Cake
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    • Great find. I listened on my run tonight. I love Kai Ryssdal, the host. This must have been a hard episode for him to do because it is complicated and he had to track down a lot of people. I was surprised at some of the people who told him no, like Preet Bharara. Anyway, it was great and I learned a lot.

      Speaking of Kai, he and Molly Wood recently did one on The Cambridge Analytica scandal that I added to my list:

    • Thanks for that link, Chris. Interesting show.

      As my mind tends to do, it mashed up that Shoshana Zuboff conversation with the reading I’ve been doing in The Next Mormons.

      I am struck by how everyone is starting to feel very different about privacy these days - even when it comes to church dynamics. I guess that’s a thought I could include in the book review thread...

    • I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess you are an extrovert

      I was extremely shy and introverted up to high school and even university to an extent. But then somewhere in there someone extremely wealthy and successful told me that “talkers rule the world.” What he meant is that if you can’t sell yourself and your ideas then you’re always going to be limited in what you can achieve. I took it to heart and after graduating from university, I took a thousand dollars of my extremely limited savings to go through a Dale Carnegie speaking course. By the end of the speaking course, one of the trainers suggested I should go into sales and invited me to be an assistant trainer for the next session. Twenty years later, I had a sales job and was extremely good at it, beating the record of my predecessor in my first year.

      I can be happy by myself on a big rock at Zion. Or at a party where I literately only know the host.

    • Were you a watcher of the tv show “Bar Rescue.” Not the best in quality television, I’ll admit. (More staged reality television, but it was entertaining.)

      The Bar expert would sometimes talk about the need for a “landmark firing.” Everyone who works at the bar is guilty of goofing off, over pouring, or stealing. But you can’t fire them all—the bar would be shut down for weeks. So you pick someone who’s bad, but not necessarily the worst, and you fire them to send a message to the rest.

      I finally listened to the podcast this weekend.

      I don’t buy Comey’s argument that the prosecutors in the SDNY were chickenshit. Robert Reich in Saving Capitalism talks about the reality of regulatory enforcement in the United States. Popular regulatory legislation will often be passed with bi-partisan support but then Congress will intentionally underfund enforcement budgets. As a result, regulators will often settle for pennies on the dollar: a $10 billion dollar fraud may receive a $100 million fine, meaning the corporation keeps $9.9 billion of the ill-gotten gain.

      My guess is that the SDNY didn’t have the budget to go to trial for all these cases and so they settled for fines that were preferable for the corporations compared to being landmarked.

      That’s the frustrating part of all of these financial crimes: the return on investment is something like $10 for every tax dollar spent on enforcement. If I could, I would quadruple the IRS investigations unit budget tomorrow as a quick way to rein in a lot of the white collar crime that currently goes undetected.