Court papers say Bernie Madoff, the former investment adviser and financier convicted of one of the largest fraud schemes in U.S. history, used to have so much cocaine at work that his colleagues called his office “The North Pole.”
Did coked-up bankers cause the financial crisis?
A former top drug adviser to the British government says a rampant cocaine culture within the banking industry spurred overly risky decisions.
Comedian Robin Williams, always good with a one-liner, once summed up his struggle with drug abuse via a punchline: “Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.”
Well, TV’s Mork may have been on to something. David Nutt, a controversial British professor, psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist — who was also the U.K.’s most senior government adviser on drug abuse — believes cocaine contributed to the recent global financial crisis.
“Bankers use cocaine and got us into this terrible mess,” he said in a recent interview with the U.K.’s Sunday Times (subscription required) — adding that cocaine made many people in the financial sector overly confident and more open to taking additional risks.
Cocaine, he says, is a perfect drug for the industry’s “culture of excitement and drive and more and more and more. It is a ‘more’ drug.”