Among the many eye-popping findings in Morley Winograd and Mike Hais’ new paper on the millennial generation is that their attitudes towards the banking industry make it number one on a list of industries likely to experience severe disruption in its business model in the future. Their paper, the third is a series of Brookings’ papers on 21st Century Capitalism, carefully examines the culture and values of a generation that, because of its size and its unique experience, is likely to dominate American culture for years to come. And the anticipated outcomes for business as usual on Wall Street are not good.
A recent Intelligence Group study found that 64% of millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.
Millennials’ attitudes as consumers, as workers, and as investors are unique enough for Winograd and Hais to conclude that Wall Street may well be in for a “millennial reckoning.” For example, one of the studies the authors cite found that almost two-thirds of millennials “would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.” Not only do millennials focus on corporate social responsibility, but their lack of trust in the financial sector does not indicate good things for the current governing philosophy on Wall Street. As the paper points out, organizational cultures “that lose touch with the changes taking place in a society pose a clear danger to the future of those organizations.” This does not “bode well for the survival of America’s current corporate governance practices.”