Wall Street Money Addict Seeks Redemption, Change

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Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Sam Polk, founder at Groceryships Foundation and a former Wall Street trader, discusses his story of addiction to wealth and his op-ed detailing the hunger for money on Wall Street on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

An anonymous e-mail to new york times.

I have been working on a book no one was eager to read.

They came in and talked me out of anonymity.

When they told me he was going to be on the times i was shocked.

When i saw it on the actual thing, they threw it on the front page.

It was almost like the world change.

How can he be surprised about the way people support that's the way people responded?

Is like throwing red meat to a pack of wild animals.

I think the world is a -- the world is full of smart people.

I was taking accountability for my behavior and said the way i was impacting people in a negative way -- i take responsibility for it.

Is it really doing worse than a lot of other industries?

When i look at the media industry, the sports industry, is wall street that much worse?

I am not blaming anybody.

I think this is a bigger thing than wall street.

I think it is about the red carpet on hollywood, about the pro football players.

It is about this crazy mega millions lottery.

If you had been paid the $8 million you thought you should have been paid that year.

-- that year, would this still be happening?

No.

when i was working on is my spiritual issues and addiction issues.

When i got to the point where i was ready to leave wall street, it was a scary thing.

What you say to the folks who are watching right now, thinking to themselves, what a jerk.

We had such a good thing going with financial crisis.

It is not so good anymore.

Would he say to those?

For the wall street people?

Your former colleagues.

My story is the story of one guy.

When i was on wall street i believed that the issue of whether i was going to pay one million or 2 million was the most critical thing in the world.

One thing i came to see, not because i am some sort of hero but because i came to a teacher that started teaching different things and i came to see the world from a different perspective and say whether or not we are getting paid this much on wall street, let's help the people that are struggling out there.

You are on tv now.

And untrue nolan addict's playground.

Couldn't one argue you are doing it on a bigger stage?

I never expected this.

You sent an op-ed the new york times and you did not expect it.

I thought they would do what happens away times before, what i sent out would be rejected.

You sent it with a cold.

When you go up to bat you want to hit a home run.

It was fortuitous things.

To her point, you acknowledged being addicted to money.

Before being addicted to money you are acknowledging being addicted to other things.

Can you not get addicted to publicity the same way you are addicted to money?

Absolutely.

One of the things i am working on right now is i have come to believe there is nothing i can do today, tomorrow, yesterday that makes me more valuable than when i was born.

My challenge is to say no.

I am the same guy that i was.

My focus is distraught that is to try to stay rounded.

What you think about the fact that so many people on wall street whom you respect, they are mad about this.

What you think about that?

Some of my best friends are on wall street.

I am staying at my mentor's house.

If there is anybody in the world who has told me lessons about generosity and kindness, it is that man that you know.

I love the people on wall street.

This idea that i'm talking about -- i'm saying i was addicted to money.

I was using money and power to fill my soul.

That is all i am saying.

However they kick -- however they take that is their business.

You don't think it was damaging to the reputation?

It really seems like you are waving a flag.

Those are the guys that back to you.

I understand what you are saying.

My story was important to share out there.

A lot of folks hold positions like that old down big paychecks and bonuses and are very philanthropic.

Stephanie knows him well.

It seems to me that those people justify the money they earn from their philanthropy.

Does that make it ok?

It is not about that.

I literally have no judgment on the individuals on wall street.

I'm not asking you to judge.

Does being philanthropic make it ok to make more money than anyone else out there?

I honestly think you are asking a question that requires a judgment.

All i am saying is i came to understand that i was trying to feel something inside of me with money and it was never going to work.

What i realized was it wasn't about outside things, money or power or publicity.

When i need to do is get help.

She started teaching me things about handing myself with integrity when you look at the explosion of wall street, specifically in the hedge fund universe, given your perspective, do you think those people are built in a different way?

Are you somewhere on the sociopath track?

In my opinion i believe that people who are focusing on accumulating money in the same way that i was that there is something they are trying to fill inside, there may be some spiritual issues there.

You did have benefits of having made all that money.

You could walk away.

There are people who hated, teachers who hated.

Wall street gave you that luxury.

Absolutely and i don't believe it is about being on or off wall street.

It is about finding balance in finding some sense of a core identity or strength.

However people need to get there, if that is what they choose -- you think a super rich person can be balanced.

Absolutely.

Good, because i want to be.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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