‘Who did steal the people’s money?’ Do tell…

‘Who stole the people’s money?’ – This question comes from Thomas Nast’s cartoon in The New York Times after the outbreak of the Tammany Ring case in 1871.

This is only one of many examples of corruption due to the transferability of judges and one of the most monstrous. It arose from the squandering of public funds. This feat occurred with the complicity of the then temporary and transferable judges of the ‘State of New York’.

The entire New York bar was moved and protested actively against the continuation of a system that did not guarantee the proper administration of justice and resembled a perpetual threat against the interests of the citizens.

Without delay we were able to enjoy functionally independent and permanent courts as from 1876 under Article 83 of the ‘Ottoman Constitution’.*

However that was not a remedy once and for all times. New-fangled threats against our financial position make their appearance very often. As sovereignty in our island tends to diminish from both malevolent and benevolent motives we tend to pay inadequate attention to some vital institutions.

When we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff, only then we realize we are in a quite unsafe situation. One can cite many instances of theft of people’s money. Such had been the case with the failure of the stock exchange institution.

Now again, we rewrite an unprecedented crisis in our financial history. Even when we come to legal protection, we find out: we are gradually and persistently falling behind.

As long as contracting and property rights offer benefits and costs that may be fully internalized by participants in voluntary exchange, markets deliver outcomes that are socially rational.

However, when we come to the problem who can guarantee that players in voluntary exchange respect the institution of the market, we come to the paradox where it is individually rational to take advantage of the situation and not play by the rules, once the market is not protected by an external umpire who can ensure that its institutions are upheld and respected.

Individuals who find themselves in such a predicament realize they have no one else to blame but themselves for venturing into a highly risky environment.

The smooth operation of certain absolutely vital human institutions, such as fulfilment of contracts, the respect for mutual obligations and the preservation of property rights is facing severe setbacks.

This state of affairs does not contribute to the overcoming of our deep financial crisis but on the contrary encourages further corruption and mischief.

Governments employ taxation to pay for the umpire services which are public goods. Without such public goods social interaction tends to decline to anarchy or anomy.

Legal protection relies on decisions that conform to the law which we call just. While in the case of acts or decisions of the administrative authorities, we do not call them just, but lawful. In the contrary case, we call both decisions arbitrary.

Stealing people’s money is neither just nor lawful. While much has been said and done in the name of the welfare of society and social rights, very little attention has been paid to the regulatory part of the administration.

The regulatory administration is an equally indispensable part of a sovereign state: taking care of planning, acting together and ensuring the coordination, cooperation and organization of administrative units, it regulates the relations between them, prepares studies, plans and programs.

As the financial crisis takes momentum leading to further arbitrary outcomes, we are bound to wonder why the regulatory authorities did such a bad job.

Why they let the centre of gravity to be displaced. How they let the country’s financial equilibrium to be so badly disturbed. Such disturbance is a highly dangerous menace and a shock to our social order.

The natural consequence today is a social struggle to re-establish financial equilibrium and to ensure the minimum essential state functions. **

* See pages 86 and 88, ‘La Réforme Judiciaire’, Christodul J. Suliotis, 1890.

** See paragraph 14, ‘Polity and Cyprus’, Argyro Toumazou, 2012.

CYPRUS ACADEMIC DIALOGUE CHARTER – OBJECTIVES

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Thoughts after the Cyprus’ Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2012

  1. Promotion of mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation among academics and intellectuals of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece through dialogue.
  2. Creation of opportunities for academics, intellectuals, policy makers and social actors to better understand each other’s lifestyles, ways of thinking, beliefs, customs as well as concerns and aspirations.
  3. Creation of opportunities for discussion of important issues and of new ideas aimed at resolving disputes, crises, or conflicts.
  4. Development of dialogue and of techniques on conflict resolution.
  5. Specifically with regard to the Cyprus problem, the Association aims to:
  • Work for the reconciliation of all communities in Cyprus;
  • Offer positive stimuli to the inter-communal talks with creative ideas aimed at overcoming stumbling blocks;
  • Press for a peaceful, just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of bi-zonal and bi-communal federation;
  • Contribute to collective efforts of academics and intellectuals to spread and consolidate the ideas of federalism in Cyprus;
  • Work as a civil society organization aspiring to a reunified, federal, and European Cyprus, and make it a catalyst for the establishment of friendship and cooperation in the triangle of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece;
  • Work for the creation of a positive culture and the reunification of Cyprus;
  • Work for the creation of a democratic and multicultural Cyprus;
  • Cooperate with other NGO)s as well as individuals who share these values and ideas;
  • Bring together academics and intellectuals of the region in an intercultural dialogue..

You also might read my book as a good information.

In the Streets of New City (Down Town City)

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A story about true skills

Around 1999 I happened to work in the same department with the late Patrick Smith*. Patrick was endowed with rare mathematical abilities. He could work out all sorts of programs with spread sheet analysis. For some strange reason, the director did not like him and started treating him in a quite odious manner.

He first took away his schedule of duties and transferred it to someone else. Next he moved away his secretary to the pool. After that he took away the office computer leaving him without access to the eMcEaR* data.

All these left Patrick with much less to do and with spare time. Patrick brought his own laptop with him in the office and concentrated his attention the stock exchange technical analysis.

A few weeks later, he invited me for lunch, as he managed to gain around ₤75.000 (USD 125.000 | EUR 100.000) in London and New York. The following week, I met Pamela*, one of the eMcEaR staff in the corridor.

– My boss invited me for lunch today, she announced to me. – He made gains from buying and selling shares in the Stock Exchange, she went on.

– Who is your boss? I asked her. – Patrick, she replied. – Enjoy your lunch, I said.

Then Patrick appeared in his way to the officers’ mess accompanied by Armand Andrews*. He invited me again for lunch. – No thank you, you offered me a lunch last week. Armand heard the conversation. He said to me: “no this week Patrick made new gains, so do join us for lunch.” I could not join the free lunch.

In the meantime, I had realized that taking away Patrick’s schedule of duties was unconstitutional, under article 127.3 of the constitution, which bids as follows: “The powers, functions and duties of the Accountant-General provided in this chapter may be exercised by him in person or by such subordinate officers acting under and in accordance with his instructions.”

This was so, because Patrick belonged to the ranks of the Accountant-General subordinates, while the new incumbent did not. Certainly, Patrick’s ill treatment and humiliation did not deter him from being successful.

However, this case is unique and a very rare exception. On the other hand, unconstitutionality, it did not concern him. He sat near the wall looking at the street backgrounds, reading a journal, featuring a brand new car.

A new sports vehicle for him and another automobile for his wife as you know were within the realms of this journal. He happened to know, they came from a different anecdote.

As now I am an author with my digital books on Kindle, I whole heartedly recommend to you to get them downloaded on your Kindle and practice the titles therein to help you develop your skills that give rise to chance and to take advantage of the chances that give rise to skill.

You may recommend the same link to your readers.

Please note:

(*) Any resemblance to living persons is purely coincidental and unintentional, and the real names were changed.