Jobs in finance can range from being a high end accountant through to working in a call centre arranging debt repayments. Employment in finance deals with money and assets, keeping control of assets and managing the transaction and trade of these. Trading on the stock markets has been regarded as a prestigious job and those employed in the industry were notorious for the birth of the so called yuppie movement in the 1980s.
Yuppie is a term associated with a Young Upwardly-mobile Person, or Young Urban Person. Beginning in 1980 when printed in an American journal, the term was aimed at young professionals that focussed on a good career and a materialistic lifestyle above getting married and having children. These types of people were associated with the financial market as working in this sector gave the pay to fund the lifestyle. Stereotypically, the cliche is of twenty something’s, in designer powers suits, driving BMW’s and working on the stock markets. These people would then spend their high wages on a trendy loft apartment and eat at exclusive restaurants.
The epitome of this lifestyle was portrayed in the film American Psycho, starring Christian Bale. The film focuses on the yuppie lifestyle and the competitive nature of those that trade in stocks and shares. The storyline revolves around the disintegration of the lead charter’s personality and sanity. He prides himself on his shallow nature and his lack of sentimentality. His lifestyle is as sparse as his emotional spectrum and spending money on expensive gadgets, meals, cocktails and cocaine is his only pastime. The film portrayed the notion of top executives not actually having any work to do; it’s all business meetings and business card swapping. The character eventually sinks into psychosis and has psychopathic tendencies from his shallow and immoral ways. Fortunately, life in stock market employment is considered a highly stressful job, it doesn’t turn traders into sociopaths.
After the stock market crash of Black Monday, on the 19 October 1987, the term yuppie lost its favour and became a mostly historical derogatory term, even enjoying an inclusion in the obituary section of Time magazine, becoming officially deceased in 1991. Trading on the stock markets thankfully enjoyed a revival and didn’t suffer a similar death as the upwardly-mobile lifestyle. Although the sudden cause of the 1987 crash has not been identified, it has changed the way in which modern economics was perceived and then taught to the next generation of financial workers.
It was understood that for the success of understanding financial markets, the theory of rational human conduct need to be taken into account as well as the usual economic hypotheses of market equilibrium and market efficiency. Understanding behaviour and consequent decisions of individuals and groups can help determine the way the stocks will perform. The introduction of panic into a trading situation is synonymous with crashes that can trigger a recession, such as the one in 1929 that saw the Dow Jones fall by 50 per cent. This had a knock-on effect across the world and it was shortly after that the infamous great depression began. After the crash of 1987, the trading stopped due to failures within the computer system from the sheer quantity of transactions during the panic. This allowed the world’s financial market to do what it could to steady the economy and prevent a worldwide economic catastrophe.
Since this event, new measures have been implemented in the computer systems used and the system will now automatically cease trading for a set period of time if the trading is low. This is how evidence of panic in response to the market is managed in an attempt to prevent another crash, and part of the greater spectrum of knowledge that is needed to be able to work in the prestigious sector of stocks and shares,