"We Want Fairness. There Is No Fairness If You Do Not Let Us Cheat"

Tyler Durden's picture

To find what is perhaps the best analogy of the mentality behind today's global capital markets and the perhaps the entire US economy as well, one has to travel to Zhongxiang in Hubei province, where a university entrance exam for 800 students did not go quite as expected. Telegraph reports: "When students at the No. 3 high school in Zhongxiang arrived to sit their exams earlier this month, they were dismayed to find they would be supervised not by their own teachers, but by 54 external invigilators randomly drafted in from different schools across the county. The invigilators wasted no time in using metal detectors to relieve students of their mobile phones and secret transmitters, some of them designed to look like pencil erasers. A special team of female invigilators was on hand to intimately search female examinees, according to the Southern Weekend newspaper."

In short: everyone was hoping to continue a historical tradition and simply cheat, but the proctors finally and shockingly pulled the plug. End result: hundreds of test takers who had no idea what to do when the system is not rigged. And summarizing best not only what happened in China, but what is going on in the market now that Bernanke has warned he may pull the liquidity Koolaid shortcut to wealth effects and riches: "Outside, an angry mob of more than 2,000 people had gathered to vent its rage, smashing cars and chanting: "We want fairness. There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat."

Also known as a 20% crash in the market.

The Telegraph has more:

Last year, the city received a slap on the wrist from the province's Education department after it discovered 99 identical papers in one subject. Forty five examiners were "harshly criticised" for allowing cheats to prosper.


So this year, a new pilot scheme was introduced to strictly enforce the rules.


When students at the No. 3 high school in Zhongxiang arrived to sit their exams earlier this month, they were dismayed to find they would be supervised not by their own teachers, but by 54 external invigilators randomly drafted in from different schools across the county. 


Outside the school, meanwhile, a squad of officials patrolled the area to catch people transmitting answers to the examinees. At least two groups were caught trying to communicate with students from a hotel opposite the school gates.


For the students, and for their assembled parents waiting outside the school gates to pick them up afterwards, the new rules were an infringement too far.

And so the parents, furious that their kids "brilliance" had been exposed as nothing but a shortcut gimmick, stormed the school demanding that the cheating continue!

As soon as the exams finished, a mob swarmed into the school in protest.


"I picked up my son at midday [from his exam]. He started crying. I asked him what was up and he said a teacher had frisked his body and taken his mobile phone from his underwear. I was furious and I asked him if he could identify the teacher. I said we should go back and find him," one of the protesting fathers, named as Mr Yin, said to the police later.

Bottom line: when cheating is not only permitted but encouraged, those who rely on fairness and honesty are at a disadvantage:

 According to the protesters, cheating is endemic in China, so being forced to sit the exams without help put their children at a disadvantage.


Teachers trapped in the school took to the internet to call for help. "We are trapped in the exam hall," wrote Kang Yanhong, one of the invigilators, on a Chinese messaging service. "Students are smashing things and trying to break in," she said.


Another of the external invigilators, named Li Yong, was punched in the nose by an angry father. Mr Li had confiscated a mobile phone from his son and then refused a bribe to return the handset.


"I hoped my son would do well in the exams. This supervisor affected his performance, so I was angry," the man, named Zhao, explained to the police later.


Hundreds of police eventually cordoned off the school and the local government conceded that "exam supervision had been too strict and some students did not take it well".

A picture from the ridiculous situation in China:

And that is perhaps the best explanation of what is going on in the US markets, if not entire economy, right about now.

We can only hope the crowd of furious E-trade babies, all margined out, that has been used to cheating in the market courtesy of the Fed, swarms the Marriner Eccles building demanding that the cheating continue or else.

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IridiumRebel's picture

Humans are pussies

ACP's picture

"...so being forced to sit the exams without help put their children at a disadvantage." Intellectual welfare. Classic.


john39's picture

well they have a point.  in a world where everyone in power is cheating in every way possible with impunity... those forced to play by the rules lose.  Good thing nothing like that happens in the U.S., where the 'rule of law' is widely respected...   (gag).

jbvtme's picture

i'll have the melamine milkshake, please

Stackers's picture

Sounds about right for Chinese culture.

My business dealings with Chinese have taught me that lying, stealing and cheating is pretty much a way of life for them, not that every culture doesnt have it's fair share, but business ethics in general just dont seem to register with them.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

I remember vividly being told when I was a kid "Crime doesn't pay"

But then Bugs Bunny came and told me "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"

No thanks, Bugs, you fuckin defeatist.

true brain's picture

Cheating in China, no. Can't be. I thought that the rat lamb meat, the melanin in milk, lead in toys, pigs down the river were anomalies in this great socialist utopia.

TuesdayBen's picture

Ah-So. Confucius say 'China now have USA-liar disease', aka West of Nile Virus.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

So does this mean the Chinese are not smart?

PT's picture

But, but, but -they're asians!!!  Chinese and Japanese kiddies get out of bed at 2am, work in the family business for 16 hours before going to school for another 23 hours, then come home and make dinner and then study until 3am the following day, where they get up at 2am to do it all again.  Then they get straight A's and take all our jobs 'cos we're just lazy, dumb caucasians and don't deserve jobs!  I know this because MSM has told me so for the last 30+ years.

It can't pooooosssibly be true!!!

NoDebt's picture

Bunch of fucking amateurs.  Who gives a fuck what the kids write on the page?  You get the "administration" to change the answers and achieve whatever score you desire.

You do NOT leave cheating up to the rank-and-file.  They'll fuck it up- like what just happened.  You do it at a high level where it can be controlled and done in a proper manner while still preserving the ability to downshift and blame things on "low level workers," in the unlikely event the plan comes off the rails.

Have the Chinese learned NOTHING from us about cheating?  Clueless amateurs.

eaglerock's picture

They should also learn from us not to waste time standing around protesting.  Get your parents to sue the school board, for god sakes. 

smlbizman's picture

im confused...are you talking about cheating or voting???

insanelysane's picture

Would I turn on the gas and throw a lit match in if my friend Bugsy was hiding in this stove?

sitenine's picture

@Stackers - Business ethics? What the fuck are you talking about? 4 letters you might want to reflect on, TBTF. When you're done with that, you may want to consider 'mark to market' accounting 'rules'. Once you understand those, move on to monetization, rehypothication, and derivatives. There are no 'ethics', there is only 'money'.

chumbawamba's picture

So in other words, the Chinese are like the Ferengi in Star Trek: TNG?

Good call.

I am Chumbawamba.

Dave Thomas's picture

Wait till you do business with Indians! HAH!

Manthong's picture

There can be no justice in the US if we do not allow the government and banks to commit criminal acts.

max2205's picture

I wonder when Atlanta will do the same....this is fucked up man

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

So instead of holding politicians and TPTB accountable, lets just all lie cheat and steal?  That should even the playing field.

Thats how typical political parties think, Bush did blah blah blah, so Obama can do blah blah blah X 3 and that should be OK.  And the funny part is, all the blah blah blahing that Bush did and the democrats hated him for it, they are OK with Obama being Bush cubed.

Meanwhile, the world swirls the drain, and we wonder why.

CheapBastard's picture

Zhongxiang is a county-level city of Jingmen, central Hubei province, People's Republic of China. Zhongxiang means "Blessed with propitious omen", which was gifted by Emperor Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty.



john39's picture

i don't disagree... but, what do think the odds are that the school where party leaders' kids attend will have test taking supervised?   of course the rioters know the answer to that question as well...

the testing is arbitrary anyway, as is most of the material taught.  all one big play, where you learn to conform, and get rewarded... but someone apparently is changing the rules here, and the peasants were not informed beforehand.

XitSam's picture

I'm surprised the system cracked down on cheaters. Cheating places them in permanent jeopardy which is a means of control. "I'll get you this government job and you can line your pockets with corruption money, but always know that I can bring you down." Whether pushed by someone to do more criminal acts, or they are pulled by greed, it only gets worse as the years pass ... amassing more control.

OneTinSoldier66's picture

"So instead of holding politicians and TPTB accountable..."


And the method for holding them accountable would be?? I'm all ears.


So far the only thing I've been able to come up with is to buy Gold and Silver and put it away. Because I've tried what seems like all kinds of things. Enough that I feel like I could write a book about all that I did.


Perhaps I should shove the Constitution in front of their face? I'm sure that'll make them instantly behave. "George Bush when singing the Patriot Act... " Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

OldPhart's picture

"Perhaps I should shove the Constitution in front of their face?"

I'm thinking a .45 shoved in their face would hold their attention more effectively.  Particularly after watching a couple of their peers deal with the .45's output.

JohnG's picture

Fire them. No, literally, with gas.

PT's picture

BMUS:  Over on this side of the globe, the two major parties are called "Labor" and "Liberal".  And even before I was old enough to vote I had noticed they were two heads on the same beast.

Shad_ow's picture

Yes, my thoughts exactly.  Our government could have written the headline and the sheep would all nod.

jbvtme's picture

i'll have the melamine milkshake, please

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

I want pig-virus, something swinefluish.....

CPL's picture

Cream of botulism, that's hearty fare right there lad.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Happy to see CPL, another one of my pantheon of ZH gurus, back from his hiatus.

KnightTakesKing's picture

Virus, please. With just a hint of horsemeat. Or do I have to go to the EU for that?

ParkAveFlasher's picture

If the US is ctrl-P, then China is ctrl-C.

mjcOH1's picture

"Virus, please. With just a hint of horsemeat. Or do I have to go to the EU for that?"

It's rat meat for you. You'll have to cheat on your finals, get accepted by an EU university, and move there if you want horse.

midtowng's picture

So you are saying that those millions of engineers that China puts out every year might not be superior to American students after all? LOL

insanelysane's picture

Might want to check the structural integrity of that giant dam they built a few years ago.

CPL's picture


Once this was true when I was a baby engineer starting out, stronger stem grads and wizards with math, but with all the IP theft over decades is where it gets tricky.  Now the situation isn't good because reverse engineering is lazy engineering.  Technology gained without insight and hard work is a situation that brings out the worst aspects of technology and design.  Because the rational connections drawn from the process of building and making something people will safely use... 

It allows a consensus in a group of people from all walks of life to verify every step when publicly offering something that is engineered.  This is to the benefit of the whole community engineers, trades people, legal, clients/customers, public, which helps to gain the total understanding of what is created and used by everyone.

An example.  Everyone here knew what an ipod was about a year before they came out.  There is a specific reason for that.  Steve Job's magic trick was controlling the flow of information which guides better design and construction of something because people love making suggestions.  Anyone that had a first gen iPod knows they were harder to kill than a cockroach, much like the battery in an older blackberry seems to be nuclear powered.  That design wasn't by accident, it took an army of people with engineering degrees 12 hours a day for years to build it tonka tough AND safe. 

What happened as soon as the iPod was released?

The ePod, aPod, iPeed, all the clones showed up.  You could put the battery in backwards and have them catch on fire.  That's the cost of theft of Engineered IP.  Makes people stupid.  It looks easy to take and just hope you guessed right and it doesn't kill your customer.  That and basically China suffers from the same problem the rest of the world does, amplified by 1.2 billion people on a quickly toxic postage stamp of land and simply nobody gives a shit. 

This is the anarchy btw, it wasn't ever a crowd of armed thugs anyone had to be worried about, it was complete and total apathy.

Now China is a country without a philosophy even though the culture has given birth to probably 15000 - 16000 swapped different variations of practically every adopted belief and philosophy on the planet and their derivatives.  Yet there they are, without a philosophical road map or ethical compass, even though China, like India, has been a factory of structured belief and philosophies for very long time.  Look at it now...it's insane how bad it has become there.


hyperbole2000's picture

When Confucism was growing and gaining popular appeal among larger segments of the population  several milenia ago it was interfacing, mixing , and morphing with Bhuddist and taoist thought.

The government seized control of Confucsim mandated it as the Government mandated religion ad stripped out all Bhuddist and Taoist influences thus creating a cold-blooded materialst based theocracy that, like all teocracies, retarded sprititual growth in perpetuity.  Western separation of church and state led to the technological advanvcement to allow Britain to kick their buts.  If the inquisitive gnostic nature of bhuddism had been allowed to prosper history would have been different. 

As well the Jesuit missionaries in the first half of the 20th century were so well respecetd that they had the Emperors offical status as participants in the Emperor's cabinat.  When the corrupt Pope of the time declared Conficism to be paganism because they worshiped and celebrated their ancsestor's with feasts (what we call Thanksgiving) the missionariers were kicked out of the country.  Imagine what teh word to day would look like, good or bad, if China had become a bastion of Christianity 600 yeras ago.

CPL's picture

Alternatively what if the Khan had decided to finish the populations of the entire Middle East and most of Europe.  The Khan btw didn't ass around but as luck would have it, he died and all soldiers had to go back to see him in a ritual of looking at a dead guy and offering goats.  However, because of him the seven kingdoms were glued back together and we have nearly modern day China.  And lucky while the Mongols returned everyone got their shit together and were a little more prepared, then promptly went back to slaughtering each other.  (Human history makes as much sense as a screen door on a submarine at the best of times)

Or what if in 200 BC The emperor of China at the time decided that he would further refine the rifle and gun powder.  Rome and it's derivative monarchies and schism related churches of Europe would have never happened.  Judeo belief systems would have never developed.   

Or what if the Bagdad battery was given the common element of silica that surrounded it's unknown Persian inventor 50 years earlier and by proxy invent basic and stateful containment of electricity that did more than jiggled a dead frog.  Portable electricity is a very powerful thing.  (nyuck nyuck nyuck!)

I doubt anyone can say for sure on the rationale why these things didn't develop or the situations that changed their direction.  But one thing that people have developed quite well on their own is belief systems and most importantly determine their own faith.  Regardless of how hard a government attempts to entrain the human mind to follow the cattle gates, the whole herd bucks and stampedes.  Every tactic from murder, pain, death, genocide and lies has been used in every instance when ideas are suppressed, every time.  Not sometimes.  Every time.

And every time it goes very badly for those attempting to sculpt the human spirit.  Backfires horribly.  Every time.  Russia fell off the economic truck not more than 15 years ago, BOOM!, suddenly everyone's Orthodox or make pornos.  Vietnam and Cambodia, repressive douche bags murdered people by the ten's of millions.  Couldn't swing a cat in either country without hitting a Monk now.  Ireland.  The harder the Crown pushed, the more Catholic everyone became complete with a winking Hologram Jesus in every room.  Of course those troubles are over now, Ireland has iPods and complimentary monitoring with the rest of us.

There's a common theme in the history of shitty governments, then galactic faith driven love fests, rinse and repeat as needed.  Sort of like Nietzsche's Apollonian and Dionysian ideas (really a rip off of Tao).  Each Aspect, of the Orderly Apollo and the Disorderly Dionysus constantly push each other to keep one another in check.

Tulpa's picture

The problem that ancient/medieval China and India had is that their terrain, climate, culture, and ESPECIALLY agricultural characteristics lend themselves naturally to centralization.  While China did have periods of disunity, Europe had been a crazy quilt of fiefdoms for over a millenium by the time the Renaissance rolled around, so once they found out about gunpowder, there were dozens of kings and princes who each knew that if they didn't get some of these new boom-sticks their enemies would.

It's common sense that when everything's controlled by an emperor, he's not going to be anxious to upset the status quo.

CPL's picture

Weird thing about power bases of emperor's is their true influence only goes as far as their cabinet in the room they are making an announcement.  Outside of that room, it's people waiting for instructions.  

An idea while it travels, especially a bad idea can get so terribly messed up and twisted after it get's to the fifth person in the chain if it's not publicly discussed.  New priorities are added without consent, motivations change, direction shifts and of course political momentum causes further political grave digging.  By the time the original decree is acted on, it looks nothing like the original position.  People along the way push the idea into a shape that fits into what they understand.  The article's example because the students demand that they get to cheat, they are only reacting to what the expectation is to the political position of the Central authority of whatever in China.  They are reflecting the world they live in and must adapt to.

In the student's minds they need to pass those classes through some horrible feedback loop of external validation, so they cheat.  While trying to meet some cludgefisted political position of "china strong', the students have discovered that an engineering degree is hard work ploughing through tens of thousands of pages of information to digest it and create something sensible from the mess.  Plus deliver projects that are functional, safe, manage tight time lines, pay for school/life and fit a social life in their somewhere.

The whole thing of Engineering education sounds hard, but it's not.  It's only practice for the real job, in school you are allowed to fuck up and learn from a mistake, fix the weakness and improve.  However once the students are out in the field, the added dimensions of insurance, safety, function and employability are thrown on the pile of things that can clobber the engineer.  A baby engineer, once graduated has still got another five years to apply all that they've learned in school to actually become useful to someone.  Not some of the education mind you, all of it.  

Would you trust an engineer to build you a plane that doesn't have a complete understanding of textbook level aerodynamics.  No, nobody should.  Or a mechanical engineer that can't machine a part themselves, no you should not.  STEM education paths don't offer suggestions like an Arts degree, they inform of things that are known to work and all the math and processes that accompany them to keep it safe.

For STEM grads, the timeframe of a completed STEM person is around 8-10 years in total training including certifications, upgrades, conferences, key note speaking, peer review and of course more studying (there is always something to read about something).  The cheating doesn't help them at all in those situations.  The important part of the process of building STEM grads is community structure and information sharing.  China right now is building STEM grads like it would a Ducati bike with a two stroke vespa engine.  All flash, no power under the hood and completely underwhelming.  It'll work though, just not well.


I would point out the flaws in the education of an Emperor, but there is no such thing because the practice of building kings, queens and throne sitters is only a matter of someone giving birth and timing.  Once a degree in the practice is offered to meet the business requirements of an Empire, I suppose some longevity might come about.  Until then every Emperor is remembered as a tyrant, a dumbfuck or a layabout, then given a minor foot note in the real progress being made on Earth.

If you've noticed while looking around through history, the species of this planet use them as notations of time because nobody really gives a fuck about them after the fact.  History is about details, and the common theme in history is how someone clever figured out something useful to make life easier for people they haven't even met with something like a good idea.  

The evidence offered by history points that the human race is better at being smart and tenacious, than it is at being strong and powerful.  I bet all of you know more about Leonardo Di Vinci than you do about Queen Isabella.  

azzhatter's picture

I lived in China for 6 years and all I can say is this is perfect Chinese logic

Toolshed's picture

You give them too much credit.

prains's picture

isn't this the part where AnAnalogousAnus blobs up and fingers himself with brillance