A Logical Fallacy

The sub-hed of an article at City Journal asks “If human beings are naturally risk-averse, then what the heck happened on Wall Street?” The question can be expressed in the following syllogism:

Major premise: All humans are risk-averse.

Minor premise: Humans work on Wall Street (i.e., financial markets).

Conclusion: The humans who work on Wall Street are risk-averse.

It should be obvious to the casual observer that both the major premise and conclusion are false.

The article, by the way, is spot-on. Don’t be deceived by its flawed sub-hed.