Psychopath or Ingenious Business Man? What’s the difference?

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Today the news broke that the “charismatic leader” of Denmark’s finest and “most successful” IT company was indeed a complete fraud, who was running an elaborate scam (including a mysterious violent assault; lost dope head cycle team; false MBA; and a Hells Angels bodyguard).

UPDATE: There has been suspicion all along – IT-journalist and blogger, Dorte Toft, has been pointing to inconsistencies and lies for years in the phenomenon that has become IT Factory and which has a shady past (document fraud, tax evasions etc.; known to the chairman) that Stein Bagger hired specialists to remove from view in search engines. Moreover, this stinks of the usual business of the celebrity-industrial complex, – with an ex-wife connected to an Emir, expensive habits, like a luxury speed boat, billionaires and gangsters, bribery, and all kinds of distasteful, greedy, anti-social, arrogant behaviour, which unsurprisingly is likely to become film material.

FURTHER UPDATE: In another bizarre twist, the media now reports that the family of the man – with whom they are so close and who committed fraud worth 100 million pounds – complains that so many people are busy throwing mud and then washing their hands – which is bizarre because they themselves state that they “know nothing about his business”. So here we are, rich and powerful, business people themselves, they know nothing about the person with whom they are so close and who has been engaged with organised crime, Hell Angels bodyguard and god knows what else they’re going to dig up?? Well, who, really, are busy washing their hands?

Stein Bagger, former boss of the now bankrupt IT Factory, has suddenly disappeared during a family and friends trip to Dubai where he left his now obviously distressed wife and a child without warning, prompting “an expert” (psychologist) to claim that he is probably a psychopath that “wanted money more than his family” – laughing all the way to his off shore accounts:

The company is bankrupt, politicians calling it a tragedy, and it is suggested that he might have received news in Dubai that the card house he so secretively had built for years was about to collapse (perhaps related to this), so he did a runner, simple as that..?

Well, what is actually a psychopath, you might wonder!? Wikipedia reads (at the moment):

“The psychopath is defined by a psychological gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses and the inability to learn from past mistakes. Individuals with this disorder gain satisfaction through their antisocial behavior and also lack a conscience.”

Making lots of money at the cost of others – the business that is so usual in the capitalist economy – does that not require quite a bit of conscience suspension? Just a wee bit of psychopathy? Or a touch of sociopathy? Or, perhaps, extreme ignorance, which is not really that easy to imagine of well educated and affluent people who get around, – surely they know that they have blood on their hands, or do they? A bit of a Catch 33, either you are a psychopath if you know what you’re doing, and if you don´t know what you’re doing you’re criminally ignorant.

In any case, this whole story made me think of The Corporation, by Joel Bakan:

Summary in English by Politiken here.

One thought on “Psychopath or Ingenious Business Man? What’s the difference?

    Are capitalists really psychopaths? « On Business and Society said:
    Friday, December 5, 2008 at 09:43 (447)

    […] 5, 2008 by boheriksen In their blog entry, “Psychopath or Ingenious Business Man? What’s the difference?” two anonymous bloggers apparently based somewhere in the Amazonas pick up on the demise of IT […]

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