This salesman had earned a giant commission on this PERLS (a derivative sold as a safe and secure AAA bond (may contain some foreign currency risk)) trade and he laughed uncontrollably at his story. I laughed, too. When he finished his story, he asked me if I knew what it was called when a salesman did what he had done to one of his clients. I said I didn't know. He told me it was called "ripping his face off."
"Ripping his face off?" I asked, wondering if I had heard him correctly.
"Yes," he replied. He then explained, in graphic, warlike detail how you grabbed your client under the neck, pinched a fold of skin, and yanked hard, tearing as much flesh as you could.
Granted, this is sensationalism, but if you've not listened to the quiet logic in QualityOfEarnings, then you might listen to this guy: Wall Street fucks Main Street (yes, the text is laden with expletives).
Partnoy recounts the early 90's when he was selling derivatives for Morgan Stanley. Of course, derivatives are ultra-useful (the book explains their basic operation), but in the hands of "widows & orphans" (unsuspecting buyers like Robert Citron at Orange County, or twits like Nick Leeson at Barings), they can be very problematic. Over The Counter (OTC) derivatives (i.e. not standardized and sold on an exchange) generate large fees for investment banks, so it was in their interest to sell them, and sell them, they did.