Time To Junk Economics

Africa, that well known collection of basket-cases, has long been a net exporter of money even after aid is taken into account.  This is known as capital flight.  These externally held assets are held by a small minority and the countries’ public debt is paid for by everyone else.  A number of university studies have shown this and the sums are in hundreds of billions.

The majority of the world’s wealth is held by very few people and we now regularly hear of the ‘one percent’, but I meet few people who understand much, if anything about how this wealth is amassed inn so few hands and what this form of capital actually does, other than making a few incredibly rich.

I think we can safely assume the wealth of the one percent has little good effect on raising living standards for the many.  It’s been around and getting worse for centuries.  It may be possible to argue that all improvement in this sense may be done to massive improvements in productivity due to increased knowledge and technological innovation, though these may have some link to the focus of wealth (we wouldn’t have science without people otherwise idle enough to do it).

As a scientist, rather than someone who teaches low-level university economics to make a crust, I find economics an intolerable discipline in that it fails to address itself as a history of mistakes and is predicated on ‘world-views’ rather than more modest research programmes.  It is not possible, as a scientist, to think that such issues as capital flight, offshore tax-dodging and other obvious cheating, or such matters as a small number of people needing the motivation of great riches while others starve, can form the core of a research programme.

Sociologists generally don’t like explanations of capitalism as only existing because people are incredibly dumb, but frankly, when one looks at what we are expected to swallow on the needs for mass austerity and to let the rich get even richer, the levels most people can achieve in universal education, widespread scientific illiteracy and global competition really being about depressing wages and conditions of employment, and getting people who aren’t smart to worker smarter (as we import smarter people because this doesn’t work), along with what passes as mass entertainment and research on just how dumb human communities have been in various ecocides and wars … then evading questions about how human dumbness comes about hardly seems scientific.

My thesis is that we are almost chronically dumb and can’t face up to this (none of us is exempt).  In one of my favourite Voyager episodes, Janeway not only refuses to drop her pants to get technology that would get her crew home, but tries to trade the sum total of human literature for it – essentially trying to trade what you’d be stuck with on a desert  island (of the radio show) for technology that shrinks space.  We live with fantasy like this in a world in which women and children are traded to much worse fates and in which we are all traded in an economic system beyond democratic sanction.

My guess is we could know about economics if we studied the issues from a fractal perspective.  I don’t mean the creation of a new set of mathematical wangles that mean ‘there’s nowt down for you Son, ‘cos you can’t do this kind of counting’.  There are structures that seem to repeat themselves in human affairs, including repeated numbskull behaviour by majorities and minorities.

My start is in the non-human and the way bacteria, plants and animals behave.  Much we see as human can be found in this.  Ants ‘take slaves’ by stealing the eggs of other ants, many insects are involved in ‘complex gardening’ using anti-biotics and there is much ‘chemical warfare’ practised – none presumably needing the kind of rational mind we attribute to ourselves.  Chimpanzees act to ‘police’ their societies (so no change there then!).  Many species are now extinct and it’s clear our own almost was.  We need some understanding in economics of how we are borne in evolution and are not in mastery of it.

Human history as it is taught around the world has structures in it.  My guess on these is that the first is that it is taught everywhere inaccurately.  What’s the difference between Jihad and Crusade or the various empires that have hardly graced the Earth?  What’s the difference between the ancient tribe in Peru who ‘mastered’ water supply and died horribly when their claims to deal with ‘water-gods’ was exposed in drought and the current Mob of banksters and their claim we can’t do without them?

Some way into an examination of such structures, come questions on whether competitive advantage is actually ever used in any way we can consider moral?  What other structures might be similar and/or at work – one can think of the bee hive, termite mound and social mice (where Bossmouse keeps his order through the enforced poverty of others).

There is much more to say on structures we might expect to find at different scales in our society.  The fraud we are encouraging in capital flight and investment banking may well just be a structure as surely as that of a set of genes turning on encouraged by the environment (exercise immediately causes gene activity).

Competitions really only work through rules and refereeing.  What one can compete on is restricted or we might say, structured.  We could choose to structure such matters as salary caps across work places from sport to banking.  It’s also possible to see much of the notion of motivation to great wealth as giving up to libidinal structures.

In longer term looks at structures we get laughable stuff like Elliot Waves (his other book was on running a tea-shop), but we rarely look at what has always been promised to society as a whole by putting up with economics and what has actually been delivered (a lot – not much?).  My own country (UK) has failed to produce even all its own medical doctors and steals them from countries that cannot  afford to lose them.  What does this say about working smarter and the role of training and education?    Surely if we could do so much better by getting higher skills we’d not only be producing all our own doctors but also making money hand over fist training those of other countries in our splendid and efficient medical education?  We ain’t.  And now we have kids taking on huge debts to get the “advantage” of a degree to work in a coffee shop.

If education is about employability (it ain’t – but no matter) why do we divorce it so much from the world of work?  Some dork brandishing a business degree from the places I’ve taught in, is no more employable or knowledgeable on business for real than anyone else with a non-numerate degree in anything else, and less employable than someone who sensibly left school at 16 and went to work for Sainsburys (where I know management juniors get a better education than I can offer).  So where are the economists saying we should junk much of higher education and get on with a job-based expansion because you’re only going to learn about work at work and only learn work-skills by using tools and machines?

The economics we have is such junk we have a Chancellor telling us his coming budget will be for growth and work – when it will offer more money to the rich and continue to cut the public sector.  Osbourne is crap – yet if economics is so bad we can’t even see through his jive it needs to be junked.


A moral economics?

When given a budget as a chief constable or a department head across all services we know that is pretty much what we have to manage – sure we may be able to press for our own corner over exigencies or make cases that other departments should cough up if they can be shown to be using ‘our’ resources.  We might even float a body across a river to leave those on the other side with the expenses of the enquiry,  We sometimes end up in dumb situations like keeping old people in hospital to ‘save’ the care budget.

We understand in doing the above that we are controlling costs and we know the system isn’t perfect.  We generally know that the money left in the month before year end needs spending or we’ll lose it – or else some central authority will steal it twice – the money itself and by reduction of next year’s allocation.  We know the dodges.

Economics is really not much more than the stuff we do routinely in work places, yet it’s largely a disaster,  What we’re being told is that our policing, hospitals and education systems all rely on very clever people with amazing skills making the money that allow us to enjoy such expenses,  I no longer believe a word of this.  We have the priorities wrong.  All we need is to be free (something structured under law and as much to do with decent police and army people as anything else) to organise work and make sure it gets done.  We are good, if imperfect, at this, it ain’t rocket science and can be done with reasonably equitable rewards,  The rest is pathological fiction and white collar crime.

What’s gone wrong is broadly moral in form.  The moralities we’ve learned are ancient in form and don’t suit a modern world.  This is obvious when we look at religious stuff that allows discrimination against women and non/other believers – indeed encourages the rot. What we need is some basic dialogue on what our own morality should now be and how we can get that embedded in our economic practices.  With modern levels of technology and productivity, the first place to look is our attitudes towards work.

In short, I would not want to be the sort of prat motivated so much by money that I spent my time developing a career portfolio or spinning the invisible cloth of financial mega-riches for me.  And I don’t want to live in a world dominated by such sick people.  I’m sure we can do without their ‘creativity’ and make a better fist of things with our own.

What we have to realise is not a ‘general relativity of economics’ but the value of the work we all do in a new way,  Our pensions aren’t disappearing because we didn’t put the work in or because there is a need to do so much more work.  The ‘cake’ is vastly bigger than it was and there is a planet of plenty – what’s wrong is our organisation of it.  This is a moral issue, held back by economics and a lack of faith in our abilities to live decently and police this.

What might a positive economics be?

I’m always struck that “economics” is so generally the reason we can’t do what’s needed. Those of us who teach it often refer to it as ‘war by other means’ (said of diplomacy too). We have our own jargon -macro-micro monetary-fiscal abrabloodycadabra.  These days we tend to go straight for models and arithmetic and cut out thinking altogether.

This means if it seems sensible to have more and better equipped cops (and let’s face it, there’s no shortage of labour) to improve our quality of life through more freedom from crime, we can’t have them because they will be a cost – we even end up cutting jobs and equipment budgets.  Sensible ideas like renovating and greening our housing stock can’t be done for the same reason.  It’s better to “employ” people to do nothing on the dole!  I make no apologies for saying this isn’t clever, it’s fucking stupid.  The ultimate “success” of current economics is about consuming stuff that makes us fat, unhealthy and childlike as we breed ourselves into poverty and war and resource annihilation.

A positive economics needs to start with a list of what we want to achieve and the barriers to this.  I’d say the first issue is one of world population control.  This has more or less tripled in my lifetime, just as the more advanced countries have curbed that of their indigenous peoples.  A very thorny issue, yet we’re reaching the point of competition for air and land exhaustion.  Our main means of population control has been the education of women and making kids too expensive.

The next is some form of reasonable equality combined with innovative conservation of capital and the work that produces it.  This means full employment and probably radical changes in employment relationships.focused on dignity.  I guess we could more than get by on a 30hour, three-day week and a 40 week year and raise living standards and quality of life.  This is a radical change and we need to understand our current practices are feudal, medieval and broadly neurotic.  We are now massively productive.  Half of all French workers in 1958 worked on the land and all our economies were once agrarian. We need to harness modern productivity to quality of life, not work as serfs to profit as in the Domesday Book.  Our work ethic is out of date.

The point of economics would be to ensure funding for work that needs doing.  We have ceded this role to banks – nearly all money is now created by them and allocated as credit.  Current disasters have all been to do with their failure to put the money into the right investments and we should return to primitive banking with bankers on wages.  I wouldn’t ring fence the rest, but arrest in large numbers and bury the speculative dross and its restrictive practices as surely as the ‘Amalgamated Union of Holeborers’.

I see plenty of room for markets (even Lenin did) but these need to be free of insider trading, algorithms, derivatives and accounting practices that hide failure to the very point of draining the swamp after we’re up to our arses in alligators.  We need to wrench capitalism back from favoured oligarchs and parasitic ‘speed’.

Deep questions remain in any of this (and much more) -not least what must replace greed and massive accumulation – or for that matter the fear of poverty as a work motivator and how we could still ‘discipline’ work.and provide some form of productive leisure for the social animals we are.

Perennial problems of world peace, despotic creeps, chronic religionists and bandits still prevail and we need ideas on this beyond vapid assertions on the wonder of human nature.  We’ve been living under an American umbrella that has been a holocaust of ‘killing hope’ for others.  The maintenance of this has required the beggar thy neighbour economics to keep military superiority and I for one don’t want to give this up to a bunch of the ‘wrong Mullahs’.

That economics isn’t democratic is obvious in history and our democracies have wilted in corruption.  We clearly don’t want to create a situation in which getting work done is like herding cats.

Yet what is work now?  We know that if you haven’t got any you’re likely to be poor or very rich.  What does work make?  We would rather give it to North Koreans in Mongolia (paying the clown dictator) than our own.  We can’t afford cops, yet we can afford Rooney and the half-assed media circuit of celebrities and news poodles.  We aren’t housing our people and creating a green economy, but can have Xmas cheer in the form of plastic crap from China.

The positive questions really concern whether we can trust ourselves with a more rational system and prevent any ‘darkness at noon’ and iron cage of bureaucracy.  In the meantime we have nurses chatting whilst old patients starve – and a probable 15% unemployment while all sorts of things can’t be done.  We need a leveling and this will come through war unless we can establish a more rational way.

The ideas are around and the analysis could be done.  We are apathetic.  Another key issue to addfress,


Towards The Ending Of The Economic Undead (part one)


I know you guys don’t do economics.  I found it miserable at school, taught by a bastard called ‘Happy’ who spent his time preening pretty girls, before running off with one.  What put me off was it was so evidently a crock with numbers.  I switched to another real science subject.  Finding myself remaindered to teaching and researching management baloney , I got interested in why it was all so dire.  The link above is to a fairly short piece of ‘economic deconstruction’ by the admirable Yves Smith (who could run away with me at 17 anytime).

Economics is actually religious rather than scientific.  It’s run by priests who describe their work in ‘Latin’ to the god only they can communicate with, and its scriptures start with Adam Smith,  Yves Smith is just one of many commentators challenging some of the principle tenets of the subject.  The particular one around at the moment is the emergence of money from barter systems.  There is no evidence of this, rather the contrary.  Given economics is religious, it’s heresy to believe the evidence.

I don’t know how ‘non-economic’ any particular person is.  I don’t do the religion myself,other than as a vampire hunter might learn about vampires.  That a rich-political-economic class exists and sucks our blood, seems to follow from the evidence. Most people I meet can’t do economic argument, including most I’ve played some role in graduating.  Intercourse the elasticity of supply and demand does justice to this particular penguin.  Real masters of the subject, like Growling-balls Brown and Sniffer Osbourne sell gold just as the price is about to go exponential or cut public spending just when we need it most.

Trying to get a realistic public dialogue on economics is impossible,  It’s like trying to develop chemistry from alchemy.  It doesn’t even merit its sobriquet as ‘the dismal science’.  It works by boring you to death and exploiting your ignorance.

Imagine you play cards for money and find the same bunch of people always win.  I’d recommend you stop playing cards as a first rule (if I didn’t whip out a pack and rip you off myself).  But let’s say you don’t feel you’ve been playing the people better at cards than you and this is true.  We do an investigation and find marked cards and spot some of the players secretly swapping cards.  We all know what this is.

Economics needs a similar police-detective style unmasking.  I’d prefer to make the enquiry scientific, but I’m sure not enough people understand science and how it treats evidence.  More than this, science can’t kick down the necessary doors to get at the fraud. What’s going on is organised crime, as those posing as ‘cops’ in the system are bent.

The first evidence in front of us is the rich, the people supposedly playing the same game as the rest of us who end up with nearly all the winnings.  Just like card-sharps, they claim just to be better players than us or blessed with luck.  I play bridge for money, I don’t cheat and rarely lose -some of us do play better than others.  When I play in rubbers with only expert players i barely hold my own.  Some are much better than me – though these players still screw up playing with novice partners, assuming competence that isn’t there.

The presence of these regular winners in our society needs investigation.  A big block to such investigation is the ideology of meritocracy, though this has to be understood in our general state of ignorance.  If we think of the world’s wealth as ‘jewels’ that arise from human toil, we’d find hoards of these jewels amongst the rich.  If we’d been receiving, as cops, complaints about jewel thieving, we’d suspect the rich because they have the hoards of jewels.  This is the actual economic situation.  You can check this out at ONS, Wikkipedia or any source.

The rich may claim to have their own secret ‘jewel making machines’ or to have come across their wealth by fair means – just as the looter will tell you the plasma televisions stacked in a spare bedroom ‘fell off the back of a lorry’.  I’m not trying to get you to think of all the rich as thieves – just to apply ‘police suspicion’.  If you are family, friend or neighbour of a murder victim, you are a suspect on statistical grounds  I did this to many people.  It’s fraught with dangers, not least in skewing evidence to fit your suspicion.  One reason we should treat miscarriages of justice much more openly is that they could teach us a great deal about our general incompetence and lack of understanding of evidence in all circles.

To follow my argument you need to know more about the rich and their wealth to understand the ‘jewel’ metaphor, but also what you take for granted about life so that this doesn’t cloud your thinking.  This latter is very difficult.  More on the ‘jewel thieving’ in part two – the dog is pining for a walk.

I should point out David Graeber has just commented that Yves Smith didn’t write the post at the link (her blog), so we can presume he did.  I managed to miss David when I was a university academic swamped with teaching.  His books are well worth a read and you can get a good glimpse at Amazon.  The latest, ‘Debt: the first 5000 years’, is not only superb on its topic, but gets at the issues of thinking ‘history in the present’.

Starting Again On Public Sector Statistics?

Talk on police or any performance management ‘statistics’ often turns to their gaming element. I live in a supposedly ‘beacon’ council area with departments like social services ‘achieving’ three-star status and ‘sector-leading’ housing association that ‘replaced’ the Council’s role in housing. In reality, I live on the edge of a dying town and doubt much round here is being done well.  I have seen improvements in the NHS care I need, but most of the rest doesn’t seem adequate and often misses the boat altogether.

The term ‘statistics’ is associated with science, but what we are getting is performance management and there is little science in them.  Even in academe, statistics are routinely fiddled because on one of its performance management criteria – the peer reviewed publication.  Simple stats are used when more complex forms are needed to establish genuine statistical differences.  Ben Goldacre suggests this is the case in half of papers in psychology.  I believe the situation is worse – as most papers with statistical method in them don’t need it at all – there is no point establishing statistical significance in the bleedin’ obvious.  Whist academics write this spurious drivel they ain’t doing what we need from them.

It’s difficult to justify the keeping of annual lists of the numbers of certain crimes if there isn’t much we can do to reduce, prevent and detect the crime people don’t want to experience.  Steve Bennett has done more than any academic I know to point out the gaming problems and we lack a forum to get the real problems expressed in a manner that could really count.  Indeed, we conflate critical evaluation methods with criticism of the police and other bodies.  This runs across the board in our society.  Modern research, based in experiment, has found that whilst we lay claim to welcome innovative ideas, we actually despise creativity, and those trying get the ad hominem in the neck.

The banking industry is a glaring example of the kind of false-accounting that is going on.  The ‘maths’ involved becomes a way of hiding problems instead of expressing them.  We clearly have a system that loses money hand over fist, yet lays claim to have expertise that must be rewarded for its performance.  I’m sorry, but you can play out of your skin and have to take losing pay.

I think we should stop performance management techniques as far as possible and ban the labeling of such as statistics.  Across industry they don’t keep people honest in the way a tackle count (now a complex of modalities) does in rugby league – the tackles become virtual and derivitised to the point we can’t be sure any were ever made.  It’s a bit like telling your coach you didn’t make any in the game, but the hundred on your pillow or in dreams should count – or including toe-nail clipping as an operation.

It is important to know that burglaries are falling, but it’s much more important to establish why this is the case – what any drop or rise is correlated with.  Beyond this, burglary is poorly defined in terms of what matters to me and you, as many other things affect our wealth.  I’m reasonably insured against it and it isn’t a major threat to my wealth and well-being.  The banksters have been a much greater threat to our wealth and democracy. Having to live near druggie, noisy, recidivist scum affects the quality of life of those it’s forced on much more seriously than burglary threat.

Good statistics would be expressed in spreadsheets that anyone could use in promoting public debate.  This is rare.  One thought that crosses my mind is whether the reductions in certain major categories of crime across the West mean anything much beyond us being able to do ‘something’ through focus on these problems.  One problem is that we have no control to measure against, but the lack of a convenient world that otherwise stands still outside our interventions is unavoidable.

One can imagine experiments we could do on typical petty crime.  We could give Bill the burglar £50K a year and send him to university, or even do this with ten evil poor families on one estate and compare them with similar areas with no intervention – I take it a sour taste is arising in you too.  This sounds ludicrous until one realises we ‘credibly’ spend much more in family rehabilitation schemes – then one wonders on the incredulity of what we are actually doing.  What I mean by this type of experiment is that we should be thinking through what links we should be looking for and using research methods we can take to approximate to control ideas.  This is an area of public functional illiteracy.

What we need is not complex mathematical schemes – these are usually the problem.  I can set fairly easy financial problems undergraduates mostly can’t do in class, yet they all appear to be able to do if I issue an out of class assignment – they copy and cheat in the main.  In academic quality assessments I’ve seen departments go from rubbish to excellent just by getting in a performance manager prepared to do the paperwork needed.  Something beyond this kind of bureaucratic lunacy is needed – and indeed the lunacy needs to go.  The QAA collapsed academic standards, though the industry could not see it needed to change.

We need some thinking from the ground up.  No manufacturer is interested in performance statistics that don’t relate to costs, sales and quality.  Trying to transfer techniques from even one related industry sector to another can be difficult and check-list approaches from a generic source usually fail.  We can be smarter than this and we don’t need maths, covariants or Gaussian copulas.  We need something we can’t cheat and we think is useful and fair.  Instead, we are beholden to loads of unnecessary dross that promotes glib argument and political manipulation.  To a scientist, it’s like being stuck having to skew results to suit a dud political theory like a geneticist working for Stalin.

Much as we want thieving druggies to ‘shape up’, we need to understand the effects of an economic system we can’t use to provide enough coppers and other resources like jobs they can do to change the environment around them and the one they grow in.  What difference a couple of trillion wasted on banksters we don’t know, precisely because we keep ourselves ‘free’ of realistic statistics.  Where are the comparisons between what it’s like to live and crime in Sweden, Norway and Britain?  Where is any straightforward statement on crime and immigration?  My burglary was paid for by insurance, but not the much worse financial and quality of life loss of having scum dumped next door.  I lost more in loan insurance ‘legally’ extracted by the bank than in the burglary.  In we had real statistics we’d know more about what crime is and what to do about it.

Every scheme of data recording I’ve seen has been a pain in the arse to use.  In police recording cases could be entered into databases that would print off charge sheets, self-duplicate for secure storage and be interrogation friendly.  The work in data entry should not be an additional burden.  Yet in our incompetence it always is.  Last time I was involved (5 years ago), detectives still had to lug cardboard boxes full of original statements to court, when these were digitised.  We should not try any substantial changes before addressing ‘quill and ink’ attitudes.

White-collar Crime

Statistical reasoning is part and parcel of my daily routine.  Most people don’t get close to capability in this area and my own abilities soon pale when I meet the mathematical experts in this field.  I’m talking science here, not the much governments and performance management departments churn out.

Bwanking (there is acceptable banking) is an area that makes use of highly complex mathematical scheming, broadly to lie about real positions.  Police statistics and a wad of others from government and local government are also used to lie.  In science, the method is used to explain and manipulate complex interactions and to a fair degree we know we are still dealing with approximation.

We have an obvious problem in social statistics in that the ‘end-user’ is Jane Muggins and she is likely not to be functionally literate and numerate enough to spot flim-flam.  In science, we often start positing stuff like ‘dark energy’ only to find that the equations we are using also work well if we put in numbers from other assumptions such as ‘time slowing down’.  This doesn’t stop engineering being better than not doing it.  Generally, ‘realism keeps us honest’ – though these days scientific realism realises it is structured.

Economics and particularly ‘bwanking and accountwing’ can delay ‘realism’ until its ‘scientists’ have had it away on their toes with our cash and got this invested in the property under our feet; indeed literally taking the ground away from under our feet.  I’ll give one disgusting example (though these are as common as the stories Ambush Predator reveals on our ‘evil poor’ and buffoon laws).  Prestigious US university alumni funds are involved, through a British hedge-fund, in deals as revolting as the Scottish Enclosures, in taking African soil away from its tenant farmers.  One cannot even give money to world wild life funds without risking something like this.

I would just ask you to think about what’s on offer in Dispatches, Panorama and other bits of investigative journalism.  This is not proof and you have tor remember that most people don’t even get this far.

The most forceful contemporary statement of [the instrumental argument fort democracy} is provided by Amartya Sen, who argues, for example, that “no substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent country with a democratic form of government and a relatively free press” (Sen 1999, 152). The basis of this argument is that politicians in a multiparty democracy with free elections and a free press have incentives to respond to the expressions of needs of the poor [Sen, A., 1999, Development as Freedom, New York: Knopf.]  What one has to add is that the famines and deaths continue outside the democracies and that the first democracy (Athens) practiced genocide to ensure its own grain supplies and boost its own treasury (found empty despite ‘statistics’).

In the same way that we might posit ‘dark energy’ or ‘time slowing down’, I would like to see far deeper questioning of our economic system through a range of possibilities.

The first of these is to consider ‘economics’ not as a scientific subject, but as cover for white collar crime.  One can also do this in specific areas such as ‘police statistics’ and those on local government performance and supposed financial performance.  I don’t see this as essentially about numbers, but will give a few as a guide.

Fred Goodwin took more than £30 million (pay, bonus, shares and pension) from RBS in seeing it from a bank lending on the basis of its deposits to utter disaster.  One can only estimate and can only estimate the bank’s losses at, say, £28 billion.  The jobs of maybe a million people may also have been lost because of the ‘necessary’ bail out – the equivalent, perhaps, of the turfing-out of tenant farmers in Africa via greedy funds wanting the mineral rights.

We often hear that bwankers such as this are essential to our economic well-being. Questions arise as to whether Fred was ever worth a bean and whether selection for such roles is remotely correct.  My own view for a long time has been we are ‘choosing’ psychopaths as our management class. Many others in RBS took fortunes from building its collapse.  RBS is only one example in many.

We should be able to command a simple explanation of what has and continues to go on. Generally, finding that an elite group has made loads of money through claiming massive profits only for us to find the cupboard not only bare but full of liabilities, we suspect theft and organised criminality.

Our laws in intent include recklessness.

What ‘ecwonomics and accountwing’ have been providing is a system of denial of responsibility when things go wrong and justification of an enormous cut of the cake on the basis of ‘special skills’ that  are unlikely to exist.  The metaphor is that of betting on all the horses in every race – a surefire way of handing over your money to the bookmakers – but being able to continually defer the losses and live off the winnings.  The key is not to be betting with your own money, unless you can choose to pull out your bets when you are winning.  I will always win money off you on the toss of a coin if I can always double my stake and you can’t leave.  Bookies and casinos don’t allow this.

Imagine what short shrift you would get if you had engaged in such activities with the contents of your firm’s safe,lost the lot and claimed you never intended to defraud anyone, but were really trying to make everyone money using a fool-proof system.  ‘And throw away the key’ seems likely.

How could you advance a defence of no criminality because you believed in the system?  Remember Horace Bachelor?  He sold a worthless pools perm and made money because there were bound to be winners.  He just let a lot of people gamble and took a percentage from the winners.  Simples!  Lots of other people just lost their money.

If we can pin £30 million on Freddy Boy, how much can we pin on the whole process of speculation?  I believe we can build the spreadsheet of this, showing how much is involved and who the winners and losers are.  I believe this would demonstrate a scam very similar to Horace Bachelor writ large.

What we need is a massive social change that we organise.  We are in the hands of organised crime and rigged markets.  This is affecting food, gas and housing prices as surely as the Russian Mafia thug ensuring that traders don’t drop their prices in real markets to protect their margins.  It isn’t capitalism, it’s crime.  They are using our money as surely as if they’ve taken the notes from our mattresses.  It’s all real theft, based on lying about the future and taking money now.  We live in fear of what will happen when the protection racket is broken.

Just when were any of Freddy’s drawings from his business really justified?  The cumulative debt dwarfs anything of the supposed profits.If we add up what’s been taken in inflated salaries, bonuses and options and think what might have been had this been invested in public services  – why don’t we know, why is there no public accounting on the opportunity costs?  The answer is that they want to hide the crime from us.  We’ve been had.