Category Archives: Finance

How supermarkets promote theft

“A 2015 study of self-checkouts with handheld scanners, conducted by criminologists at the University of Leicester, also found evidence of widespread theft. After auditing 1 million self-checkout transactions over the course of a year, totalling $21 million in sales, they … Continue reading

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Book Review: Oliver Bullough ~ Moneyland: Why thieves and crooks now rule the world and how to take it back (2018)

There is an investigative book. Like all investigative books it offers revelations, which alter our perception of the foundations of society itself. Misha Glenny’s McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime (2008) is the grand-father of the genre. His book is now so … Continue reading

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Book Review: John Carreyrou ~ Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (2018)

Without trivialising this wonderful book I was reminded of a joke as I followed the career of Elizabeth Holmes: Q. What’s a gold mine? A. A hole in the ground owned by a liar Elizabeth worshipped Steve Jobs and Bill … Continue reading

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The top 0.01% in the USA

The top 0.01% of American workers—now some 15000—this year have incomes, including capital gains, of about 500 times the average. Typical incomes in America today, including capital gains and benefits, are perhaps 300 [dollars] a working day. The gulf between … Continue reading

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Working on council estates

I worked for fifty years in Hackney and Havering on Council estates as a plumber. Like everybody else Council tenants are of all kinds of people: loud, selfish, helpful, timid, stupid and clever and I nearly forgot the rich and … Continue reading

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Eat your heart out lottery winners: this is winning

“Over the past 54 years, shares in his [Warren Buffet’s] company, Berkshire Hathaway, have outpaced the S&P 500—a broad index of American stocks—by almost 2.5 million percentage points. The degree to which Buffett has outwitted successive generations of Wall Street … Continue reading

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Comparative Poverty: The Top 1% vs the Top 0.1%

Someone at the bottom of the top percentile of incomes is on about £120,000 a year. The top 0.1%, however, gets over £500,000…. The very rich price the reasonably rich out of houses and schools: top private school fees have … Continue reading

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