But are [Anthony] Chiasson’s actions—or those of the scores of rogue portfolio managers and traders hauled to court in recent years—all that incomprehensible? Is it so hard to understand that a wealthy man might want to be wealthier; or that a person might be tempted to push his luck too far? The subject has not defied the imaginations of the world’s great authors. Whole libraries could be filled with books and stories devoted to the subject of men and women with unwholesome attitudes toward money—beginning, perhaps, with the Parable of the Talents in the Bible, in which a man is punished for failing to invest money profitably and is cast out “into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” But more recently—that is, a hundred years ago, in 1906, Leo Tolstoy wrote a cautionary tale about a man very much like Chiasson who had much, but wanted more, and whose covetousness and cleverness betrayed him.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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