Thursday, July 31, 2008

Buddhist Business + Wall Street Woes

Right Livelihood: to refrain from five kinds of business, namely, trade in: 1) weapons, 2) poisons, 3) humans, 4) animals, and 4) intoxicants. Instead one follows the business advice found in the:

Trader looks at monitor on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange. Wall Street is hesitating, data is coming next week to provide clearer picture of US economy: in recovery mode or downward spiral (AFP/Getty/Chris Hondros).

Wall Street woes boost therapists' business
By Elinor Comlay (7/31/08)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street is reeling from losses, and bankers are fearful of losing bonuses at best and jobs at worst. But while New York braces for the economic fallout, one group is benefiting -- psychotherapists.

Bankers suffering from anxiety or depression and looking for pills or deep therapy are making beelines for the couch. And for some it has gotten so bad they want to quit the money game forever. "I had a guy say to me, 'I want your job," said psychologist and career coach Marilyn Puder-York.

While it is difficult to quantify demand, five therapists who serve the banking community all said in interviews their business from Wall Street is up in recent months. Alden Cass, a psychologist and trading coach in New York who works extensively with Wall Street traders, estimated that his clients have increased by about 25% since March, when JPMorgan Chase & Co agreed to buy Bear Stearns and the stock market tumbled.

Several psychologists said that the events in March led to a spike in referrals, as Wall Street professionals saw just how quickly their job security could be taken away. "Traders are more stressed, more uncomfortable, more fearful about how the year's going to turn out, and less confident than they have been in years," said Ari Kiev, psychiatrist and founder of the Social Psychiatry Research Institute.

Kiev has been working with traders for 15 years and said this is the most stressful year for his clients he has experienced. Typical are the traders facing losses who double their positions in last-chance bids to recoup gains -- only to face more than double the losses they had previously. They abandon a trading strategy and become governed by their emotions, Kiev said.

"Once they are in a hole, psychologically, they start panicking," said Kiev, who notes that these traders start to doubt their ability. "They think, 'Maybe I was only successful because I was lucky."'

This hasn't been a normal downturn on Wall Street. The year-long credit crisis has been traumatic for some bankers who have had their bank accounts, their career prospects and their self-esteem damaged....

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world...

Buddhism and Business
By Jon Nagelmakers (NewsVine)

It seems that Buddhism is making its way into business, with monks helping run the show. When one thinks of Buddhist monks, the images of meditation, tranquility, and nature seem to come to mind first and foremost. But now the teachers of Buddhism are starting to come back in a big way with technology.

Take the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai, a temple which has been around for 120 years and now, thanks to recent pushes into the business world, owns a restaurant, a four-star hotel, a food factory, and a seven-story office building. The Jade Buddha has grown to the extent that it is putting a group of its monks through courses at the Shanghai International Studies University for the study of foreign languages, and another group is just starting at Jiaotong's business school to, of course, get their MBAs.

The Jade Buddha is not the only temple that has made good use of the recent surge in interest in Buddhism and the Orient. The Shaolin Temple in Henan province owns both a martial arts school and a company that produces vegetarian snacks and Zen tea, Shaolin Development. Shaolin also has been promoting its reputation as a birth place of the martial arts by holding international events.

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