Jeff Sachs interesting idea about crime and punishment

The world is drowning in corporate fraud, and the problems are probably greatest in rich countries – those with supposedly “good governance.” Poor-country governments probably accept more bribes and commit more offenses, but it is rich countries that host the global companies that carry out the largest offenses. … Hardly a day passes without a new story of malfeasance. Every Wall Street firm has paid significant fines during the past decade for phony accounting, insider trading, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, or outright embezzlement by CEOs.


Evidence that we uncover and punish wrongdoing while other parts of the world do not uncover and punish wrongdoing is taken as evidence that there must be more wrongdoing which should be uncovered and punished where we are.

That we catch and punish murderers therefore shows that the murder rate in the UK is higher than that in El Salvador.

Fun logic, isn\’t it?

3 thoughts on “Jeff Sachs interesting idea about crime and punishment”

  1. It’s twattish on an almost galactic level. Here in Costa Rica we’ve just convicted and jailed an ex-President for corruption. Ergo, there exist politicians here willing to take a bung. It’s the richest country in the region by far. Could there perhaps be a connection?

  2. I’ve not seen the actual law as it’s written, or whether it just happens in practice because of the strength of the unions, but in Nigeria it is not allowed to sack an employee for fraud or embezzlement. Kind of hard to punish wrongdoing when it isn’t a punishable offence.

  3. It’s rather circular. Hard to make it a punishable offence where it is endemic; certainly hard to forbid someone from *paying* bribes in great big bits of the world and still expect them to do a useful job. Hasn’t stopped the US and UK trying, extraterritorially, though.

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