The Average Bank Robbery Nets A Disappointingly Low Amount
If you need money in a hurry and aren't too keen on that whole "work" thing, have you tried robbing a bank? It's incredibly dangerous, sure, but if you pull it off, you'll have a lifetime of relaxation awaiting on your new private-island-shaped yacht or yacht-shaped private island. Or even a yacht-shaped yacht, if you're one of those weirdos.
Of course, there are a couple of things that we should mention. Firstly, please don't rob a bank (our lawyers begged us to add that). Secondly, it turns out that bank robberies are such a terrible way to make money that, screw retirement, it'd be hard to justify calling in sick to your day job on the day of the "big" score.
Or at least, that's the conclusion of a study conducted by economists Giovanni Mastrobuoni and David A. Rivers. After poring over data relating to every bank robbery conducted in Italy between 2000 and 2006, the two discovered that the average bank heist yielded $19,800, which is nowhere near the $10 million you promised Brad Pitt if he joined your crew.
Giovanni Mastrobuoni and David A. RiversYou could afford Matt Damon, but only barely.
They also found that the average heists lasts four minutes, and if you manage to stay in there for longer than that (think of baseball or something), each additional minute nets you an extra $1,700 on average. Somebody's gonna have to do the math on how many minutes you'd have to be camped out in your local depository if you want those aforementioned yachts and islands, but put it this way: Pack a good book and a penknife, because you're going to have to whittle one of those cashier desks into a bed.
Most White Collar Criminals Aren't Conniving Assholes, But Hapless Morons
Leo DiCaprio movies aside, white collar criminals are usually portrayed as about the sleaziest type of human beings imaginable. What could motivate someone to screw hundreds or even thousands of people merely to go from "rich" to "even richer"? Is it greed? A belief that they won't get caught? Pure black-hearted evilness? How about greed? Did we mention greed?
Good news, we have an answer! And it's ... balls-out stupidity.
When Eugene Soltes, a researcher who specializes in white collar crime, decided to look into how business leaders could turn on a dime (or a lot of dimes), he found something interesting. Namely, the vast majority kinda bumbled their way into it -- "it" being crime, and then a jail cell.
When Soltes interviewed executives convicted of white collar crimes, one recurring rationale was that for all their brilliance and expertise, they never figured that they were doing anything truly wrong. In their minds, the crimes were so small and the rewards so minute that they didn't really stop to think that they were breaking the law. Even Bernie Madoff, the guy behind the largest Ponzi scheme in history, was like "Eh, it's not that big of a deal."