Female logical leap

“But I don’t want to leave great sums to the next generation. I think inheritance is quite distasteful. My philosophy is: get rid of it or give it away before you go.”

That’s the statement. “Great sums” being the important part.

Craig, who is best known for his role as James Bond, will be paid £73 million to star in the sequels to the American detective movie Knives Out. His two daughters – who are 29 years old and three – will not see a penny of it.

No, not really, that’s not what he’s said.

Or at least he’s left himself a large wriggle room there. In perhaps the Bill Gates style of “perhaps $10 million” or, enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.

Condo in NYC, decent flat in London, all education bills paid up to whatever level. Bit of funding to get a career started, money aside for the grandkids to all be able to have the same sort of levels.

There’s a big difference between “great sums” and funding an haute bourgeois life for the next couple of generations.

Of course, I’ve no specific knowledge here. But I can actually read what was said. Not lots and lots is not the same as nothing now, is it?

But then of such logical leaps is a girly column made.

14 thoughts on “Female logical leap”

  1. Why isn’t Craig subject to extreme sloth, once he’s received his dosh? I’m willing to sacrifice myself and take it of his hands…

  2. I honestly don’t know who’s stupider and more narcissistic – actors or journalists.

    This one might be a draw between Bryony and the worst Bond ever including David Niven.

    Craig, who is best known for his role as James Bond, will be paid £73 million to star in the sequels to the American detective movie Knives Out.

    Yes? But presumably his agent, the taxman, and the cost of living a Hollywood celeb lifestyle (I don’t think they let you rent a flat above a shop and still get on the cover of Heat magazine) will consume a large chunk of that.

    He’s still filthy rich, just mibbe not as much as these sort of headline figures might suggest. Hence Scarlet Johannesburg’s lawsuit against Disney after she was “only” paid $40m or whatever it was.

    Basically even highly successful actors rarely have any difficulty spaffing all their money before they die, which is why Nicolas Cage will literally appear in anything including your son’s YouTube video about Minecraft.

    Dave Niven, of course, had to sweet-talk a gaggle of WH Smiths shop managers to help ensure his memoirs would be successful. Because, despite being an A-lister with decades of celebrity behind him, he needed the money.

  3. Bryony Gordon is a bit bonkers and none too bright. But she is – I think – from a journalistic family so she would approve of nepotism, inheritance, and all that jazz.

    Not that I’m against nepotism – I appointed a cousin to a job once and he did tremendously well. Like many another thing, the advantages of nepotism depend on how well you do it.

  4. Tough call on whether it’s Bryony Gordon’s or Daniel Craig’s opinion that I’m least interested in. Actually, it’s not tough at all. Her self-obsessed wittering is the worst bit of the Telegraph, despite stiff competition. TBH it’s actually a surprise that she’s mentioning someone other than herself. I’ve noticed they never allow comments on her columns; clearly they know what the readership thinks of her.

    There isn’t much point to leaving huge sums though. Best to spend on yourself and your loved ones. You certainly don’t want to be leaving it to the taxman!

  5. @dearieme

    A purely “meritocratic” appointment procedure is hurt by its reliance on limited signals of competence (often ends up descending into mere credentialism or box ticking) and in the Internet age means distinguishing between potentially hundreds or thousands of applicants, which increases search costs. Yet you often don’t *know* these people, so how can you trust them? How can you judge their character? What is it their qualifications or X years of experience at a competitor (hundreds of miles away and out of your sight) *can’t* tell you about them?

    Nepotism is potentially a good solution when the qualities that matter most to a role (character, diligence, honesty, creativity, courage for example) are hard to assess from a CV or interview. And the system may work well if it’s your own head on the line for the actions of those you appoint. If it’s a family owned firm for example, no point taking on a passenger. Ironically it probably works best if the appointment you’re making is someone with substantive importance in the organisation, perhaps a lot of autonomy (so that hard-to-signal character and decision-making traits really matter) rather than a very low-level, basic technical skills kinda role (where qualifications and experience probably matter more to competence, and any failure or sloth doesn’t have big nasty consequences for whoever appointed them).

    I remember reading an economics paper about appointments of captains the Royal Navy during the Age of Sail, in which nepotism turned out to work pretty well. You wouldn’t appoint a dud just because he was a family friend – puts your own reputation on the line – but if the character judgement of someone who knows a chap well is that he’ll lead with distinction and fight with courage, there’s a decent chance he might just do that. And it isn’t like you can get a BA (Hons) Courage Studies from Oxbridge to prove you have what it takes to someone who doesn’t know you.

    On the other hand, the Afghanistan Central Bank has been in the news lately as the Taliban try to work out where the dollars and gold are held (abroad, sadly for them). Although one of that country’s most technocratically advanced and relatively less corrupt institutions, it still has had problems with “zombie” employees who just turn up and play cards all day, having no qualifications or experience in banking and therefore having no way to earn their salaries doing anything useful. They’re unsackable anyway so why bother? (This is as opposed to “ghost” employees who don’t exist or maybe never existed and are just a way for bureaucrats to earn the salaries of multiple people – more of a problem in that country’s education system, where ghost teachers teach ghost students at ghost schools and the appropriately connected people divvy out the funding between themselves). The problem is that to become governor of the Central Bank, you have to get through a confirmation vote in Parliament. Sounds sensible enough, until you realise every MP has in the background a legion of extended family, tribe and local string-pullers who secured their election, all of whom are expectant for some trappings to flow down to them. Tim Newman wrote some excellent blogs about this from his time in Nigeria. It’s regarded as a family duty to use your power or status to secure something for your relatives. If you’ve got a job at a western multinational, can you wrangle a job for your cousin? East African mate of mine with a good career gets endless phone calls from distant “cousins” (not even blood relatives necessarily, and often from a distant village and who he’s never met) for loans, land dealings, could he help them get a visa? If you want to pass a certification vote from Afghan MPs, turns out you need to deal with a lot of requests for jobs for useless nephews first. Good money (obviously) but not an essential role to keep the Bank ticking over (couldn’t be, unless you want the Bank to fail and collapse the economy) so it doesn’t matter the appointees are useless and do no work, and hence no comeback against those put the names forward. That’s nepotism done badly. https://www.centralbanking.com/central-banks/governance/7720661/is-the-integrity-of-afghanistans-central-bank-under-threat

    Tldr nepotism is underrated but if you’re going to do it, do it right folks!

  6. Dennis, CPA to the Gods

    I hear this sort of thing all the time… And exclusively from well-to-do liberals trying to score points with their peers.

    Daniel Craig is lying. He trying to score points with his peers… and especially his English peers. Wogs gub for money just as much as septics do, they just don’t like throwing off the appearance of doing it. He will make sure his children are well provided for.

    And note the term “give it away”. In the USA he’d be able to gift each of his children $15,000 a year without any sort of tax consequences. He could give more annually, and probably be able to skirt taxation… it isn’t hard to do. He’s 53… He has a couple of decades to get his kids set up without having to resort to leaving a large estate to be divvied up.

    Then there’s the matter of trust funds for children…

  7. @MBE ” it probably works best if the appointment you’re making is someone with substantive importance in the organisation, […] rather than a very low-level, basic technical skills kinda role”

    Because at the low level someone else (competent) will be carrying the passenger, so better if they just stay out of the way and don’t even try to pretend to be useful.

  8. @djc

    Yep exactly.

    @Dennis

    I have no doubt the kids will do just fine. Worst comes to the worst, I’m sure there can be a Craig Legacy Cultural and Drama Fund doing Good Work for young actors, directors, writers etc but which will be sorely in need of some well-paid directors to direct the cash splurge to their worthy-deemed causes.

  9. Accumulated wealth is the foundation of our advanced society. If our provident forefathers had just pissed their efforts away we would be far worse off today. Craig is talking out of his arse as acting mugs are prone to do.

  10. @MBE

    The African and Afghan problem is what happens when excess resources are made available through foreign aid. If we left developing countries to their own devices and tax revenues – the negative effects of corruption would be far less. Governments would be far smaller and less would be wasted.

  11. Gordon is a contemptible *****.

    On Crazy days and Nights the rumor is a charitable foundation and a nice salary for life. As well as wot Tim says.

  12. MBE,

    The Royal Navy personnel process in the Age of Sail was interesting, and surprisingly effective.

    A point oft overlooked was that sailors and officers didn’t join “the Navy” but signed up to – or, less often than claimed, were pressed into – specific ships, joining for the duration of a commission until they were “paid off” when the ship went into refit. Sailors at risk of the Impress Service would sometimes volunteer for “good” ships with well-regarded captains, rather than be at risk of being pressed into a different ship (since if its Captain had trouble finding and keeping men, there might be a problem with his leadership…) For instance, a lieutenant sent to Salisbury at market time, following a report of a group of seafarers carousing there, reported how he “met with no success in pressing, but seventeen entered voluntarily for the St George and five for the Prince George. Of the former, ten are seafaring people, and the remainder able-bodied landsmen.”

    A key issue and a test of a captain, was that when HMS Nonsuch went for scrap, to be refitted, or razed and rebuilt, her CO would (assuming peace hadn’t broken out and he was retiring on half-pay) be looking for his next ship (which required contacts, connections and reputation upwards) but would also need a crew. How many of his crew followed him to his new ship, was a sign of his merit; while if he wasn’t immediately assigned a new ship, he could direct men seeking continued employment to his fellow captains, but their quality reflected directly on perceptions of his ability.

    A successful captain would have many of his crew follow him to his next command, or would direct his crewmen to a trusted friend: competent manpower was a much-valued resource, and one of a captain’s skills was to build and maintain a reliable crew and a reputation that attracted more.

    For officers, nepotism and favours worked for entry, where a tailor might be polite about a captain’s late payment of his bills in exchange for taking the tailor’s son to sea as a “young gentleman” – but that tailor’s son wasn’t getting onto the quarterdeck or into the wardroom without passing the Lieutenant’s Exam after six years of successful service, during which time his Captain and the other officers would have a fair chance to assess their potential. By the time the young gentleman had substantive rank, they’d have both demonstrated their abilities and shown their character.

    And – further supporting MBE’s point – the system was set up with feedback loops. Prize money was a major issue in wartime (when the manpower system was under most stress) and fed upwards to higher command as well as to the Captain and crew: a Commodore or Admiral who appointed incompetents to command ships, would be expensively punching himself in the pocket, and the sort of bribe needed to make doing so worthwhile… would buy a seafarer their stake in an East Indiaman for less risk and more profit, so there was no point trying to buy or beg a commission and command unless you had enough experience and track record to be credible.

    It wasn’t perfect by a long shot, but it worked well.

  13. @Jason

    Very interesting, think you’ll enjoy the research which I’ve now dug out the link to – https://voxeu.org/article/patronage-and-performance-age-sail

    As @ken says, in the Afghan situation the feedback loop doesn’t come into play because the money is coming in anyway, so it’s just a question of whose pockets the patronage system is going to direct that flow into. Whereas enemy ships don’t capture themselves, so you want to appoint a captain who’ll do something productive about that.

    I suspect a big problem in many developing countries is how people are incentivised away from doing boring productive things like building up a textiles factory or improving the land on your farm, because the big money comes from redirecting government funds in your own direction. Thrusting upper middle-class folk from such countries drone on a lot about “contracts”. You get the contract to supply furniture to a department of the civil service and you’re made for life – not that you’re going to provide any local jobs actually making the stuff, you’re just going to ship it in from China, but you’re going to take a very good cut for doing so. Contracts to provide fuel or security for foreign armed forces are gold dust but go only to the best connected, often requiring political strings pulled in both countries (no previous experience required though).

    The incentives for a well-connected man are to harvest from the patronage network rather than try to do something for yourself independently of them because that’s where all the money is. The incentives for a smart but less connected man who isn’t a total outcast is to focus on the networking or power acquisition that gets you plugged into the patronage system. This is one of the main reasons for outsiders trying to get a university education and a job in a multinational or with government – you’re climbing the ladder and will be able to give a hand up to the rest of your family or friends below you. Alternatively, military promotions might do the trick instead. If you’re the kind of social outcast who will never be accepted in polite society (wrong ethnic group or tribe or whatever) then you’re best to raid and plunder the flows of the patronage system, and if you can pull sufficient likeminded forces together, try to overthrow those in power and capture the patron position for yourself. Why try to make your own money when even bigger money’s just going to continue coming in to be taken?

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