Monthly Archives: February 2012

via Huffington Post

Pictured: Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street investment banker and psychopath. Researchers believe as many as 10 percent of people in the financial industry may exhibit the traits of clinical psychopathy.

Maybe Patrick Bateman wasn’t such an outlier.

One out of every 10 Wall Street employees is likely a clinical psychopath, writes journalist Sherree DeCovny in an upcoming issue of the trade publication CFA Magazine (subscription required). In the general population the rate is closer to one percent.

“A financial psychopath can present as a perfect well-rounded job candidate, CEO, manager, co-worker, and team member because their destructive characteristics are practically invisible,” writes DeCovny, who pulls together research from several psychologists for her story, which helpfully suggests that financial firms carefully screen out extreme psychopaths in hiring.

To be sure, typical psychopathic behavior runs the gamut. At the extreme end is Bateman, portrayed by Christian Bale, in the 2000 movie “American Psycho,” as an investment banker who actually kills people and exhibits no remorse. When health professionals talk about “psychopaths,” they have a broader range of behavior in mind.

A clinical psychopath is bright, gregarious and charming, writes DeCovny. He lies easily and often, and may have trouble feeling empathy for other people. He’s probably also more willing to take dangerous risks — either because he doesn’t understand the consequences, or because he simply doesn’t care.

An appetite for risk can seem like a positive business trait on Wall Street, where big gambles sometimes lead to big rewards. But for the people DeCovny is talking about, the outcomes matter less than the gambles themselves — and the chemical rush of serotonin and endorphins that accompanies them.

This is hardly the first time that mental illness has been equated with a certain capacity for professional success — especially in the financial sector, where some stock traders have actually scored higher than diagnosed psychopaths on tests that measure competitiveness and attraction to risk.

Some psychologists have long claimed that the qualities that make for a high-achieving politician or stockbroker are also the same traits that psychopaths have in abundance.

Other researchers generalize it to bosses as a species, saying that about 4 percent of all executives are psychopaths — and that their relative lack of scruples is what helps them excel in business.

At the same time, the fast-moving, high-pressure environment of Wall Street probably compromises the mental health of some of its employees. A recent study found that many young bankers developalcoholism, insomnia, eating disorders and other stress-related ailments within just a few years on the job.

Stockbrokers have also been shown to experience clinical depression at a rate more than three times as high as the general population.

DeCovny writes that for someone with a “latent” compulsive gambling problem, a job trading stocks can trigger pathological responses that send the person into an escalating pattern of lies, debts and even embezzlement and fraud.

A person with this problem would feel gratified by an enormous loss, because of the way their brain’s reward system works — which DeCovny says may explain the activities of such notorious rogue traders as Kweku Adoboli, Jerome Kerviel and Nick Leeson, three men who gambled and lost the combined equivalent of $10.3 billion for their respective institutions over the past 17 years.


via Obey

On March 4, 2012, Shepard will guest star on the 23rd Season of the iconic television series, The Simpsons.  Episode 15 – “Exit Though The Kwik-E-Mart”, In order to get back at his dad, Bart goes undercover as a graffiti street artist and plasters Homer’s unflattering image all over Springfield. But one night, Bart and Milhouse get caught in the act by established street artists Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Kenny Scharf and Robbie Conal (guest voicing as themselves), and to Bart’s surprise, they invite him to exhibit his satirical artwork in his very own gallery show. Meanwhile, a hip, new health food superstore opens in Springfield that threatens to put Apu and the Kwik-E-Mart out of business.”

“Part of being on ‘The Simpsons,’ is you’re being honored as a reference point in culture,” Fairey says. “But you also can’t be too sensitive about that part of culture being made fun of…There’s irony that comes with something outsider becoming insider. And they do a great job of examining that.”-Shepard


Who knew Salvador Dali was such a media maven in the candy world? The surrealist artist, who designed the Chupa Chups lollipop logo in 1969, entered the sweets scene one year earlier with a television commercial for Lanvin chocolates. With typical fanfare and drama, Dali sells chocolate by munching on a morsel that even makes his expressive whiskers tingle with delight. He proclaims, “I’m crazy about Lanvin chocolate!” in French. While it all looks delicious, we just hope we don’t make his squelching noises when eating our chocolate bars.

Hello All.  After the past few days of beautiful weather, it might seem a  little premature to say this, but:  It’s beginning to look a lot like T-Shirt Season.  And you know we love T-Shirt Season. It’s kind of, “our thing”.  We are in the process of brainstorming for some new designs in the upcoming months and can’t wait to show you some previews of what we have in store.

As much as we love our own product, there are tons of other great companies and shirts out there for you to be impressed with.  So here are a few websites (and blogs) dedicated to providing us with our daily dose of impressive designs and witty posts.  Throughout the upcoming months we will be highlighting more sites who do the same. Shout out to t-shirt bloggers!

ABC’s behind-the-scenes look at Apple’s supply plant in Shenzhen and Chengdu confirmed a lot of what we already knew: Conditions are grueling, employees are overworked and underpaid, and living quarters are crowded. However, some of the stats revealed through Nightline’s 17-minute special surrounding hourly wages, living costs and the process that goes into making Apple devices were staggering.

Nightline anchor Bill Weir was the first reporter to be allowed into the controversial Foxconn factory following years of reports about the harsh working conditions at the facility, which creates Apple products such as theiPadiPhone and Mac computers. Foxconn is also a supply chain provider for Nintendo, Dell, HP and Intel products.

The special, which aired on Tuesday night, revealed that Foxconn workers get paid $1.78 an hour and live in a dorm room for about $17 a month, along with seven roommates. In addition, it takes five days and 375 sets of hands to assemble an iPad, according to Nightline. Meanwhile, workers can make 300,000 cameras for the device in just two shifts.

Foxconn employees have different roles. Some work with pieces of aluminum to form the iPad’s exterior design, along with the Apple logo, working on 10,000 different iPads each hour. The Apple logo carved into the back of an iPad is made on 3,000 devices each shift. Weir said he expected most employees to be as young as 13, but noted most were in their late teens.

This is not the first time Apple has been under fire for mistreatment allegations at its supply factories. In fact, the factories have been accused of mistreatment for years. Most recently, reports surfaced that some Apple workers threatened to throw themselves off of a roof in a protest of unfair treatment. Foxconn later said the dispute was solved peacefully.

According to a report by, Cook sent an email last month to Apple employees following an article published by the New York Times that detailed how factory employees in China face unsuitable conditions.

“Unfortunately, some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly,” Cook wrote. “We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.”

He also promised Apple employees that the company will “dig deeper” and although it will likely find more issues that need to be addressed, it won’t stand still or ignore the problems in the supply chain.

Are you surprised by any of the stats in Nightline’s special? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

10 Facts (Sad but True)

10. Suicide nets were installed in Spring 2010 when nine Foxconn workers killed themselves during a three-month time period.  Although 18 employees took their own lives or tried to in recent years, Nightline said Foxconn’s suicide rate is well below China’s national average.

9. Nightline anchor Bill Weir expected most employees to be as young as 13, but noted most were in their late teens.

8. The worker shifts are 12 hours and include two one-hour long meal breaks. Lunch is $0.70 for meat and rice.

7. A worker carves the Apple logo for the iPad from the aluminum case for 3,000 devices every shift.

6. Foxconn employees use a raw piece of aluminum to form the iPad’s exterior design, along with the Apple logo, at a rate of creating 10,000 each hour.

5. In only two shifts, workers can make 300,000 iPad cameras.

4. It takes five days and 375 sets of hands to assemble an iPad, according to Nightline.

3. Despite low wages and grueling conditions, 3,000 people lined up at Foxconn for an opportunity to work at the factory. According to Nightline, Foxconn’s need for more employees to help meet the demand for Apple products is so high that it planned to hire about 80 percent of those vying for a job.

2. Rent is about $17 a month for a dorm room shared with seven other roommates.

1. Foxconn workers get paid $1.78 an hour.

Seeing that Pinterest is a website dedicated to the aesthetic beauty found on the web, and we are a clothing company, focusing on aesthetics is a pretty big deal in our world.  We have finally decided to hop on the bandwagon before it sped off without us.

So if you’re one of those people who cannot log off of your Pinterest account, feel free to add us or check out what we think looks cool!

Here is a link to the Boss Lady, Loretta’s Pinterest she created for fiftyseven-thirtythree!