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金融行业沦为自杀高发行业?

2014-03-11    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

摩根大通等几家银行发生的一连串不合时宜的死亡事件让观察人士担心会不会再有人自杀。不过,美国疾控中心的跟踪数据并没有显示金融业从业人员的自杀几率高于其他行业。但工作压力和经济形势确实给这个行业的从业人员带来了更大的压力。

A few days ago, a Wall Street executive was debating whether he could get away from the office long enough to see his shrink uptown. In the midst of a busy workday, it was looking unlikely. Then he stumbled across an article in the New York Post with the disquieting news that a J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) employee had jumped to his death from the bank's offices in Hong Kong, just three weeks after a fellow banker at the firm had committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the bank's London headquarters. "JPMorgan suicide is 3rd mysterious death in weeks," read the Post headline.
几天前,一位华尔街高管因为能不能请会儿假去上城区看心理医生与别人发生争执。在一个繁忙的工作日,这看似不太可能。随后,这位高管碰巧看到了《纽约邮报》(New York Post)上一则让人闹心的消息,内容是摩根大通(J.P. Morgan Chase)香港员工跳楼身亡。就在三周前,摩根大通另一名工作人员也从该行伦敦总部楼顶一跃而下。《纽约邮报》这篇文章的题目是《摩根大通几周内连续爆出三起员工神秘自杀身亡事件》。

The executive went to his appointment. "He said, 'That's what drove me into your office today, I want to make sure that I'm all right,'" says Alden Cass, the psychologist who treats the executive, as well as a bunch of clients who are portfolio managers, investment bankers, and traders of all types.
这位高管还是去看了他的心理医生奥尔登•卡斯。后者回忆道:“他说,‘这件事促使我今天到你的办公室来,我想确认自己没有问题。’”除了金融公司高管,卡斯还有很多客户,其中包括投资经理人、投行人士以及各式各样的交易员。

The rash of suicides has sent a shudder through Wall Street and beyond. The third death referenced by the Post—that of a J.P. Morgan executive director who died inside his Connecticut home in January—did not appear to be intentional. (A report is still pending.) Yet the J.P. Morgan incidents are only the most recent in a string of at least a half-dozen suicides in the financial world since late August. Those include executives at Zurich Insurance Group (ZURVY), Deutsche Bank (DB), and Russell Investments, among other firms.
自杀事件集中出现,受到震撼的不仅是华尔街。《纽约邮报》提到的第三起死亡事件看起来不像是自杀——摩根大通一位执行董事今年1月份死在康涅狄格州的家里(死因报告尚未公布)。其实,去年8月底以来,金融行业至少已有六人自杀,摩根大通的员工死亡事件只是出现的最晚而已。发生同样悲剧的还有苏黎世保险集团(Zurich Insurance Group)、德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)和Russell Investments等公司。

Banker suicides aren't a new phenomenon. Clusters of them in quick succession occurred during the Great Depression and during the recent Great Recession. Indeed, research has shown that suicides can be contagious, so to speak. That is particularly true when graphic and sensational reports of the fatalities lead to copycats, according to the American Association of Suicidology. So the recent untimely deaths have sparked concerns that there could be more on the way. J.P. Morgan spokesman Joe Evangelisti says the company has sent notices reminding employees that 24/7 mental health-related support resources are available at the bank, and that its hearts go out to the families of the deceased.
银行业人员自杀不是什么新鲜事。上世纪30年代大萧条以及最近一次的经济大衰退期间,银行业人员都曾接二连三地自杀。实际上可以这么说,相关研究已经证明自杀会传染。美国自杀学协会(American Association of Suicidology)指出,情况确实如此,有关自杀的图片和煽情报道会引起他人的效仿。因此,最近这些不合时宜的死亡事件已经开始让人们担心可能还会有人自杀。摩根大通发言人乔•埃万杰利斯蒂表示,公司已经通知员工,摩根大通可以随时为他们提供精神健康方面的帮助,而且公司对已故员工的家属深表同情。

But with each new wave of suicides come questions about whether the deaths signify a disturbing trend: Is finance a potentially deadly occupation? That is, do bankers kill themselves more often than other people?
不过,自杀事件的集中爆发每每都会带来这样的问题——这些死亡事件是否代表了一种让人不安的情况,那就是,从事金融业可能有生命危险?或者说,银行业人员自杀的几率比其他行业高吗?

To find out, Fortune asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pull the latest suicide statistics from its National Occupational Mortality Surveillance database. During 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2007—the most recent years during which research was funded and for which data is available—there were 329 suicides among financial specialists, more than in any other occupation tracked by the CDC except for the broad grouping of "engineers and scientists," a cohort that lost 502 to suicide.
为了找到答案,本刊邀请美国疾病控制与预防中心(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)从它的国家职业死亡率监测数据库中调出了最新的自杀数据。近些年来,相关研究获得资金支持并且有数据可循的年份包括1999、2003、2004和2007年。在这四个年份中,有329名金融业从业者自杀,超过了该中心跟踪的其他任何行业。只有“工程师和科学家”这个大类出现了502名自杀者,多于金融业。

Finance, however, is a vast profession, and while the total number of finance professionals who commit suicide may be larger than for some other professions, they are actually less likely to do so than, say, lawyers or firefighters.
但金融业的覆盖范围很广,虽然自杀的金融从业人员总数可能超过其他一些行业,但金融业人士自杀的可能性实际上要低于某些职业,比如说律师和消防员。

Take J.P. Morgan as an example: At a bank with more than 260,000 employees around the globe, a pair of suicides may seem shocking and random but the figure is, in fact, well within the range of statistical probability. Two might even be a low number. "You would expect that when people work these long hours," says Alexandra Michel, a former Goldman Sachs (GS) investment banker turned management professor at the University of Pennsylvania who for 12 years has been tracking the performance and health of a group of Wall Street recruits at two banks (she can't say which) in an ongoing study. "You would think that it would happen much more often."
以摩根大通为例,这家银行全球员工总数超过26万人,出现两起自杀事件可能显得很吓人而且毫无规律,但实际上,这个数字完全符合统计概率。有两名员工自杀甚至可能属于较低水平。宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)管理学教授亚历山德拉•米歇尔曾在高盛(Goldman Sachs)投行部门任职。她目前正在进行一项研究,因此12年来一直在跟踪两家华尔街银行(她不能透露这两家银行的名称)一批新雇员的表现和健康情况。米歇尔说:“他们的工作时间很长,外界会对他们有这样的看法,人们会认为他们自杀的频率要高得多。”

A close examination of the CDC data does reveal a worrisome connection between certain types of financial jobs and an elevated risk of suicide. The CDC organizes its mortality numbers by census categories, which can be pretty broad. The Wall Street-oriented classification is "sales representatives for financial and business services"—a category that includes a variety of banking positions, ranging from investment advisers to brokers to traders to investment bankers. People in that group are 39% more likely to kill themselves than the workforce as a whole. (Members of some other white-collar professions are at even greater risk: Lawyers are 54% more likely than average to commit suicide, and physicians are 97% more likely.)
仔细查看疾病控制与预防中心的数据后,我们并没有发现那个让人担心的现象,即某种金融工作的自杀风险较高。该中心按人口普查的方式计算死亡率,这种方法可能相当笼统。在该中心的统计类别中,和华尔街属于同一性质的是“金融和商业服务销售代表”——它包含了各种各样的银行业工作——从投资顾问、经纪人到交易员,再到投行人员。这个类别的自杀可能性比整个就业者群体高39%(某些白领职业的自杀风险甚至更高:律师的自杀几率比平均值高54%,医生则高97%。)

Within finance, observers say that investment bankers are often under the most acute mental stress. "Out of all the sections of finance, no position do I know of that's more extreme in terms of the emotional endurance one has to have than investment banking," says Cass, the psychologist who is also the co-author of Bullish Thinking: The Advisor's Guide to Surviving and Thriving on Wall Street.
观察人士认为,在金融行业中,精神压力最大的往往是投行人员。卡斯指出:“据我所知,在所有金融领域中,对情感耐受力的要求最为极端的非投资银行莫属。”卡斯还和人共同撰写了一本书,名叫《牛市思维:华尔街生存和成功指南》

It's a syndrome Michel has also observed while shadowing investment bankers over the years. After her subjects had worked at a bank for four years on average, she began observing signs of sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression: "I could see how people came in chatting happily on the phone with friends, how that became less and less," she says. "People became completely absorbed in the office, in work. Some are feeling trapped."
米歇尔还观察到,随着时间推移,投行人员会出现一种综合症。她发现,观察对象在华尔街银行平均工作四年后开始出现失眠、焦虑和抑郁等情况。米歇尔说:“我能看到他们刚开始还能心情愉悦地和朋友打电话,然后这种现象就会越来越少见。他们完全陷在了办公室里,陷在了工作里。有些人觉得自己被困住了。”

J.P. Morgan says the two employees who committed suicide weren't investment bankers, per se. According to their LinkedIn (LNKD) profiles, Gabriel Magee was a vice president overseeing technology for fixed-income securities in the London office, and Dennis Li was an associate in the billing department supporting the investment bank.
摩根大通表示,这两名自杀的员工本质上不属于投行部门。他们在领英(LinkedIn)上的个人简介显示,加布里埃尔•马吉是摩根大通伦敦方面固定收益证券部门负责技术事务的副总裁,李俊杰(音译)则是为投行业务提供支持的票据部门副经理。

But the high-stakes world of Wall Street has become a more stressful work environment across the board. The 2008 economic crisis and subsequent recession have exacerbated the problem, says Cass, especially now that the new reality of smaller bonus checks, regular layoffs, and heightened regulation has sunk in. While those factors have impacted many professions, Cass says, "In investment banking, it becomes a weed-out process—who can take it and who can't?"
但就整个华尔街来说,这个高风险领域的工作压力比以前更大。卡斯说,2008年的经济危机以及随后的衰退让问题变得更加严重,特别是出现了一些新的因素之后,比如奖金缩水,经常裁员以及监管更加严格。虽然这些因素给很多职业都带来了冲击,但卡斯指出:“投行工作已经成了一个筛选过程,也就是说,要看谁能坚持住,谁坚持不了。”

Cass has noticed the scrutiny weighing on his clients. The anxiety has trickled down from bosses and pervaded the culture, he says, with bankers kept in a "fear position," worrying constantly about keeping their jobs—or worse, facing criminal charges.
卡斯已经注意到严密监督给自己的客户带来的压力。他说,从最高层传递下来的焦虑情绪充斥在公司文化当中,银行业员工都处于“草木皆兵的状态”,总是担心自己能否保住饭碗,更有甚者,总是担心自己遭到刑事指控。

A CDC analysis of suicides by occupation for 2008 and beyond won't be ready until 2015. But the government agency recently reported an alarming increase in suicides between 1999 and 2010 among Americans old enough to be at the peak of their careers or well-established in the C-suite. Suicides among 35- to 64-year-olds rose 28%, with even larger increases among white people (40%) and those over 50 (more than 48%).
疾病控制与预防中心要到2015年才能公布2008年起各类职业自杀数据的分析结果。但这个中心最近发布报告称,1999-2010年间,在年龄足以达到职业生涯顶峰或者稳居高级管理职位的美国人当中,自杀事件的增长幅度令人担心。这个群体的年龄介于35-64岁,在上述时间段内他们的自杀人数增加了28%,白人(上升了40%)和50岁以上(增幅超过48%)人群的增速更快。

While it's not fair, warns Cass, to point blame at any one firm or the industry itself, he sees the increased pressure to avoid mistakes as taking its toll on bankers. "Obviously it's good for the collective health of our financial security in the long run," he says. For the near term, his clients are keeping their appointments.
卡斯警告,虽然指责具体的某一家公司或金融行业本身并不公平。但他认为,避免失误的压力日益增长,正在对银行业人员产生不利影响。卡斯说:“显然,它有益于我们在金融安全方面的长期整体健康。”而在短期内,卡斯的客户们还会继续来见他。(财富中文网)



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