Theft – the moral of the story

Debating moral hazard is not purely an academic and intellectual exercise. Moral hazard is real and produces visible and tangible results in real life. What our governments, our politicians, our business leaders and their puppet regulators are showing us, is the most effective way to plan a criminal career and, in one fell swoop, encouraging those that may be undecided to take the plunge.

Essentially, if you are Joe Six pack smoking a joint or short changing supermarket customers, you can expect the book to be thrown at you and spend considerable time in jail at the expense of society.

If you are a largish business floundering, you are encouraged, indeed the state will finance you, to merge with other floundering businesses till you become so large that your collapse threatens thousands of unemployed. At that point, whatever you have pilfered over the years and whatever money you sock away from state aid for the merger, you can pretty much keep. At worse you’ll be grilled about your shenanigans for a couple of hours by a committee of your own puppets but, overall, you’ll walk away scott free.

Any day now, I expect one of the clowns in government to pipe up and say: “let them eat cake”.


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