Mapping The (Dis)Honesty Of The World

Tyler Durden's picture


Reader's Digest wanted to know how honest world cities are, so it “lost” 192 wallets in 16 cities - that’s 12 wallets in each city - to see how many would be returned. Each wallet contained $50 equivalent of local currency, as well as a name, phone number, family photo, coupons, and business cards. The results, as IBTimes' Lisa Mahapatra illustrates are perhaps surprising. The US ranked well (with 8/12 wallets returned) but the troubled regions of Europe (Spain and Portugal) came a dismal last with only 2 and 1 wallets returned respectively.


The Wallet Experiment


by lisamahapatra.
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Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:21 | 4004420 Scarlett
Scarlett's picture

Moving to Mumbai and marrying a gold-rich Indian...

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:32 | 4004451 VD
VD's picture

but when you go to pick up the wallet you get gang-raped in Mumbai. 

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:43 | 4004461 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

If you drop your wallet in San Francisco, kick it all the way home!

OK, wallets were returned, but did they contain everything?

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:50 | 4004496 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

"Reader's Digest wanted to know how honest world cities are, so it “lost” 12 wallets at each of the 12 federal reserve banks to see how many would be returned.

Each wallet contained $5 equivalent of local currency, as well as a name, phone number, and a 5-gram bar of gold bullion.

The results are perhaps surprising. The St Louis branch fared well (with 2/12 wallets returned) but the troubled regions (NYFed and SFFed) came a dismal last with 0 wallets returned.

Most surprising though -- somehow all of the 5-gram bars went missing."

I am shocked -- SHOCKED -- that this could happen.


Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:08 | 4004537 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Do people still carry wallets? 

  • Benchmade Mini Dejavoo
  • Rohrbaugh R9 Magazine
  • Phone
  • Money Clip with Cash, DL, CHL, and CC
Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:17 | 4004549 AssFire
AssFire's picture

They don't mentioned that 7 of the "returned" wallets in NYC were actually found...

 shoved up dead guy's asses.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:16 | 4004554 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

No Asian countries represented......for obvious reasons.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:28 | 4004576 nmewn
nmewn's picture

They're having an "event" right now...everythings dropping like a rock. Wallets are a dime a dozen & everywhere.

Deh To Lo, they'll get back to us on their honesty ;-)

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:31 | 4004588 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Good thing they didn't try this in Washington DC; not only would the wallets not have been returned, but the credit cards would have been maxed-out...



Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:36 | 4004595 Jack's Digestib...
Jack's Digestible Ideas's picture

What a good "experiment". Nevermind the fact that Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Phillipines & Australia weren't represented, and between North and South America, only two cities were used in the study. Groundbreaking reporting right here (/sarc if only this wasn't what passes as good journalism in our Brave New World).

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:22 | 4004647 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

And just who is this "Reader's Digest"?  Sure, they dropped these 12 wallets in these cities as reported then are honest about what happened next?  Somebody is out 50 Yankee Dollars per each non-returned unit.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:29 | 4004675 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Look, people, those 4 wallets that weren't returned were rehypothecated several thousand times and then used to short GLD. Fucking Readers Digest.

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 00:11 | 4004710 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

I have a new found respect for NYC...

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 00:30 | 4004720 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, Carlos Danger doesn't always return wallets.  But when he does, he does so on Zero Hedge.  He returns them right in to the Danger zone.  Right into.  

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 06:56 | 4004871 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Vote for Carlos Danger......and you'll never have to deal with that nagging sense of shame again!

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:30 | 4004680 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

Somebody may also be out 50 yankee dollars on the returned ones as well. They didn't say what was missing from the returned ones, did they?

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:40 | 4004690 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Like the cut of your jib, andrew.  As you have probably pieced together by now, this is clearly a clever ruse to slip a wallet-nuke into one of the afore mentioned cities.  We need to work backwards people, time is of the essence!

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 00:37 | 4004727 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

No worries.  The NSA is on the stolen wallets.  And everyone who comments on them. 

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 07:43 | 4004937 KidHorn
KidHorn's picture

I'm pretty sure Mumbai is in asia.

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 09:59 | 4005280 czardas
czardas's picture

Jack - I thought the same thing.  How representative are these large cities of the countries?  New York is about as foreign to the US as Bombay and the dirth of data on non-Western culture (where corruption is institutionalize) makes this "survey" suspect.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:37 | 4004598 knukles
knukles's picture

Did the one fabricated from foreskins get returned in Tel aviv?

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 06:57 | 4004888 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture

Could be a very valueable wallet... some day

I for one had no choice in the matter, and I'm not from the 7 tribes

should I add sarc on/ off

It worries me ........

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 07:55 | 4004954 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

"That's strange, the woman maxing out your credit card looks exactly like the former Speaker of the House."

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 00:09 | 4004706 buttmint
buttmint's picture

booger...good observation on your part, re: NO Asian cities represented. Ahem, a found wallet would be viewed at "Buddah doing good for them" and yes, you are quite right, they would order up some Sangsom and Coca Cola and have a helluva party.

This experiment oughta be repeated with $1k in the wallet in $20s and $10s. Hmmm?

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 02:59 | 4004813 Uchtdorf
Uchtdorf's picture

When did the UN Security Council decide that India was no longer an Asian country?

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 03:44 | 4004829 daemon
daemon's picture

"No Asian countries represented......for obvious reasons."

India is an asian country.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:20 | 4004561 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

What is 1 magazine going to do for you when Aexis and his "ELF" weapon come calling?

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:31 | 4004585 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture




I like those odds much better than having just my cock in my hand.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:41 | 4004604 Jack's Digestib...
Jack's Digestible Ideas's picture

I'm going to take a stab in the dark: Driver's License, Concealed Handgun License, Credit Cards.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:12 | 4004649 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Drop your wallet at the fed. The good news is you get your wallet back with all the currency. The bad news is that by the time you get it back the currency is worthless

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 04:25 | 4004842 NoClueSneaker
NoClueSneaker's picture

Dear Mr. Sheep ...

We have found your wallet . After lot of hard work we finally identified you and your adress .

For our effort we take small fee of $174,42 and you'll have your wallet in no time.

Sincerely yours,

Dowie Loot & Cheetham






Mon, 09/30/2013 - 03:11 | 4004820 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

Safely Graze- 

>"Reader's Digest wanted to know how honest world cities are, so it “lost” 12 wallets at each of the 12 federal reserve banks to see how many would be returned.

Each wallet contained $5 equivalent of local currency, as well as a name, phone number, and a 5-gram bar of gold bullion.<

Actually, all of the wallets were returned from the fed reserve banks- the gold was gone, but the wallets were stuffed with FRNs, with a note attached-"Please spend"


Mon, 09/30/2013 - 08:25 | 4005004 Hail Spode
Hail Spode's picture

How about ""Reader's Digest wanted to know how honest world cities are, so it “lost” 12 wallets at each of the 12 federal reserve banks to see how many would be returned.

Each wallet contained $5 equivalent of local currency, as well as a name, phone number, and a 5-gram bar of gold bullion.

The results are perhaps surprising.   Each federal reserve bank stole all the money and the gold and then rehypothicated it to near infinity so that it shows up on their books as a multi-billion dollar "asset"".

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 09:38 | 4005200 Mike Hunt Hurts
Mike Hunt Hurts's picture

I found 4 of the "lost" New York wallets

$200.00 richer Bitches

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 14:25 | 4006396 mickeyman
mickeyman's picture

The worst was China, where not only were none of the wallets returned, but someone stole the investigators' wallets as well.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:23 | 4004421 prains
prains's picture

Goes to show you there are decent people out there.....NYC who would of thought 8 out of 12 not me, impressive and Moscow as well. The shocker Zurich, Switzerland 4 out of 12 what a bunch of mopes and Mumbai with 9 was a wow!

Too bad Canada didn't get the test, but they would have done it in Toronto and it would have they usually do at most things

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:37 | 4004462 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

They must've not been in Queens

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:47 | 4004483 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

or lower Manhattan.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:39 | 4004467 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Apparently they ran out of funding for the wallet experiment before they got to China, Australia & Africa too ;-)

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:51 | 4004497 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Chinese citizenism duplicity led to the return of wallets as part of combination platter, stir fried in spicy ginger sauce with onions, panda toes, and straw mushrooms.

Welcome to an AnAnonymystical world. I would suggest to forget this in time.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:31 | 4004644 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

They were funded up to whatever point and result they wanted.  There's usually an agenda behind them that may not be obvious.  These "studies" are later quoted as science and fact to make whatever point needed.

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 06:33 | 4004879 malikai
malikai's picture

I found a cellphone in a cab in Beijing once. Before my wife could get a word in edgewise, I told the driver and gave him the phone. My wife was pissed.

She said to me: "Not only did you just give a free phone to the driver, but there will now be no chance that the phone gets back to its owner. You should have kept your mouth shut and we could have returned it ourselves. Then you could have been a model citizen today. Now you're just an idiot."

She's cruel sometimes, but I guess that's what it takes to get through my thick skull.

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 07:00 | 4004889 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I found a wallet myself not to long ago (no money in it, on the side of the road).

The first thing I did was look for ID. It was a young black womans but from another town. The only phone numbers (on business cards) were to a loan officer at a bank and UF, probably for an employment app.

No luck, they didn't know her.

Well now I'm stuck with a

I go to the local cop shop to turn it in. Nope, has to be the county cops. I'm like you gotta be kidding me. So I call them. They have to set up an appointment for a "Field Technician" to meet me. They're getting on my last Good Sumaritan nerve by now and I tell them so.

So, she finally arrives, late...I give her the wallet and she wants to know where I found it...which is fine...then she wants my information, cuz, ya know, thieves always return stolen/found wallets and make appoinments to return them to the cops...and wait for them to arrive...late.

I give it to her, yeah she's just doing her job...zombie. And I'm free of the wallet from hell.

The owner called me (I had left my cell number with the bank loan officer I found on the business card) about two months later asking if I had found her wallet. I said yeah and told her what agency had it now. Apparently the cops just tossed it in a drawer somewhere and never tried to find her.

I guess she got it telling the aggravation she went through though when she went

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:44 | 4004476 SuccorMoney
SuccorMoney's picture

Isn't Zurich a banking capital?  But so is New York, so I don't know.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:51 | 4004503 Whatta
Whatta's picture

We stayed at a hotel near the soccer stadium in Zurich...on game night. They probably dropped the wallet near that drunk and rowdy crowd and they bought more soccer hooligan beers with the money!!

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 22:21 | 4004564 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

i was surprised at the low rank of zurich.

zurichers seem honest, friendly, and helpful, at least when i was there.

though, it could be a fluke, 12 data points isn't a lot.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:27 | 4004674 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

Yeah, but the concentration of bankers is much higher in Zurich.

Sun, 09/29/2013 - 23:53 | 4004698 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The Swiss are really cheap... It's more of a matter of the cost of their time vs. ROI. Nothing personal, it's just business.

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 04:27 | 4004845 Acet
Acet's picture

Or putting things another way:

- If they came back for the wallets they would probably find it in the same place as they left them, or in a nearby trash can

By the way, did they actually contact some kind of local authority to try and find the wallet or did they just passivelly waited for it to get to them?


Sun, 09/29/2013 - 21:58 | 4004523 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

"who would of thought" [sic]

Please see the article that Tyler ran a few days ago about record low verbal scores.  ;-)

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