The Best Way to Rob a Bank

19 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2017

See all articles by Aleksandar Marsavelski

Aleksandar Marsavelski

University of Zagreb - Faculty of Law

John Braithwaite

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Date Written: April 1, 2017

Abstract

Cohen and Machalek’s (1988) evolutionary ecological theory of crime explains why obscure forms of predation can be the most lucrative. The lure of white-collar crime takes off through the anomic conditions of warfare and the ‘creative destruction’ of capitalism. Edwin Sutherland explained that it is better to rob a bank at the point of a pen than the point of a gun. The Savings and Loans scandal suggested ‘the best way to rob a bank is to own it’. Lure constituted by the anomie of warfare and transition to capitalism in Yugoslavia revealed that the best way to rob a bank is to control the regulatory system. It is not to own a bank but to control a central bank. This makes possible theft not only of massive chunks of the people’s money, but of all the money in all the wallets of the people, in the safes of all the businesses and all the banks of a society. The criminological imagination must attune to anomie created by both boom and bust in capitalism, and to the evolutionary ecology of lure.

Keywords: Anomie, Bank Crime, Capitalism, Evolutionary Ecological Theory, War

Suggested Citation

Marsavelski, Aleksandar and Braithwaite, John, The Best Way to Rob a Bank (April 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3014247 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3014247

Aleksandar Marsavelski

University of Zagreb - Faculty of Law ( email )

Trg maršala Tita 14
Zagreb
Croatia

John Braithwaite (Contact Author)

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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