Did anxious City traders trigger the global recession? High levels of stress hormones can lead to decreased risk taking

city traders
Article in Daily Mail by Ben Spencer

– High levels of the stress hormone cortisol over long periods can make people less risk-averse and more pessimistic
– New study suggests that City traders are less likely to hold their nerve and make good decisions during times of financial crisis

Long-term stress can make people less likely to take advantage of opportunities by taking risks, a new study has found.

Those with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol over long periods can make people less risk-averse and more pessimistic, according to Cambridge University researchers.

The new study suggests that City traders are less likely to hold their nerve and make good decisions during times of financial crisis, worsening economic decline.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tracked the cortisol levels of a group of volunteers placed in conditions similar to a financial trading business.

The study was designed to mimic earlier research that showed a 68 per cent hike in cortisol levels among real City of London traders as market volatility increased over a period of two weeks.

The researchers found those with higher stress levels were less likely to take risks.

Read more here

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