Let's all play a game. It's called incompetent hedge-fund Chief Executive
Step one: You gamble on food prices, knowing people have to eat so there's always good money to be made if you can push up prices and increase the profits and net-worth of the producers (in whom you recently bought shares).
Outcome: Give yourself a $4 million bonus.
Step two: Invest in cocoa, maize and rice. One hundred thousand people in Africa go hungry - slipping below the minimum nutrition standard. Infant mortality rises by 30 per cent in sub-Saharan countries.
Outcome: You lose $500,000 paying a PR
consultancy to bury the news. You lose another $1million sponsoring the Zambian Olympic team to rebrand yourself as a supporter of African people.
Step three: You gamble on the property boom. House prices rise. Your company makes a few billion. Your banking partners lend more and more money over longer and longer periods to those desperate to get on the property ladder. You make another billion.
Outcome: Give yourself a $25 million bonus.
Step four: Property bubble explodes, 2 million people get behind on their mortgages. You bring in the receivers and bailiffs and try to squeeze every last penny out of the soon to be homeless before they go bankrupt.
Outcome: Win some, lose some. Celebrate getting out of the property boom with your shirt still on. Snort a lot of coke and cheat on your pregnant wife with a couple of $2,000-an-hour Albanian sex slaves (sorry call girls).
Step five: Markets collapse. Your company loses a billion dollars. Everyone realises you know nothing about finance and the only thing that made you wealthy is your insatiable greed and recklessness. All appears lost.
Outcome: Loot a couple of million from your employees pension fund and transfer it to the slush fund in your mother's name in the Cayman Islands.
Step six: Spend the rest of the pension fund on a high-priced lobbyist with Washington Insider credentials and pray for a miracle. After all God must love the rich because - well, they're rich right?
Outcome: Paydirt! The government fell for all that bullcrap about the market meltdown and the collapse of western society. They really loved the bit about how failure to act would destroy capitalism as we know it and hand the world over to Hugo Chavez and his red legions. Collect 25 billion of taxpayers money in a grand bailout. Make sure at least 10 per cent goes to the other account you have in the Turks and Caicos in your 17-year old mistress's name.
Step seven: Ignore calls for more regulation, keep speculating on high-risk investments because that's where the big money is. Cut your High-street employees wages to minimum wage where possible, and slash the number of retail banks. Increase the number of hedge-fund brokers.
Outcome: Collect your performance-related bonus, which you have agreed to cap in times of austerity to the equivalent of the average third-world country's annual medical budget. Invest your personal 'tax-exempt' stash with those nice gentlemen from Cuidad Juarez.
Repeat every two years until your wife finally finds out about Mistress Sasha, Mistress Minka, and Abdul and Omar the two Moroccan rent boys you talk to (and definitely don't have sex with) every Sunday morning when you tell your wife you're at church.
Outcome: Lose three-quarters of your off-shore bank account, and try to slum it on your secret slush fund of just $100 million.