integrity by the numbers: clean sheets

Throughout the past decade, Julius Baer was among the Swiss banks to settle with United States justice and tax authorities over an investigation that revealed its active CleanSheetsparticipation in a scheme with wealthy American clients to avoid taxes. Were this an isolated incident, one could chalk it up to greedy bankers and self-centered multimillionaires—the former for the hefty fees, the latter for the hefty fortunes. Yet this is merely one in a series of ongoing investigations, not the least of which affect numerous Trump associates. Even if we were not in our current age of omnipresent—and, to be sure, omnipotent—electronic financial trails and travails, why do some people still consider integrity a human trait best left to our society’s do-gooders? Why can clean balance sheets still not be taken for granted, if only because they are so difficult to hide nowadays, let alone because tax fraud is hardly a victimless crime?

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the easy way out: artificial sweetener

The human drive to become physically sated expresses itself in many ways. In the realm of food, to take just one of a hundred examples, the richer the better. Yet is all that saturated fat in beef, chicken and fish preparations really necessary? What purpose does our society’s overwhelming tendency toward sugar serve? Balance the passing ArtificialSweetenermoments of pleasure against diabetes, weight gain, inflammation, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and a whole host of etceteras. Yet these preparations overwhelmingly dominate the diets of those within the developed world (burger chains don’t sell billions in Bangladesh).

Would that those tendencies could be translated to become mentally sated! Such desires are nowhere near as pervasive within our culture, within our homes. The physical body has practical limits; it’s difficult to survive when toting 350 or 400 pounds. But can the brain ever get enough? Feed it every day. Push and stretch till it hurts. Work hard to become sated in this way and experience first-hand just how difficult it is to actually reach that point. When was the last time you pushed away from your desk, muttering, “I couldn’t learn another thing”?

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