I have already posted on the sociology of traders as a category thriving on anomic conditions and their exemption from social norms that impose restraints on the rest of us. See also Denis Colombi’s post on the subject of traders.
Many of us also remember this segment from The Corporation:
Now, as additional data point, we get this first-person account from a trader in the Independent, that depicts a culture of anomic excess:
And read there is no escaping the connection between financial excesses and the bodily internalization of this oh-so-very masculine normlessness (because it is a masculine world, no group of women would ever be collectively allowed to wallow in such excesses without stiff social sanctions) through the massive ingestion of red meat and read wine, followed by the self-loathing vomiting but all in a context of sociopathy:
And such anomic masculinity overflows into other areas of his social life:
And ultimately, he ends up behaving in a fashion that looks a lot like retreatism in Merton’s strain theory:
The whole narrative reads like a rather conventional "fall and redemption" narrative but it is a good exploration of the anomic subculture that prevails in the world of high finance and its complete disconnection from the rest of the social structure. This disembedding leads to the blocking out of the surrounding reality with devastating effects as all the speculating ultimately boils down to people’s lives outside of the financial "gated community".