An abject decline in three forces that have the power to serve as safety nets for the economy has been revealed, according to a survey of the U.S. financial services sector.

Wall Street

The second annual survey titled ‘Wall Street In Crisis: A Perfect Storm Looming’ conducted by Labaton Sucharow LLP reveals a declining trend noticed in individual integrity, leadership and corporate culture.

Wall Street Future Leaders Losing Moral Compass

In its startling revelation, the survey finds consistency in young professionals losing their moral compass, accepting corporate wrongdoing as a necessary evil, and a fear of reporting misconduct. According to the survey, this ticking economic time bomb should be defused immediately by every responsible organization, before they start paying a heavy price.

Competitors Might Have Engaged in Unethical Behavior

According to the independent survey, 52 percent of the respondents felt it was likely that their competitors have engaged in unethical or illegal activity to gain an edge in the market, and 24 percent of the respondents felt employees at their own company likely have engaged in misconduct to get ahead.

One of the most striking revelations of the survey include 24 percent of the respondents felt they would likely to engage in insider trading to make $10 million, if they could get away with it.

Over 28 percent of the respondents felt that the financial services industry does not put the interests of clients first.

Nearly 17 percent of the respondents felt their leaders were likely to look the other way if they suspected a top performer engaged in insider trading. Further, 15 percent doubted that their leadership, upon learning of a top performer’s crime, would report it to the authorities.

Heightened Confidence With Regulators

The survey reveals financial services professionals have greater confidence in financial regulators’ ability to effectively and efficiently police the market place. Over 62 percent felt the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective at detecting, investigating and prosecuting misconduct, while 57 percent felt that FINRA was similarly effective.

Labaton Sucharow is the first law firm in the U.S. to establish a practice exclusively focused on protecting and advocating for whistleblowers who report possible securities violations to the SEC. Its Whistleblower Representation Practice is headed by Jordan A. Thomas, a former Assistant Director in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jordan A. Thomas feels as the young professionals will have the responsibility to manage trillions of dollars in the future, the revelations of those willing to engage in illegal activity signals a perfect storm looming.