STUMP » Articles » Meep and Media: Podcasts and Videos - Sumo, Fraud, and Math, oh my! » 7 August 2022, 06:47

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Meep and Media: Podcasts and Videos - Sumo, Fraud, and Math, oh my!  


7 August 2022, 06:47

As noted in my post on Saturday, I’m on the road, so I’m compiling a few bits while I’m away.

Podcasts: Sumo and Fraud

I started doing an audio podcast called STUMP – Death and Taxes (and yes, I’m using the old plainchant Dies Irae as my intro/outro on the podcast) this year, up to 25 episodes thus far. It’s just a start, so I’ll pick two as my favorites thus far.

Yes, I know I keep coming back to this one, but I gotta love it:

Interest Rates and Sumo! — interest rates have taken us for a wild ride this year, and so has sumo (I should return to this theme when I get back from my trip, because there’s a new development in the sumo world.)

Because of this episode, I wrote an article: Interest Rates and Sumo for the International Section of the Society of Actuaries. My blog post plugging the article and the last sumo tournament is here: Interest Rates and Sumo, Nagoya 2022 Edition. Watch out for the September 2022 edition… you know it’s coming!

My other favorite episode thus far is Fraudulent Life Insurers — I absolutely love fraud stories, but also, Martin Chuzzlewit is my second favorite Dickens novel. (Our Mutual Friend is my favorite)

Meep on the Anglo-Bengalee

Here is my video from a few years back where I’m talking about the Anglo-Bengalee fraudulent life insurance company:

I did turn that one into an article as well for the Society of Actuaries: Dickens and Business Fraud


This might seem a cute exercise, looking at the historical frauds and failures related to literature. But who cares? That’s almost 200 years ago! We’ve come so far!

But have we? Think of Bernie Madoff—a man who worked his social connections, who hooked in people who believed that he was doing something legitimate (like Merdle) or those who figured he was corrupt and thought they could also profit (as with Jonas Chuzzlewit hoping to profit from the Anglo-Bengalee). Madoff perpetrated his fraud longer than Montague managed, mainly because he didn’t get murdered by a blackmailed partner.

Think of Enron, where clever people figured that they knew a surefire way to mint money … but then ran into trouble. Think of subprime mortgages, WorldCom, asset bubbles of one sort or another—the essentials of current frauds may differ in the specific details, but many of the human behaviors behind them remain the same.

How do we prevent new frauds and asset bubbles? One may take a technical approach, but at the heart is human nature—how people behave, how people have particular goals, and how some will try to get what they want fraudulently. Many of these frauds are successful due to the perpetrator’s own knowledge of human nature. It’s hilarious how often we hear “This time it’s different!”…. and it turns out people’s greed, envy, pride, and pretty much all the mortal sins, come into the mix in the same old way.

Dickens was wise, that man.

Also, he had direct experience in City of London dealings.

Meep and some math

When I started my Meep’s Math Matters YouTube channel waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2007, it was when they restricted you to uploading videos under 10 minutes long. I thought I would do short math lectures at the time. Obviously, the tech was different then.

I’ve added a few videos more recently to the playlist, but it will likely be a while before I built it up. There are loads of other people doing math videos now, after all.

That said, here are a couple videos I hope you find interesting:

One on voting systems:

One on parity:

As I said, there’s a whole playlist, so enjoy!

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