On America's Short-Termist And Fraud-Provoking Culture

Tyler Durden's picture

Two months ago we posted an excellent introduction from Dan Ariely on the truth about dishonesty. The focus on our ease of rationalizing dishonest acts struck quite a chord and as a follow-up the behavioral economist discussed several real-life examples with Capital Account's Lauren Lyster. Critically, firms are shifting their focus from long-term growth to maximizing 'shareholder-value' (since any short-term mis-step in a liquidity-fueled boom such as this is punished to the point of 'going-concern') and the increasingly short-term focused attitude not only hurts employees and taxpayers but serves to provoke a culture of dishonesty or fraud. Ariely also notes, rather interestingly, that new disclosure requirements for 'academic-based' reports merely creates a more exaggerated result - since report-preparers now know the result will be discounted further. Again, one could argue, that Bernanke's ZIRP world (and an under-the-surface reality known to all that we are on a precipice) creates an ever-decreasing time-horizon for every 'invisible-hand'-driven act we undertake: we have shifted from "Get Rich Quick" to "Get Rich Quicker...By Any Means."

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ihedgemyhedges's picture

That's all you want?  Cause that's lookin' like a full meal deal to me.......

willwork4food's picture

Hee hee. THAT was the only reason I opened the link. Shame on me.

Oh regional Indian's picture

As a wide-eyed emigree in 1995, I used to stay up late nights and lap up all the informercials on US TeeVee (not sure how many times I must have seen the shapghetti machine guy and thought, I MUST get this) and all those little ads at the back of Popular Mechanics (make toys/tubelights/stuff envelopes from home)..... and of course Carlton CHEATS and his No Money Down program... oh boy!

It's the same thing here in India and everywhere else. The Charlatan with a Get Rich Quick scheme draws the moths to the flame, without fail. It's took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that "THe faster it comes, the faster it leaves". Look at the million dollar salary sports stars who struggle in later life.

It's the system and culture and "Programming". Biggest change in my life was throwing away my TV, so no tits and ass woudl dis-tract me into doing something my natural inclination woudl tell me run away from.

Lauren Lyster a case in point ;-) No brains, nice legs. You'll eat out of her hands.





Race Car Driver's picture

+1 TeeVeeFree


Good read at your link - glad to see you writing again.

+1 Singularity.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Gracias RCD. :-)

And yes, perhaps TeeVee= Singularity Accelerator? hmmmm...


stacking12321's picture

lauren lyster no brains? really?

are you just being a troll?

or perhaps you are just hating on her because you've never had a pretty girlfriend like her and you are envious?

i've seen a number of interviews she's done, and they have all been excellent - she has a good understanding of sound money principles, is quick witted, asks her interviewees incisive questions, just a great all around interviewer.

don't worry ORI, you'll find a girlfirend someday, there's someont in this world for everyone.


Oh regional Indian's picture

A common mis-take in the west is to conflate fast-answering/trained poodles with smarts. She is well "briefed" before any show. That is how it goes.

And then probably "De-briefed" too, if you get my drift.

Cardinal error, in my opinion.

Plus, in my book, she barely (hah!!!) makes the pretty cut. She matches the cut-out version of what you have been "trained" to find pretty.

If she was that smart, she would keep her pins and boobs well hidden and still make the cut (check out some razor sharp Press TV and BBC hosts if you want to understand what I'm talking about).

Program, programmer, programee.... all on display up and down this thread.

Cue Becky. Quick.


stacking12321's picture

 your claim that her comments are on the basis of her being "briefed" are incorrect - it's clear to me that she thinks for herself, gets very intelligent guests, and can hold her own on most economic topics.


Umh's picture

Pretty has been having children with successful for a long time; think about it.

jayman21's picture

ori - sorry that you feel that way.  Lauren should be applauded and is one of the few out there reporting the news.  She also has a much better idea on how the world works when compared to CNBS or other MSN.  FYI - I do not watch CNBC anymore.  And Yes, she is also very pretty.

Hobbleknee's picture

I have a long-term growth for her.

DeadFred's picture

Lauren's reports are the only contrarian reports the SEC folks examine thouroughly.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Long term growth works best with unencumbered assets.

vast-dom's picture

hey Lauren you're looking a bit melancholy lately. come over. i'll cheer you up.

csmith's picture

What did he say? I was distracted...

TwoShortPlanks's picture

That's my Daughter ya-know! And if you think her legs are great, you should see her tits!

knukles's picture

Care to introduce a kindly old pervert?

knukles's picture

I didn't mean introduce an old pervert to me!

That's like the time I asked the genie for a big black... onm...

TwoShortPlanks's picture

R. I. G. H. T.....................

Ness.'s picture

"There was one?"


I am not 'the' ZH Francis Sawyer - just quoting.


She sho iz purdy.



knukles's picture

Wonder she be one o' them Ruski brides bein' sold awn the telly, now?

Hulk's picture

naw, none of the ones for sale look like that...

Jugdish's picture

Ruski brides, now there is a real investment. Cha-ching. Nice, traditional, cooks, cleans, appreciative of shared time and resources vs. American women - Liberal, entitled, spoiled, hormonally unbalanced from YAZ, brainwashed, ambitious, naive, devoid of any domestic skills, unappreciative of shared time and resources.

LawsofPhysics's picture

My understanding was that the average laborer during pyramid construction worked all day for 4-6 pitchers of a very thick/nutritous beer.  Why do I see mankind coming full circle?

Kitler's picture

They work harder, faster and are more likely to stick around if you supply them with methamphetamine instead.

As an added bonus they never live long enough to collect pensions.

css1971's picture

Neither will anyone of working age today.

Cheesy Bastard's picture

No matter how long they live.

knukles's picture

Regardless of meth usage...

willwork4food's picture

Especially with the added value of meth side effects..i.e. unlimited energy,  and teeth loss. Emphasis on the later.

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

" That girl Crystal she ain't so sweet, she'll hit you in the nose boy,and knock out your teeth"


hedgeless_horseman's picture



...the behavioral economist discussed several real-life examples with Capital Account's Lauren Lyster.


Speaking of a culture addicted to maximizing growth, at the store I photographed this real-life example of a typical American trying to "get rich quicker" at the Auto-Lotto-Machine.  

hedgeless_horseman's picture



The woman on the red rocket had just given Coinstar (CSTR) a 9.8% cut because she is too lazy to count her own change.  I guess that is far better than giving the Lottery folks a 99% cut.

We are so screwed.

nmewn's picture

Yes we are.

All we can do is hunker down and show our fake ID when asked ;-)

The Gooch's picture

Hi, my name is Barry.

Dave Thomas's picture

Hangin out at the Willis Foodarama again Hedgeless?

Atomizer's picture

Sexy Can I..

We can change rules on a fly, pretend to be the Elite, and complain when our EBT card service is down.


The pathetic mouth breathers are going to be surprised once the party bag lands in their lap.

The Gooch's picture

What are YOU doing at the Store?

I thought you grew your own soap and brass.


I went to a "mart" on Weds and realized I was a minority. 

I bought extra.




css1971's picture

Wow, this is like something from a sci-fi movie. America is ripe for invasion by the barbarian hordes. I'm going to assume that's Canada for now.

Cheesy Bastard's picture

I'm thinking the opposite...American hordes running to canada.

Cathartes Aura's picture

I see you're back to posting stealthy photos of people going about their business, posting them right here, with opinions.

another ZH poster left this earlier,

On October 26, 2012, Barack Obama quietly signed an Executive Order (EO) establishing the so-called Homeland Security Partnership Council, a public-private partnership that basically merges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with local governments and the private sector for the implied purpose of giving the Executive Branch complete and limitless control over the American people.

An official Steering Committee will be established with representatives from virtually every single three and four-letter federal agency, and this committee will be guided by a separate council on how to best incorporate the federal government and DHS into every nook and cranny of American society. Once established, this council will maintain control over presumably all aspects of society by overseeing a secret police force comprised of spies from schools, community groups, churches, and various other local institutions.


you've posted another Fat Lady on her scooter here recently, a "neighbor" of yours you say, with details that disregard her personal privacy.

I downvoted you because I find that type of behaviour - trawling for attention here, targeting real humans for your lulz - unconscionable.  people need to respect each others privacy, even as this nation monitors your every fucking breath.

Orly's picture

Well said.

I was bothered by the other photo as well, on the Twinkie thread not posted by HH, though, that showed a large woman in a lawn chair eating her potato salad.

I don't see any reason to make fun of people for who they are...and, once again, don't give me any of that Fight Club crap.  There was nothing of value in that photo exept to take a cheap shot of some poor woman, who may have had lymphedema, a severe thyroid problem or be my Aunt Mary.

Normally, I would junk it and move on but since you posted your thoughts, I thought I would chime in and agree with you completely.  There's no need for cheap shots just for giggles.  Let's try to keep a modicum of decency, please.


Cathartes Aura's picture

yes, that was lizzy's post, and that picture has been used before to get the lulz & upvotes on a thread.

this shit needs to be called out - whatever one "thinks" about people, stealthy photos & personal details AT THIS TIME in amrkn history should be called out.

"see something, say something"

appreciate your post Orly.