There was a wonderful article in the most recent Weekend Australian. The article was a review of a book by Melbourne’s own Jason Murphy called Incentivology. Here are the first few paras from the Oz article:
At the turn of the 20th century, the French colonial powers decided to bring civilisation to the Vietnamese city of Hanoi in the form of sewers. They began the engineering project, naturally, in the leafy European quarter, building tunnels to channel waste from their colonial mansions.
This, it turned out, was pleasing not just to the humans: the rats of Hanoi welcomed the palatial new habitat provided for them and began to reproduce in unprecedented numbers.
Fearful of disease, the colonial masters put in place an incentive scheme. They would encourage the locals to kill rats by paying for every tail presented as proof.
The plan was phenomenally successful, growing in one month from 1000 to 15,000 rats slaughtered a day.
Enterprising locals, having discovered this profitable new market, were now breeding rats to supply it. When the French discovered the rat farms, they shut down their incentive scheme, likely causing the release of thousands of now unsaleable rats into the city. Within months, bubonic plague came to Hanoi.
This tale came to mind when reading Scott Hargreaves’ (of the IPA) latest contribution to the Spectator mag – When regulators roam out of control:
… using world-leading AI techniques revealing the number of regulatory restrictions in Federal legislation has increased from about 2,000 in the late 1970s to 95,000 by 2015.
Timing is a wonderful thing and with that, ASIC yesterday released its latest corporate plan for 2019-2021. This latest plan neatly over-wrote ASIC’s corporate plan for 2018-2022. And within ASIC’s latest corporate plan are 17 pages of actions and 0 pages of review of the previous plan. Planned actions included:
Launching a series of videos with influential and inspiring Australian women to encourage all women to have money conversations with friends and family.
But if you looking for results, don’t look at Royal Commission reports. Look at ASIC’s self measures. The only thing missing seems to be the number of likes.