The myth that mental illness causes mass shootings – Tage Rai

MIT Sloan Research Associate and Lecturer, Tage Rai

From Behavioral Science

“A sick, demented man.” That was Donald Trump’s assessment of Stephen Paddock, who shot nearly 600 people, leaving 58 dead, during a concert in Las Vegas on Sunday. Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that “one of the things we’ve learned from these shootings is often underneath this is a diagnosis of mental illness.” Most Americans agree that there is a strong link between mental illness and mass shooting, and shifting the national conversation to mental health reform carries the advantage of avoiding the more politically divisive gun-control debate. But what if Stephen Paddock had no diagnosable mental illness? And what if his mental state was the rule, not the exception?

In the aftermath of a mass shooting, we naturally seek to understand the killer’s motives. Our first instinct is to assume that the killer must be mentally deranged somehow. He must be a sadist who takes pleasure in the suffering of innocents, or a psychopath who feels no empathy for his victims, or a schizophrenic haunted by paranoid delusions. How else could someone commit such an awful atrocity? Yet, there is no evidence that Stephen Paddock was any of those things. He had no history of mental illness. He had no criminal record. He was a successful businessman. Relatives and people who know him are in disbelief. Paddock’s father was a notorious bank robber, but the two men never met, and if Paddock inherited violent tendencies from his father genetically, they never manifested until now. Read More »

A live conversation with Chester Spatt and Deborah Lucas: Financial regulation–What Lies Ahead? Nov. 1, 12 Noon ET

Former SEC Chief Economist and MIT Golub Center Visiting Fellow Chester Spatt

Join us on November 1, 12 noon to 12:30 ET for a live conversation with former SEC Chief Economist and MIT Golub Center Visiting Fellow Chester Spatt and Golub Center Director and Professor of Finance Deborah Lucas.

As the 10-year anniversary of the great financial crisis approaches, the program seeks to answer two questions: what have we learned? And have we made enough progress to prevent a repeat of something similar? Chester and Deborah will discuss financial regulation and housing market finance reform, and share their ideas for fostering stronger ties between the regulatory and the academic communities and what lies ahead

MIT Sloan Prof. and Golub Center Director Deborah Lucas

Laurie Goodman, co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute will also appear on the program to talk about housing finance reform.

You will be able to view the show  on Livestream by bookmarking this site and tuning in November 1st at 12 noon.

Submit your questions on Twitter using #MITSloanExperts before and during the show. Your question could be answered live on the air.

 

Will your bank be on your side if it gets hit with a cyberattack? – Doug Criscitello

Doug Criscitello, Executive Director of MIT’s Center for Finance and Policy

Doug Criscitello, Executive Director of MIT’s Center for Finance and Policy

From The Hill

In a recent column, I discussed cyber risks that could adversely affect bank and brokerage customers and explored the conditions necessary for development of actuarially sound insurance products at the retail level to protect individuals from the most catastrophic of cyberattacks to their accounts.

While new consumer-oriented insurance products are being offered to guard against cyberattacks, they don’t necessarily mitigate a consumer’s nightmare scenario. That scenario goes beyond having personally identifiable information stolen to having your bank’s digital records wiped out or otherwise corrupted by a malicious actor, eliminating any history of your account balances. So this is the question: would your bank or brokerage stand by you in the event of such an attack or is cyber risk insurance necessary?

Regardless of the availability of cyber risk insurance for individuals, the threat to consumers flows from vulnerabilities within and across financial institutions. To the extent an individual’s bank or other financial services provider has strong institutional defenses, risk to individuals falls dramatically.

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Loose Lending In The Construction Industry — Andrew Sutherland

Andrew Sutherland

MIT Sloan Assistant Professor Andrew Sutherland

From Construction Today

Lax mortgage lending by banks has long been recognized as a major cause of the financial crisis. But banks played another, lesser-known role in the crisis. In much the same way that banks failed to verify the creditworthiness of people buying homes, banks also neglected to verify financial qualifications of those building homes — developers, contractors and other firms in the construction industry.

I, along with fellow researchers Petro Lisowsky of the University of Illinois and Michael Minnis of the University of Chicago, discovered this phenomenon by examining previously unreleased banking industry data on borrowers and lenders from 2002 to 2011 — a span that includes the years before, during, and after the financial crisis. We compared the lending standards banks used for firms in the construction industry with the standards banks applied to firms in other industries.

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ICYMI: the #MITSloanExperts “Shaping the Future of Work” Twitter chat

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

“Will artificial intelligence help job creation or put people in the unemployment line?”
“Who should pay for retraining so employees can adapt to the technological age?”
“What role does government play in the future of work?”

These were just some of the questions asked and answered last week during the #MITSloanExperts “Shaping the Future of Work” Twitter chat, featuring MIT Sloan’s Thomas Kochan and hosted by former New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse.

Over the course of an hour, Kochan answered a host of questions pertaining to the future of work and the issues we face as a society as technology advances. More than 100 users chimed in with questions and comments on topics from how the divisive 2016 election is impacting how we work, to generational differences in how work is approached and viewed.

If you missed it, don’t worry – this Storify summarizes everything that was discussed. Stay tuned to the #MITSloanExperts hashtags for future Twitter chats with our roster of experts and guest hosts.

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