American Psycho

Phalaenopsis - Fairy Charm

There were two economists who were shipwrecked on a desert island. They had no money but over the next three years they made millions of dollars selling their hats to each other.

The trade journal, “CFA Magazine”, recently reported that one-in-ten Wall Street employees is a certifiable psychopath. Here CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. The Huff-Post picked up this tidbit, included a graphic of an ax wielding Christian Bale, as a Wall Street investment banker, in the movie, “American Psycho”, and ran it. A subsequent article, in “World of Psychology” threw cold water on this claim and argued that there is no statistical evidence that there is any more mental illness in the financial services industry, than the one-in-hundred, which is the national average.

Wherever the truth lies, I don’t know which one of them is the scarier statistic, 10% of Wall Street bankers are psychos or 1% of everyone you know is one. The bankers could and have stolen every cent that you own, but that crazy neighbor could kill you. In the interest of full disclosure, I took a hefty financial hit in 2008, when the markets crashed. Fortunately, I have recouped those losses. This keeps the Patrick Batemans of the world at bay, but what about that crazy neighbor that could kill me.

He is not really a neighbor, at least not legally. The house has been condemned. Last year, a wind storm downed our big tree and a half-dozen more. One of our neighbor’s trees fell on his house, just like our tree fell on another neighbor’s house. The law in Missouri states that the fallen tree is the neighbor’s problem and not the original owners. It’s the opposite in Illinois, that’s just the law.

This guy took to haranguing his neighbor, a single woman. I’ve only heard her side of the story, but apparently, he threatened her, both verbally and in writing, handwriting. The policeman, who took her report, said that you couldn’t ask for better evidence. Still, nothing happened, until he took the bus across town, and with a chainsaw, cut down her fence. The fallen tree had bowed over this fence, so that it leaned across the property line. Another note and still, nothing happened.

A year has passed. The city is pursuing foreclosure for back taxes, an always laborious endeavor. The single woman copes with her fear, as best she can. I cannot say any more. Everything seems quiet, at least for now. Is this person really a psychopath? None of his soon (hopefully) to be former neighbors want to find out.

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