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Overrated Michel Pireu     | Business Day Thursday, March 7, 2019
From Where Are the Customers’ Yachts by Fred Schwed Jr:

The picture in the popular mind has always been more sinister. The public feels that Wall Streeters are not dunces at all; that they are crooks and scoundrels and very clever ones at that; that they sell for millions what they know is worthless; in short, that they are villains, not children.

Everyone interested helps to perpetuate this picture. The outsider believes it readily enough – else how did those stuck-up Wall Streeters get so rich? The burnt customer certainly prefers to believe that he has been robbed rather than that he has been a fool on the advice of fools. Even Wall Street men themselves tend to encourage the idea. They are ever ready to confide to you that they know of the inside dishonesty of someone else. Faced with the huge losses “investors” have suffered, their egos subconsciously suggest to them that it is better to be regarded as Machiavelli than as one who has spent his adult life engaged in mumbo-jumbo.

The crookedness of Wall Street is in my opinion an overrated phenomena. The heart of Wall Street men are no more black than the hearts of the men in the sausage-cover game. There is probably the same percentage of malpractice, but the Wall Street depredations are more spectacular. They involve vastly greater sums, and they make more interesting reading. Best of all they suggest to the public an excuse for the public’s own folly.

The indignation school of writers never tires of pointing out the millions that are stolen in the Street. But while the millions are being stolen, the billions are being lost. Nothing crooked - just bad luck and bad brains met together in an effort to do something that couldn’t be done in the first place.
 
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