all fraud is based on a confidence game

I was just reading this article http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/a-con-man-who-lives-between-truth-and-fiction/?smid=tw-share by Andrew Ross Sorkin.  I was frustrated to read the last two sentences “My conversation with Mr. Israel left me with a sense that at some level Wall Street, too, is a confidence game. Investors are sometimes too busy looking for profits to notice where the truth ends and the deception begins.

It seems we are in an environment of over generalization (“1%-ers”, “mac users”).  I don’t understand why smart people make these kinds of statements.  The con man referred to in this story isn’t a “wall street guy”, he is someone that chose financial services to take advantage of people.  This happens in all industries, teachers, doctors, coaches, preachers, every industry has these types of people.  Their fraud is based on creating trust to take advantage of people.

Transparency is key, ask questions, anything worthwhile allows you to take the time you need to make a decision, opportunities too good to be true, usually are just not true.  I am glad my kids live in a world of spam email, in that it will teach them to be skeptical of great offers.  I know they lose some innocence, but that is ok.  The world is getting bigger while means more good people and more bad people.  The more empowered they feel, the more control they will have over their life and decisions, which I hope will lead to a happier life.

I also hope the smarter journalists don’t blame an entire industry over the actions of a few.

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