by Human Resources Departments.

– On the other hand, gangs may vett their new members by assigning them difficult (often risky) tasks or having them endure physical hazings.

– Individuals who over-reach their authority in both entities are punished. On Wall Street, jail time for insider trading may seem like a relatively modest timeout. Street gang members who step over the line are more likely to suffer a more permanent form of retribution—death by gunshot.

So our efforts to keep teenagers from joining street gangs does not always create the same sense of euphoria that a bull market does—but I am glad to say that the success our team has had makes us feel like we’re seldom operating for long in a bear market environment.

Do you agree with some of the above similarities and do you have others to suggest?