It’s such an easy scam that it’s hard to believe folk fall for it. We were sitting around the office, swilling coffee, after lunch, one afternoon. John was reading the Mirror and commented on news that a works syndicate who had won three million pounds between them: “Why don’t we do that?” So I volunteered to organise collection of the stakes and placing the bet. John and the others are so lazy and gullible, they were content to let me. At first it was just the six of us in our office: six pounds collected plus my pound, seven lucky dips bought each Saturday morning when I went shopping with the missus. Or that’s what they think. Actually, I always buy a spare one. So when I scan the tickets on Monday and email the results to the syndicate members, everything tallies. The number of tickets matches the number of members and the stake they know about. I declare the small wins, ten pounds here, fifteen pounds there, to keep them interested. But if we make a sizeable win, I substitute the spare ticket with the winning ticket and pocket the loot. No-one is any the wiser. The syndicate has expanded from our office to the neighbouring offices and out onto the shop floor. I now collect two hundred and thirty-six pounds every Friday and buy two hundred and thirty-eight tickets every Saturday. I’ve already won over three thousand pounds. They say that the chances of winning a million on a one pound bet are slim. My chances are one hundred and nineteen times better than slim. They say a fool and his money are easily parted. When I hit the jackpot, I’ll be able to retire and leave these fools to their drudge: they don’t deserve any better.
Much furore about Barclays’ fraudulent manipulation of the interbank lending rate and the £300m fine. What is much less publicised is what happens to the fine. Apparently, it goes into the FSA’s coffers. Fair enough, you might say. Except that the banks and other financial institutions are liable for the FSA’s bills. So the net effect is that the fine reduces the bank’s indebtedness to the FSA i.e. they take it with one hand and give it back with the other. Does that seem an appropriate punishment for dishonesty on a global scale? I think not.