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The Con Men by Leo Gough

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Introduction

Investors have very short memories.

Roman Abramovich, Russian billionaire

In the days before electronic point-of-sale tills, when you spent an evening in a bar with some friends you could try the following experiment: check the total cost of the drinks each time your group bought a round to see if the prices were consistent. Very often they were not, even though the drinks bought didn’t vary. Why did this happen and who was to blame? Perhaps it was because the bar staff weren’t very good at maths, and we should blame the State for allowing so many individuals to leave school without adequate numeracy skills. Perhaps the place was understaffed, and the bartenders were hopelessly overworked, leading to errors – in which case, presumably, ...

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