Cost of Crime (1)

In most of my life, economics has been the main reason for not being able to do what I wanted to – from lounging on Caribbean beaches during an England Test tour to getting a European project to help some local kids off the ground.  In the smaller sense of business costing, costs have generally stopped me in my tracks.   Given money is really just plucked from thin air this seems odd.  When it finally dawned on me mos of this plucked cash goes into a bookmaking scam I gave up on economics.

It is estimated that a male high-rate chronic offender on average would impose an annual cost of £18 ($29) per U.K. citizen or a lifetime cost of £742 ($1,185) per U.K. citizen.  This from:

http://jrc.sagepub.com/content/50/1/53

Money expressed like this makes no sense.  It costs each UK citizen £74/year to be in the EU – so four bastard chronic offenders cost each of us as much as EU membership.  Nigel Farrage probably thinks the EU does us more damage, but much as I want the smoking ban lifted, I don’t.  If we could cull only 100 of these shits we could pay our way in 24 varieties of EU – not everyone’s choice in using the money!  I bet it might be enough to get a university of the air off the ground.  I could write the business plan that killed this lot off in return for bounty equivalent to their known cost and build this modern university.  Fees would be about £2K a year for non-science graduate programmes offered to all on an international basis.  I like enterprise solutions to crime, and not much is more criminal than than sticking kids with $100K debts for the opportunity to regurgitate some limited textbook material into a degree certificate.  I’d offer local businesses the chance to host social, sports, art, theatre and discussion events for our students – based on student social networking and organisation.  Electronic library and resource board – all that’s missing is the overhead (60% of charges for a bit of toss-art in the vice chancellor’s lodging).  The International University of Killakrook?

I hope, in rough approximation, this gives you a real idea of the costs of crime.  No one in their right mind would want 24 EU memberships, but would anyone in their right mind really want 100,000 recidivist scrote preventing 1000 innovative start-up businesses every year?  For this is the status quo of our madness.

I see crime and its costs as much wider than this.  Just now I need to find someone with a subscription to the journal with the £18/year per person in the UK figure.  There are 65 million of us.  65,000,000 times £18 is more beer than I could drink in a lifetime.  The research is from Cambridge – maybe they can’t count?    I rarely see social research that can be taken at face value.  £1300 million a year to keep a scrote criminal?  I suspect it’s nearer £1 million – but in principle my figures above work – we just need to kill the crooks 130 times faster.

From the actual paper:

This crime cost is calculated using the following formula with the high-rate
chronic offender group as an example: [2.5 percent (prevalence of male highrate
chronic offenders)  31,118,895 (2011 U.K. male population) ¼
777,972 (total population of male high-rate chronic offenders)  £59,760 (average
cost of a male high-rate chronic offender) ¼ £46,491,606,720/62,698,362
(2011 U.K. total population) ¼ £742 per U.K. citizen]. The annual crime cost
is calculated by dividing the lifetime crime cost by the number of years of
offending data available in the study (41 years).

Sorry abut the loss in electronic translation.  You should be able to tell how easily I’m lead up the garden path reading academic stuff.  It rarely makes itself clear.  I thought these people (before I got the full paper) were saying each of us Brits were coughing up 18 quid for each of these high rate chronic scrotes a year.  In fact each of us is paying 18 quid for all three-quarters of a million of them.  So we pay 4 times more to be in the EU.

This is still a huge amount of money – roughly £1300 million.  Remember this is nowhere near the annual cost of crime in the UK.  The paper is quite interesting and has a lot of further references.

online 16 December 2011
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 2013 50: 53 originally published
Alex R. Piquero, Wesley G. Jennings and David Farrington
“The Monetary Costs of Crime to Middle Adulthood : Findings from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development”.

Aggregate total costs of crime (in the United States) have been estimated to be between $1 and $2 trillion (O’Brien 2010), which is likely an underestimate of the total costs because this includes only known crimes and excludes many whitecollar/corporate crimes whose costs are in the mid-billions to low trillions.

The language that had me confused was this:

It is estimated that a male high-rate chronic offender on average would impose an annual cost of £18 ($29) per U.K. citizen or a lifetime cost of £742 ($1,185) per U.K. citizen.

However, pushing on, it seems there are nearly 778 thousand (2.5% of the male population) of these high-rate chronic offenders amongst us at any time.  On self-reported crime they claim nearly 40 offences for one recorded.  I could not establish how many of them are in jail at any given time – but the proportion must be low when we only have 87,000 banged up from our total population.

Back of a fag packet style let’s say just short of 40,000 of them are banged up – that’s about a 20th of them or 5%.  If we really are cutting crime in this group and all the others, it seems we lack information on why.

 

 

 

Crime May Not Be Falling At All

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/163144/story-prison-population.pdf.pdf

The number of people in prison has more or less doubled since 1993.  Police recorded crime has more or less halved in this period.  The linked document gives some of the reasons for the rise in the prison population.  The only one that seems to matter is that courts are trying more serious offences against the person.

One can understand that creeps in prison have less chance to commit crimes against us and so crime might drop, but wouldn’t we expect the drop in crime to lead to lower volumes through courts and caution systems at some point?  In some ways one might expect declining crime to lead to a declining prison population, those on probation, doing community service and so on.  One might also expect the recidivist population to decline too.  Judging on what happens in the courts this isn’t true.

In 2011/2012 68,100 out of 108,119 offenders with more than 15 previous convictions, some 62.9%, received a penalty other than prison. This was compared to 49,729 in 2006/07, an increase of 38%.

So with crime declining year on year the prison population and the numbers of recidivists getting non-custodial sentences is rising.  The number of convictions offenders have is rising a lot too, with 44% having 15 or more on the rap sheet.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/162610/criminal-justice-stats-dec-2011.pdf.pdf

There has been a fall in out of court disposals (cautions, fixed penalties).  I don’t get fussy about precision until I think I have a correlation model.  I can’t get past the notion that a real fall in crime should lead to a fall in criminals being convicted.  Clearly this may not be a straightforward relation, as banging up recidivists might well reduce crime while the useless creeps are banged up.

I know police crime stats are juked – they always were.  All developed countries show a big drop since around 2000 and no doubt nodding, skewing, cuffing and fitting play a role.  Performance management itself has been on the rise in the public sector and a lot of pressure is put on the people doing it year on year.  One of my old universities simply lied on the employment figures for its graduates (it was me who taught the poor sod with no data how to do this – pick a figure just above the national average and work the spreadsheet backwards – they still do this).

The way police figures are going we will have no crime in 12 years.  One would suspect there must be a point at which the prisons would be empty of all but lifers and the few bobbies left fighting over rescuing kittens from trees.  This, of course, isn’t going to happen.

With crime down roughly 50% it seems amazing our cops have got so good at finding it that they are still getting as many crooks as ever in front of the courts or other means of disposal – after all you might think they would only have half the opportunities to spot bodies to nick.  My own thief taking was pretty random and I suspect would have dropped more than half with only half the opportunities (one gives up through boredom) – at least in uniform.  So where does the steady stream of jail fodder come from and why do they have more convictions than ever on arrest?

If we have more criminals committing less crime one would expect them to have fewer convictions on arrest.  Given the idiots who commit most crime we might expect doubling the prison population to reduce crime by 50% – though this assumes one scumbag is not simply replaced by another.  On this “model” doubling the prison population again would more or less eradicate crime.

Criminals inside don’t commit crime in society – that’s rock solid.  So twice as many locked up might be a fit with a 50% reduction in crime.  But what is the relation between the actual criminal population size and the relevant prison population?  I doubt we ever have half of them banged up.  Say it’s one in ten and we double that.  All of a sudden the ratios collapse in any simple form – we still have 80% of them in society instead of 90% – so crime would drop only 10% or so on the simple model.  Of course, those left among us might be substantially deterred – but we should remember recidivists are slow learners if they learn at all.

Remember, many corporations increase profits and top manager earnings simply through accounting devices and tax stealing through offshore transfer pricing and offshoring jobs to gain global wage arbitrage.  Police accounting is quite possibly as bent.

It makes sense to me that the availability of criminals to bang up and otherwise dispose of (I like the term ‘dispose’) is because there is plenty of crime.  There is certainly enough for the criminals themselves to have bigger rap sheets than in the past (up from 9 convictions to 15 in a few years).

One needs a dynamic model of crime to know whether it is going up or down.  I work with statistics for a living and intend no unpaid overtime here.  The production of a decent model is someone else’s job.  i’d want paying.  The question is why some overpaid ex-student of mine in some government department or criminologist hasn’t produced such a model.  There will be work comparing police recorded crime with the British Crime Survey – but both of these are subject to abuse, the latter done on the cheap.

There is clearly a point at which, if crime is really falling, there will be few criminals left to catch and a fall in jail numbers and those in front of courts or otherwise disposed.  This is obvious before we get clever with numbers.  In the States they’ve been jailing people for fun, personal profit and generally being black or brown.  Their cops have been reducing crime figures for years too and their prison population is four or five times ours – without reaching the obvious mutual decline above.

I don’t know at this stage what I would include in a crime model spreadsheet – what I have in mind would render the BCS obsolete and be much cheaper.  Essentially we need to correlate police figures with courts, jails, probation and money estimates of crime.  We could create an online BCS-type check.  Anyway no one is paying me so I’ll just say my guess from police, court/other disposal and jail figures is that 43 chief constables are lying to us about crime.  And the government is wasting loads of our money producing useless figures.

We should really expect crime to rise because of austerity, pressure on welfare and immigration (French cops hate Romanians).  I’ve used approximations here,  but what I’m saying in principle holds.

I’d take recording crime out of police hands – after all its mostly clerical-routine – this would partly stop the gaming-juking – but also improve service delivery.  I don’t normally like privatisation but a bit of customer choice might be good on ringing the law.  Nah! Scrap that – they’d start trying to sell us life insurance.  We could try something like this:

http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/351275/1/13socm09_ByrneEvans.pdf

Crime might just be down because we have most of the prolific offenders in prison – if this is the case we’d expect it hard for cops to reduce crime much further.  A pile of considerations can be found here:

http://www.sastudyoffending.org.uk/Journal2006.pdf#page=34

The latest ONS – in which I discovered BS is now CSEW is here and says the crime drop is real:

http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?as_ylo=2013&q=british+crime+figures&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5

The ONS work does point to some of the problems in believing police recorded crime from a different tack than Steve Bennett.  While it isn’t hard to believe crime will fall by banging crooks up, we need more sophisticated analysis.  I’d start by asking the criminals.  I know they are lying bastards but there are ways.  That and the cops on the line.  A small straw poll suggests criminal activity is moving – from burglary (too risky) to borrowing from shops and stealing cash in public places.

Police and Corporate Corruption Off the Gatsby or Max Keiser Scale

Those who enjoyed Gadget and the brilliant Night Jack could take a look at this site – http://www.upsd.co.uk/

Here, you will find a microcosm of the Swamp, Reservation and Everglades in a single West Yorkshire police station – Killingbeck.  I’d say, on language analysis, the site is run by former cops and journalists.  Pedophiles, a voracious female officer, thieves, Jimmy Saville‘s driver, senior cops who regularly lose case files and so on make up the story of this nick.  I’d apologize to any decent officers working out of this hole, and will when I see any giving evidence against the goings on.  I suspect one already tried and they fit him up for an assault.

Evidence is very tough to establish even when one has the relevant authority and resources.  The story in West Yorkshire is of – er – West Yorkshire getting to investigate – er – West Yorkshire.  The Incompetent Poodles of Constabulary Corruption (IPCC) don’t seem to have got in and done anything, though they barely report what they do these days and leak rubbish to the press as in inspiring national riots.  UPSD post the new police commissioner as a big part of the problem.  I can only say their blog rings true and I suspect most forces are as bad.

To understand these matters better we need to widen our view.  Our cops are unlikely to be worse than our general society – on work experience I still trust cops ahead of academics.  The C/Super caught shagging the C/inspector was taken out by the sergeant who lived with her, the C/inspector by the super’s former cop wife – all very ‘Swamp’, very incestual – except there were no arrests.  The shagging was newspaper fodder.  The important stuff is that we have lost (or never had) any sensible ways to prevent corruption in all our organisations (I work for myself and it’s still tough!)

Our regulatory bodies are designed not to regulate, not to weed out crooks and incompetence.  There’s a good example by Graham Smith on the IPCC written years ago (google) that gets to the nub.  You can’t let people investigate themselves or make decisions on what gets investigated.

Neo-liberal politics more or less gives up on regulation and investigation, leaving markets to sort out the crime on the grounds of consumer choice.  This is dumb as consumer choice is very limited, whether in terms of buying cheap clothes made in sweat shops about to burn down, or in reporting a sexual assault to a nest of pedophiles, complaint file losers and Jimmy Saville veneration club.  I drive a VW knowing a former CEO used to fly a prostitute favourite first-class from Angola to Paris.

What I’d favour is test-purchase/mystery shopper stings across our organisations and some strong legislation on transparency – including punishments for people who lose evidence from CCTV and so on.  We have banks telling us they don’t know where money has gone, CEOs who didn’t know what was happening (but want to keep pay and bonuses) and massive stealing of tax money and money laundering.  We could stop most of the corruption without the sky falling in.

I think Peter Fahy has made a positive difference with less resources in GMP.  We still don’t know why shagger Todd was so well thought of and have no clue why similar banksters are worth so much of our money or why so few white-collar crooks go to jail.  I’d bet Fahy would do the job for 6 times (Plato’s recommendation) the recruitment pay of a PC.  I know I could find enough cops at every level at Plato’s rates of pay.  The value of our local bobby far exceeds that of any banker I taught or know.  We need to understand the wider corruption and unfairness to understand why all our organisations are protecting their Killingbecks, selling us horse-meat (its rat as lamb in China and poisoned baby milk) and lie in cover-up at the drop of a hat.  Jimmy Saville was on the radar when I was a cop 30 years back.  We did some extra-judicial work on some of his mates.  Beatings were fairly common – I preferred to get them for something else I could stand up in court.  Against the highest standards I failed – but I can’t remember a single officer I should have reported and didn’t.  Most (not by me) who were reported should not have been, and cops who did make complaints were bullied.  Plus ca change – except in spades?

UPSD may have a great deal right.  News from Cleveland contains a standard excuse on missing CCTV (and back-ups).  Imagine what bank and corporate lawyers and managers allow to go missing when it can take months or years to get warrants for the evidence.  The outcomes across current corruption are the same – very few banksters, very few bent cops in jail.

One can imagine a solution.  We could stop the useless recruitment and selection processes of “great leaders” and go for sortition – roughly qualification by exam and experience to a list and rolls of the dice for appointment.  The lot would stop much cronyism.  We’d need to do something about royal routes through private schools and elite universities and find genuine ways of recognising work achievement for qualification.  We seem to be destroying integrity across our organisations.  On complaints, the IPCC should already have conducted sensible research.  Typically only 6% of complaints are upheld.  A small sample, rigorously investigated, could tell us whether this unlikely figure is real.

The Great Gatsby is a novel about pathetic desire for an empty woman and money lust.  Max Keiser puts over a more credible ‘Radio Moscow’ message of a world run by bankster terrorists void of any integrity.  That we find this being acted out in a single police station with senior cops in sauna sex trists, fitting up their own, selling and using drugs, perverting the course of justice, shagging children, losing evidence and raising a wall of silence that should bring the ‘Untouchables’ raining down on the place – well it raises questions on whether anything has changed since celebrities were getting away with regular abuse and how far we have all fallen as yet more authority figures tell us ‘lessons are being learned’.  One wonders too, why Gadget had nothing to say on such and whether he knew which end of the whistle to blow.  My post should end with a statement that most cops are good people and the rest.  The shame of it is I don’t think any of us are.  We lack the system to be good in.  The basic problem is that we have UPSD reporting, but evidence from investigation is not put forward for public scrutiny even when we get the investigation.  Even people prepared to follow the evidence can’t when it isn’t revealed.  Hillsborough has demonstrated depravity by our authorities, press and idiot sections of the public.  The scandal underlying international banking is much worse.  This threatens democracy itself.

I don’t really care if a couple of senior officers get up one another in a sauna.  Their business unless they expect us to pay.  I’ve turned a blind eye.  Volunteering a week’s pay to charity and record expunged after 12 months sounds about right.  What would we expect of a Deputy Prime Minister doing much worse?   The real problem is some lad or lass on the shopfloor gets wacked for much less and that serious breaches of trust and law are covered-up.  Anyone thinking the police system impenetrable (away from the Killingbeck unlovely) needs to get out more.  Academe, the professions and bank and corporate accounts are much worse.  Most of us know about the blind eye, white lies and ‘there but for the grace of god go I’.

There are many malicious complaints, lefties who don’t realise the great plan failed in China and the USSR, righties with no clue that austerity is a Black Death solution in the third world and education has failed.  There are arguments about everything,  Did you know Britain was really behind Hitler as part of a plan to waste Germany and the USSR on each other?  The book is called ‘Conjuring Hitler’ – I got bored on lack of promised evidence.  We have known since the pre-Socratics that powerful arguments can be made for almost any view.  The key is evidence (though there are arguments this is not the case) and honesty in collecting and presenting it.

Anyone who has worked on a reasonably complex fraud or murder enquiry knows how tough it can be to collect, collate and present the evidence even before lawyers and judges ply their trade and various levels of disclosure.  Lab experiments can be more complex – but we have at least fucked the lawyers off.  In most social situations the actual evidence is not presented to us.  You must have seen banksters saying they have to get and pay huge salaries.  In 20 years teaching and researching in business schools I have seen no evidence for this at all.  Police forces regularly say there is no corruption problem or only a small one.  I see no evidence to support this.  The main reason in both cases for the lack of evidence is the lack of sensible and impartial investigation.  There is almost nothing that can be taken at face value.  Banksters and rich Harvard professors of moral philosophy point to soccer stars and their massive fees – so two wrongs make a right?  Soccer could bring in a salary cap.  So could banks.  When cops claim CCTV didn’t work or evidence has been lost – well this could be true.  But evidence here would be statistical – are cops regularly claiming evidence has accidentally gone missing and more often when their case might be contradicted by it?  Are the 160 amended statements at Hillsborough an exception or is this regular practice?  None of 17 civilian witnesses at Stockwell heard ‘stop armed police’ shouted – what’s the statistical likelihood?  The chance of me shouting that when about to shoot a suicide bomber is zero.  Tap, tap and explanation afterwards.  There is, at the same time, no evidence most of our cops are bent.

The point across social issues is evidence is being withheld from us.   We take positions without the very stuff that would make them reasonable.  We vote on ‘the economy’ and know no economics.  Some are anti-CO2 but can’t explain likely models of climate change (one of the latest is cloud seeding by cosmic rays – science not clown fiction).  Economists of mainstream ilk based theory on rational man – a joke in biology – and debt being irrelevant (now an agony).   Blair tells us he is sound with god (which we can’t check) and asks if we would rather Saddam was still in power.  One suspects those Iraqis in the death count we don’t have might rather be living – and in any case we could have sent men ashore to achieve no Saddam.  One can argue we went to secure the oil – or that we went to keep the price up.  I increasingly think we live in a world denied evidence.  Our protest politics is UKIP – yet the EU only costs us £74 each and on the Swiss-Norwegian model we’d pay as much after leaving to remain in the trade area.  Of course, one might vote for them to repeal the smoking ban, curtail immigration and register how sick we are with the three main parties.

Pity John Prescott wasn’t elected a police commissioner.  They might be repealing the farce by now.  Two Jags outside the sauna, compliant chief inspector … we’d be better off with Max Keiser running the show.  If you watch you’ll see he only pretends to be mad.  The real psychos are running our organisations.

Wealth Perception and Reality

Video

This is a good video on the state of wealth in the USA, comparing people’s perceptions with reality and what they think would be ideal.
I would expect the situation in Britain and Europe to be a bit different, but the broad result to apply. We would like a more equal situation to pertain and not realise how chronically elitist the situation really is.

My own view has long been that we should sequester the rich and use this ‘money’ to pay down household debt and abolish most of financial services beyond ‘boring banking’.
Instead of sensible discussion of wealth, incentive and using the planet’s resources reasonably, the big new option available to us in the UK is UKIP – a little Englander party that plays on immigration and our myopic hatred of the European Union. UKIP are less revolting than any of our standard politicians, but the EU costs each of us about £74 a year – buttons compared with the rich and probable liabilities of the financial sector. A question of ‘its the economy stupid’ – with the proviso we’re too dumb to understand any economics!
I don’t care whether we are in the EU or not – though we should want to be in the trading block. What we’ve needed since I can remember is a decent industrial policy, near full-employment, decent policing and much great equality (though there is no point in expecting a few slogans in this area to lead to anything worthwhile – and the dangers of Soviet Paradise lurk).
The telling point of this video is that argument is pretty hopeless because most of us live in cloud cuckoo land. I’m off down the pub for a drink with Farage. He got my vote as the least of all evils on display.

Economic Honesty

Video

Its very difficult to find anyone as sane as this former member of Reagan’s staff talking about the UK economy. We look like a smaller version of the USA, other than on financial sector debt and military spending.
Most people just want to bury their heads in the sand and hope interesting economic times go away. My guess is they won’t and Cyprus is just the start of a wider wealth snatch – that is the ‘Plan B’ they are hiding from us is very scary indeed. We don’t know what has happened in Cyprus yet, but I’d bet the only people who end up paying will be local people and EU taxpayers – the hot money will be long gone. Here, we will find any solid financial assets going to Cayman and pensions and property sequestered.

Leadership (preamble)

Do you ever wonder what you would do if you woke up tomorrow and found yourself running a big organisation?  I certainly don’t, but I do think armchair speculation should include this thought more often.  Thinking statistically my guess is that it doesn’t matter much who runs our organisations and countries.  In the.short term of my lifetime there hardly seem any changes at all that happen because we get a new chief constable, bank manager or prime minister.  Longer term it is true we no longer hang nine year old kids for stealing bread and put up with judges bragging about such as socially necessary and just.

We are told, in our dismal literature, that individuals make the difference, but it is easy to write characters as heroes.  The stories are no doubt older than the oldest texts we have found.  Julius Caesar was the great hero of the invasion of Britain in 53 BC, though despite man-management techniques even Thatcher wouldn’t have got away with, he couldn’t get his lads on the boats in France.  I love characters like McGill in Man in a Suitcase.  He’s just lit a fag when two thugs interrupt his solace.  He lodges the tab conveniently, is beaten up and down stairs before triumph, calming his lungs with the last drag before leaving.  Modern action films repeat this play, poorly, in the dull detail of special effects.  They’d cast Justin Bieber in a remake of The French Connection.  The whole history of heroes is a tragic myth, or myth of tragedy if you know your classics.

I don’t suspect recruitment and selection so entirely as to justify picking me ahead of George Best for Manchester United.  But it is possible to believe I might have done a better job running one of the world’s biggest banks better than some diamond geezer.  After all they were all as successful as a fullback who insists on scoring five own goals a half.  I’d have done a better job than John Corzine at MF Global too,  I’d have managed lesser disasters and my excuse would have been the same as all the incumbents – I didn’t know what was going on.  And I’d have been cheaper to pay off and would have declined the knighthood.  Given the nostril culture in banking, George might have done a better job there too.

I don’t approve of the now obscene sports wages, but even worse than these payments themselves is their use in justifying bankster and senior management “earnings”.  The justification for both is much the same – the claim they could go somewhere else in the world if we imposed a maximum wage.  The average worker gets this the other way round.  Shut up and put up or we’ll move the factory to ‘China’.  There is no moral argument I know why scarce talents must command massive “earnings” over and above the average.  Indeed, if the commander of our Army decided to make the most of his scarcity in a foreign country we’d nick him for treason.  It was not unknown for Greeks to threaten to take their fleets to fight for the Persians.  At least one did.

The problem of elites getting into and abusing positions of power is as old as history.  Plato didn’t manage an answer in seven books on how a virtuous society could establish and maintain itself through generations.  He didn’t notice slavery as an evil and it seems statistically unlikely you or I would have either.  He did say somewhere that ordinary income should not be exceeded by more than six times, but what were earnings in a slave-based economy?

We have an economy that organises massive wealth for a few and can’t bring about decent living standards for all.  The only societies that have achieved anything like the latter are or were “primitive”.  And, of course, the failure to provide decent standards for all is actually much worse than the statement implies – there are still slaves, wars, sex tourism and many other abuses we should not tolerate.  Indeed, we might struggle to find periods in history at peace and without these abuses.  I know of none, other than that I have been lucky not to live in interesting times for the last thirty years or so.

I do have some sense of Progress in history and that our institutions have some role in this.  Primitive societies have often been more murderous than ours (Stephen Pinker has put together the numbers), even counting our fixation with wars.  The odd person has made a real difference in my life.  I just don’t get this ‘great leader’ stuff at all – I know of none.  It’s common practice to get classes to list great leaders in bringing about discussion of leadership. Before I taught the subject, my own answer in a training class was to name two of my old patrol sergeants.  Their names went on the flip chart with these others:

Hitler,Stalin, Churchill, Christ, Caesar, Mohammed, Moses, Alexander, Richard the Lionheart, Thatcher …

I later taught this leadership programme around the world.  The names never really change.  People just come up with their own country’s greats.  It was very rare to find someone like me who put up people he’d actually met.  Once the list was up we were supposed to discuss the traits of the people on the list.  The idea was to demonstrate they all had different traits and thus we could abandon notions of trait-theory and get on with Action-centred Leadership.  Quite how one knows the traits of people one has never met I don’t know.  Most who came up on the lists had the traits of getting others to charge off into the centres of volcanoes and getting historian-toadies to write them up as iconic heroes, making followership a trait of easily duped morons.

The first thing that springs to my mind when I see a list of such great leaders is deception, false history and disgust – in fact shame that this is the best we have managed and disgust we revere anything to do with such characters.  I wonder if they have anything to do with Progress other than as blocks to it or through unintended consequence.  I don’t see leadership as necessarily a bad thing, but I am sure we should not credit it as a good before taking evidence.  I am sure it matters less who takes the role of our organisational CEO, Chief Constable, Town Clerk or Prime Minister than what reasonable control we can exercise over what they do.  If leadership matters we can’t have Moses (the war criminal of Numbers 31), Hitler, Stalin, Churchill (in preserving the horrors of British Empire) and others remembered only in myth.  I can name every prime minister since Walpole and can’t honestly say any of them was any good.  The share price of the companies run by our irreplaceable captains of industry who die unexpectedly goes up on average.  Our last local chief constable was heralded as a great leader before losing his fight with a bottle of gin and the Welsh winter.  GMP is running better without his great qualities and no doubt fewer women in the vicinity of the new guy are hearing his wife doesn’t understand him.  My suspicion on leadership is that a real history of it might well encourage us to seek a new system of it altogether.  The first step is to try to let the evidence of what people have done in leadership positions and to get them speak for itself without presupposition of greatness.

 

Boston Bombings Come After Omen For “Crash Two”

Gold has seen its biggest falls for thirty years.  The last big drop came just before Lehman and the current everlasting financial crisis.  Shares are taking big hits too.  Assets of all kinds have been pumped up by QE and other measures for a long time and the world economy has not recovered in more than 5 years.  A full description of what has been going on is difficult because issued figures confuse and are intended to do so.  The situation in economics is similar to that in police statistics, governed by gaming and performance management targets.  Ask yourself if selling insurance to someone you know can never pay off for the individual sold and whether you think this is fraud.  I certainly do.  Record each instance and loads of other financial crime and we’d see crime figures rising.    This type of thinking escapes inclusion in police recorded and BCS systems.

We lack real figures across what goes on in our societies.  Whenever we sneak a few undercover reporters and cameras into situations we are told are rock solid we find an unholy mess.  One could do a statistical analysis based on such investigations.  I suspect the correlation between smiling politicians and regulators singing from hymn sheets and unholy mess realities would be very high.  The big step statistically would be demonstrating the likelihood of unholy mess realities across the board.  One could do something similar in the financial system with a small number of full-blown investigations on a random sample.  The same is true for victims in anti-social and other criminal situations.  This work does not get done.

One can only feel sorrow for those killed and injured in Boston.  Rumours are already out in US press that a Saudi national is in custody.  One hopes the perpetrators are caught and upcoming events in the UK are not targeted.  We may be back in some dire crash in the next few weeks (charts predict this – but then the always do), but what should be striking is that we really don’t seem to be able to free ourselves from very peculiar politics (including terrorism on all sides) and an economics so difficult to follow most give up.

Boston is hopefully not related to a group seeing an opportunity to make its point in coordination with sophisticated market analysis.  I just wonder why, with all our technology, we live in a dangerous world worrying about our jobs and now, following Cyprus on whether any money we have would be better mattressed rather than banked (the Germans are proposing a ‘wealth tax’).

Most of the terrorists we catch have done us much less harm than international banksterism (fancy being a Cypriot for the next couple of years?) – which excuses none of the idiots, zealots and associated wide-boys.  Five years on, none of us in the UK know just what debts our banks are holding, why we went into Iraq (other than that Bliar’s account is false) and yet still think we live in a democracy.  My guess is we won’t feel that if Britain becomes a victim in ‘crash two’.  Key in that will be whether our banks actually own anything real, whether they really are our banks and whether the financial merry-go-round is a zero sum game with losers balanced by winners.  I suspect the latter is really a Ponzi and any tickets held worth as much as betting slips with a bookie last seen speeding from the track.

Many of our banksters should clearly be in jail and would be if our cops we allowed to investigate no-holds-barred and put the cases to juries unhampered by our legal establishment.  That we’re seeing civil fines suggests government collusion to keep the real issues under wraps.  In turn this suggests things are worse than we think and the powers that be cling to a belief ‘we’ can still be winners if crash two is handled properly.  There’s strong evidence to suggest French and German banks we able to delay ‘Cyprus’ for two years in order to get their money out.  It’s all scary and could come in the next three weeks if the gold price crash before Lehman and the current one are linked.  This gold price crash is worse, at least in ‘paper gold’.

Nothing Changes

Video

Obama is giving Thatcher a medal and privatising the TVA.
When are we going to grab the idea economics doesn’t work?

Our energy bills are going through the roof, so privatisation worked did it?

We are in the sixth year of a “crisis” with an end as realistically in sight as world war claims ‘it will be all over by Xmas’.   When Canute ‘tried to prevent the tide coming in’ it came in and did so since.  He may have been demonstrating limits to a monarch’s powers or a total arse (plenty of royal examples).  Modern economics and government tend to make us believe the sky will fall without them.   Maybe Canute is the better example?

The song is 60’s – the economic arguments better understood in the 20’s when E D Morel unseated Churchill in Dundee.  We can waste £10 million on the funeral of a woman whose family could have done it quietly and sold the event to the Daily Mail.  Do you know the names of any of the leaders of the best country to live in for the last 100 years (Sweden)?  It’s time for a big rethink.  Sadly, most of our most able go to university to make sure they never will think for themselves.

When Will The Lying – From Police Statistics to the Economy Stop?

Plato wrote seven books on the training of people supposed to look after society – his Guardians.  I gave up after The Republik – you can get this free on line.  My rating of even this famous tome is dross – somewhere below a Zimbabwean high interest bond.  Students never came into my business maths modules to learn the maths and understand the limited application of such.  They were instrumental, after a piece of paper that would help them get a job.  They restricted their in class learning to being able to do the sums set in tests, not unlike the cops and others in ‘diversity training’ and other hapless nonsense learn ‘correct speak’.

Police statistics across the developed world show a consistent drop in crime.  Cops know there is really an increase in crime.  I’ve heard many comment that the burglars become ‘borrowers from  shops’, that there is a massive increase in fraud, the war on drugs is lost and so on.  What makes sense of the repeated claims that crime is dropping is a proper understanding of “performance management” – and ultimately the old Soviet style of performance management has taken over our societies.  Can you really say the word “targets” these days without wanting to spit?

Not long ago we were being told a new knowledge society was being formed – the left denounced this decades ago as a “risk society” and critique of mainstream neo-liberal, neo-classical and neo-con (there is no alternative) buffoonery stretches back more than a century.  Critique largely comes from people on sinecures of one form or another and largely fails to engage the population at large.

Pretty much any complex formal reasoning is beyond most of our population.  Universal education has largely failed in this respect.  I know plenty of people who can spot that police statistics lie and that bankers lie about their systems and the personal brilliance and risk taking through which they merit vast bonuses.  It is also easy to dismiss cops struggling in the day-to-day lunacy of the Swamp, Reservation and Everglades who believe ACPO are pathetic, careerist pen-pushers (think NHS, Care, Banks too).  This is “envy” or the attitude of malcontents.  The Catch 22 is that to avoid being envious or malcontent one must produce soundly argued critique and any such critique is broadly wasted because the population won’t be able to understand it.  Hence ‘dictatorships of the proletariat’ and other unimpressive top-down solutions that first require proles run towards bullets.

Most banks across the world have undergone ‘stress tests’ since the crash.  Banks in Cyprus passed theirs 18 months back and are now clearly worth as many multiples of a bag of rocking horse droppings needed to produce a big, fat, zero.  The UK and USA are very similar on the debt front on household, corporate and government debt per capita.  The UK has vastly higher financial sector debt.  I have seen no public exhibition on whether this financial sector debt is a good or bad thing, or even whose money is involved or at risk.  I can say, on the other debt, that a 30% wealth tax would put the UK and USA to rights  (i.e bring household, corporate and government debt to the supposedly optimal 180% of GDP).  When polices statistics get in the news it’s very rare for the material to be treated as performance management and the figures are taken at face value.

We are now 5 years post-Lehman and every six months or so the books get cooked again in front of us.  A magician tells us everything is hunky-dory and we get on with waiting for the next bail out – and now post-Cyprus for bail-ins that will take our savings accounts.  Across other performance managed tedium we wait for the next Hillsborough, next Baby P, next Nico Bento, next lousy hospital, next miserable treatment of the disabled and old – and so on.

The simple answer is that our “professionals” are lying to us as surely as any Soviet apparatchik (there the apparatchiks have become the entrepreneurchiks).  What we have lost, if we ever had it, is accounting based on reality.  A question I want an answer to is what would really happen if we collapsed the financial sector entirely, replacing it with small, local banks doing real investment and utility work.  Would we starve, not be able to have homes, medical care and things we really need?  This is a basic question about our security and one would think politicians and media-types would want us to know.

I regard many organisations as much worse than the police – social work, lawyering, accountants, banksters, politicians and my own academy.  The idea of a more “professional” police fore fills me with dread.  Our local bobby and CPSO are fine – the problems are in management and we should be looking at much less of this, not paying it more through professionalisation.

The bankers’ (and I think bankster now the better term) role in our society is not explained so we can understand what they do, and much the same can be said of our managers and politicians across our society.  They all seem to need vast amounts of produced wealth (sort of money) to do these jobs not explained to us.  There were claims not long ago that the financial sector might be producing as much as 40% of our GDP – but now it seems the accounting of this is in multiples of the bag of rocking horse droppings standardised in Value at Risk.  They can make up their accounts and do so based on various fantasies.

We need some good management – but I suspect we can’t get any until the lying stops.  In the police example we keep hearing the same performance management figures and such matters (if we look) as vast increases in the recidivist criminal population that suggest an opposite of any decrease in crime.  Our prisons are full, yet huge numbers of new arrivals already have a dozen community punishments.  Politicians may ponse on about human rights, but keep quiet about the UK (and US) as a very poor place to get legal help and access to justice in the developed world.

I take the guess that financial services are almost entirely criminal and no use to anyone decent (we only need utility banking and would be better off with general rather than ‘personal’ pension plans – to cut fees that destroy much of the investment – and banks that could invest in facilities we need and not chase “international rates of return”).  No one is explaining to us how our contributions to bail outs is supposed to work and why the vastly competent super heroes of finance can’t use their own kryptonite.

We know damned well what would happen if we abolished the police force and I doubt even criminals would vote for that (the rest of us would kill them).  Abolishing ACPO is another matter, as collapsing financial services to utility status would be.  Getting on with management reform after collapsing the lies might even give us more cops and allow guaranteed employment (I’d invest in cattle prod futures on account of our more recalcitrant welfare spongers – including banksters newly separated from their ill-gotten gains).

Time For The New Untouchables? Cyprus Bank Losses

I always liked the Untouchables.  The acting was wooden and it was easy for my young mind to spot the good guys.  Elliot Ness was the good guy, fighting illegal booze and the likes of Frank Nitty’s numbers rackets (now our government run lotteries) and the awful Al Capone.  Of course, the real Elliot Ness was an accountant and wrote his own legend.  As a cop, I spent plenty of time in speakeasies under our own licensing laws. and was part of such mega Untouchable raids as the one on illegal bingo playing in my local Labour club – strangely the raid, planned by a future ACPO and involving 40 hairy-arsed coppers, took place on a night with no bingo and with only a few grandmothers having the odd legal milk stout.  The hideous offence thought to be committed was selling 10 bingo cards for the price of 9.  All was not lost as said future ACPO fell off the stage on which the not-in-use bingo wheel was situated and I was able to practice my first-aid skills to such effect he was off sick for months.  Life was briefly sweet.  The two grandmothers he instructed me to arrest for the offence of laughing at his indignity received my personal caution.  This involved them being bought several drinks at a local pub by grateful officers.

Imagine yourself running a bank in Cyprus.  A Russian ‘oligarch’ (Lev Caponisz) comes in with several bin bags of cash – say a billion.  You take the money and wire it into the UK-hubbed offshore system.  Lev is not the kind of bloke whose money you would want to lose.  You soon have about £30 billion of money ‘belonging’ to such people.  Which man or woman amongst you wants to tell the various Levs you have lost the lot?  I doubt many of us would even be comfortable living in another sun-drenched paradise far away looking over our shoulder, let alone having to meet Lev and tell him we invested it in Greek Cuckoo-spit bonds now worth exactly a  weight of rocking horse droppings.  Few of us want to die in severe pain sometime after the rest of our family has been slaughtered in front of us.

The two biggest banks in Cyprus are now worth $30 billion less than a bag of rocking horse droppings.  Much of this is rumoured to be Russian mafia money.  Several Levs are thought to be unhappy about this.  That this much money has been lost is probably true, though whether this is really Russian suitcase money I’m not so sure.  If I’m not happy at the thought of having to explain this plight to Lev and the big guy with the thumb-screw, I can’t imagine those who actually run banks with their PhDs in knee-trembling likely to want to either.

The money has had it away on its toes for sure.  In light of the above, where is it likely to have gone?  If it was really Russian mafia money where are the mangled corpses of dead Cypriot bankers?  Don’t think they just haven’t been found yet – they would be left in the open as warnings.  Th banksters can fob me and you off with excuses like buying into Greek junk bonds, but not Lev and his mates.  It’s much more likely that the smart criminal money is already in US and Mayfair real estate or sloshing around the Caribbean offshore and Middle Eastern private equity investment.

The question for us in the Untouchable Squad (formerly the Fast Action Response Team) is how the offshore investment was obtained from genuine depositor money once and no longer in the Cyprus banks.  If the government in Nicosia had to stump up after the main banks.were allowed to go tits-up, it would be paying £30 billion it hasn’t got to fund the deposit insurance (hence the crazy EU bail-in by taxing existing deposits to reduce the ECB contribution – I doubt any of Lev’s money is at risk – this is just a blind or sop for public consumption).

If you take my point of none of us wanting to be holding the empty bag that once contained Lev’s cash, is it not reasonable to think this money is already secure elsewhere and Lev comfortable with the 5% laundering fee we have extracted?  The mug punters losing their 6.75% and 9.99% and the balance to be stumped up (tax payers) don’t carry knuckle-dusters and scrotum smashers.

Now, if Lev’s money is off somewhere safe, why has the rest of the cash been lost?  We will no doubt be told that the bankers just lost it in ill-advised purchases of non-English Law Greek doughnut holes (whatever).  These brilliant investments can be loosely described as $100 in to get a debt of $110 back (the $10 is how banksters pay themselves bonuses).  All perfectly legit.

Bankers are either super-intelligent (as they claim) or crooks.  It’s hard to believe the super-intelligent would keep investing in doughnut holes and rocking horse shit futures – but it seems they do.  So it makes more sense to think they are crooks who lie to us about being super-intelligent.  Even mugs like us could transfer Lev’s black bags of cash to sensible investments – knowing just what would be at stake if we lost it.  We also know the correct financial terminology to use when someone asks us to buy Greek rocking horse shit futures.  It’s fuck off squared.  This is never the offer.

What gets offered is this:

1. I have several sacks of rocking horse shit valued at $30 billion in a mark-to-market scheme of impenetrable complexity.  The contents are as promised and the loss, once a bureaucrat with an abacus sets to belated work on them, matches the contents once the magic Gaussian copula is waved over them, turning a big fat, invisible zero to a big negative number.

2. Why should I buy $30 billion of rocking horse droppings from you?

3. Firstly to keep your gonads where God intended them.

4. Secondly, because you will benefit more than to the tune of the status quo ante concerning your gonads.

5. We can sell you the rocking horse dropping futures, suitably leveraged and insured so you can make a personal profit and leave other mugs holding the bag when the music stops.  All the real money comes into our pot and goes off with Lev’s money offshore.  That money becomes ours and we guarantee you a huge slice so you can run off with your mistress beyond jurisdiction to live the good life.

6.  No way.  I’ll be left here carrying the can.

7. Don’t be stupid.  Tax payers and small depositors will carry the can.  No one gives a monkey’s toss about them and the law protects you and your fortune from them.  The law states no bankers inside.

8.  My fortune?

9. The $5 million we are about to lodge in Allcoppedout (Cayman Offshore) for you should you and your extremities take the rational course of action we are putting to you.  Our offers you can’t refuse come with delicious dessert.  Much more sensible than allowing parts precious to you to be served as sweetmeats on the table of our Arab confederates.

10.  Why would you sell me $30 billion in bags of rocking horse droppings for only $30 billion?

11.  You take the fees on the $30 billion sale.  Looks like a good deal and you can pay bonuses with the fee money.  We package the rocking horse and doughnut hole droppings in securitized CDO and multiple hypothecated collateral substitute repos that will take three years to untangle.  By the time the authorities realise the package is only worth what we would have paid for it had we any intention of actually taking up our future options on the shit, we are away with $25 billion of real money with no links to the celebration I am inviting you to on Turks and Caicos before Miss Zaplova takes you round the world.

By this time the banker realises he is talking to Lev.  I have not seen any news reporting even suggest we should go looking for where the real money went and start getting it back.  If bankers are so stupid they really invest in Greek and other peripheral bonds losing billions we should close the banks.  Does anyone sane believe the money has really disappeared – say being used to light fires to keep bankers’ families warm?  Its been nicked.  A squad made up of bobbies made redundant by this government, given global carte blanche to follow the money, could sort it all out.  There are only 92,000 filthy rich suspects in the world.  They have it.  We need to stop the bailouts and form a New Untouchables.

Our secret services must know where the money is going and who is getting it.  One can tell from economics – it all slides to the already super-rich.  Snatching bank deposits from ordinary people is just a continuation of what has been happening through global wage arbitrage (forcing wages to Chinese serf levels – except for the rich who get more), asset-stripping and internal CEO looting and the involvement of organised crime in nearly all businesses and government.  Has anyone told you where any of the money lost by banks has gone?  It can’t really be ‘lost’ as our governments keep ‘printing’ more and more of it.  It’s being redistributed and somewhere, it is being hoarded in Ali Baba’s cave.  The explanations we do get are as likely as that Mervin King is running his central heating system with paper money from the Mint.

That the banksters are organised crime is evidenced by clown claims like those of Stephen Hester that he has to pay big bonuses despite losses to keep the best staff.  Would be really fall for crap like that unless we were in fear of shouting out the truth?  In terms of agriculture, tourism and natural resources Cyprus is a ‘goldmine’ – so why is it riddled with debt?  We have to shape up to the facts and among these is criminality at the top.  I really do think we are now living in fear of organised crime.