• Subject Code : ENGL100
  • Subject Name : English

Reading and Writing about Literature

Pre-Writing Task

The podcast "You are wrong about" episode discussed in this assignment is "Why nobody went to jail for the financial crisis"? The episode was inspiring and provoked my thoughts to research about the topic white collar crimes.

Listening Log

  1. In this episode, both Mike and Sarah are talking to people regarding the topic of the concern.
  2. The podcast is related to their nine-month-long research on the topic, and no other people are a part of the discussion.
  3. The thesis of the podcast "you are wrong about" is regarding the events that occurred in the past but were incorrectly misinterpreted by the people. Mike Hobbes and Sarah Marshall conduct the podcast, and they discuss all the interesting events about the past with exact facts and figures. An issue is an important event, and it is continued, so the need to address the topic is required.
  4. The thesis of the episode "why nobody went to jail for the financial crisis" is that why white-collar crimes have been ignored for decades? The reasons for it are discussed in detail and how these big guns support the government and in turn, rescue the legal proceeding for their crimes. Why do the Americans not report such incidents? The answer to these questions is that it's not the people's fault but rather the systems which are used against these acts are all broken and corrupted.
  5. The entire research is divided into four important parts:
  • Elite deviance: most of the white-collar crimes are a crime against companies. Examples of such crimes are like people manipulating car insurance terms. It defines all the harm caused by wealthy people to the economy on a larger scale much bigger than the street crimes.
  • Learned helplessness: a generalised term when someone is subjected to abuse and is used by the government against the functioning of the regulatory agencies. For example, the consumer product safety commission is in charge of making every product in the country safe. It includes all the details like raw material, packaging and other details to make it safe for the people. Agencies have to perform quantitative analysis of the number of inspections. Metal paint toxicity (lead) in the toys, especially Barbie dolls. As a result, there is an increase in the agency budget, but they micromanage how the money is being spent. The database is not a good idea as it increases inefficacy. Savings and loan crisis of 1989 has led to the creation of new rules about banks. After 9/11, the FBI moved one-third of its workforce from white-collar crimes to prevent terrorist attacks. Battered agency syndrome: how agencies are reacting to budget cuts. Obsession with quantification seems ineffective. One crime is counted in many different enforcement actions.
  • Sporting theory of justice: in legal terms how difficult it is to try white-collar crimes. It is a sport you use the rules correctly. Everything done in the financial crisis is not illegal. It is a case where intentions and motivations are prosecuted, and facts are never disputed.
  • Criminogenic: An environment that supports criminal activities, for instance, self-checkout machines incorporates the culture of crime by provoking people to commit smaller crimes like shoplifting.

Response log

  1. The show made a strong point regarding the topic of why no one went to jail for the financial crisis? The speaker used a structure of four points to explain the concept in greater details.
  2. The speakers tried to cover the entire topic in a discussion by providing relevant details and findings of the topic. The real examples gave the insight that the point was communicated.
  3. The topic of discussion fluctuates between many key points, but the priority is the common man of the US and how he gets impacted by such manipulation of rules.
  4. The part which created a huge impact on my mind was the fact that the governing bodies are incapable of finding the harmful percentage of lead in children's toys and how the limited staff is not able to deal with the excessive demands of the population. Another important point I remembered that the government operations has created a criminogenic environment which allows people to commit crimes like self check out machines induces the urge of theft and stealing in general public and hence, an environment of crimes is being created.
  5. I was able to connect it to the real life examples when the sales representatives are trying to sell not to good products to us, however, they may claim that they are unaware about their potential ineffectiveness or danger. I was able to this issue to intentions and motivations to the current topic.
  6. The liked the comment “every big fish you catch there is a hole in the net”. It inspired me to listen the entire argument regarding the topic.

Part 2 Rhetoric Précis

Mike Hobbes and Sarah Marshall, in their podcast "Why Didn't Anyone Go to Prison for the Financial Crisis? - You're Wrong About." Spotify asserted that white-collar crimes are occurring in America, mainly due to lapses in government policies. There are many reasons for such crimes, and the entire podcast is around the concept of elite deviance, learned helplessness, the sporting theory of justice and criminogenic environment. The remarks in the middle like "every fish you catch there is a hole in the net" clearly defines the idea of the speaker and how difficult it has become to report and take judicial actions as most of them are not illegal. With manipulations in the judicial system, the criminal can get away with some monetary punishment, and they continue to use the power of wealth to corrupt the entire system (Deaton). The government stresses the quantitative analysis and the regulating agencies go to places to get the figures right by miscalculations and forgery. The core principle behind the narrative is to make the readers aware of the situation and not to blame themselves for not filing complaints against these incidents. The issue is with the governing bodies and the congress as their methodology of quantifying and similar other practices like self check out machines are incorporating behaviour of criminals amongst the general public. The reference of metal paint in the kids' toys is scary and how the general public is exposed to different levels of toxicities simply due to lapses in the system and failure to implement effective control measures.

Part 3 Invention Question and Research Question

Invention question 1: How the government is failing at managing the regulatory bodies in the country?

Answer: The government is failing at multiple levels where, on the one hand, the regulatory departments do not have sufficient funds to raise the bar of performance. e another hand if their funds are increased then the output is expected to be at least five times the previous ratio. These unrealistic expectations create a barrier and contribute to the inefficiency of these regulatory bodies (Deaton).

Invention question 2: Are certain practices fostering the culture of crime in the country?

Answer: Absolutely, certain practices like the sporting theory of justice is based on the fact that the law will favour the one who is more close to following the instructions and cannot be proven guilty for wrong intentions and motivations. In most of these cases, it has been observed that the facts are never disputed only the intentions are in a state of conflict which easily escapes the system (Porzecanski).

The podcast inspired me to deepen my knowledge regarding the topic and gave me a framework to mould my thoughts and elaborate my research regarding the topic. It was a thought-provoking discussion and provided enough information to dig deeper into the topic.

Research question: what is the role of government norms and policies in ensuring the efficacy of regulatory bodies?

Research question: is the judicial system partial or ineffective in dealing with white-collar crimes?

Part 4 Building the Research Conversation.

The government has a clear role to play in effective management as the government policies decide the budget allocation to a particular department. Then the congress governs the activities of the department through various scales like quantitative measurement of data. For instance, how many investigations were done in the sector of consumer product safety commission and the figures by these bodies are twisted in the form of a total number of enforcement actions taken which increases the total tally (Deaton).

The role of the judicial system cannot be denied in supporting white-collar crimes. But the entire system right from the investigating officer to the attorneys is broken, and there are huge lapses in framing the real picture, and hence the real crimes never reach the prosecution. Furthermore, there must be a check on the system which allows the use of self check-out machines as these practices incorporates the urge to commit crimes in the general public and they feel that a little theft is not a big issue (Cull and Martínez Pería).

Part 5 Self-Reflection

To reflect on my learning from this podcast, I have used Gibbs cycle (Gibbs, 1988). According to the cycle, the process of self-reflection can be summarized in five steps, namely description, feelings, evaluation, conclusion, and actions.


The podcast is about why nobody went to jail for the financial crisis? It is a matter of concern that white-collar brands are ignored in comparison to street crimes. The report is structured around four key vocabulary terms, and these are elite deviance, learned helplessness, the sporting theory of injustice and criminogenic environment. These terms explicitly explain why white-collar crimes occur and the reason why there are fewer judicial proceedings about these crimes.


I feel sad that there are events when the laws can be manipulated, and the general public is fooled. I got worried when I came to know about the metal paint toxicity and how it is harming the innocent kids. The other topic of discussion which left a huge impact was self-checkout machines and how they are encouraging a culture of crime in the country.


My evaluation of the situation is that government laws are inefficient. Although the budget has been allocated to different departments, the congress starts to micromanage and believe more in a quantitative analysis which creates a discrepancy in the system. It promotes corruption in some way or the other. All the factors are equally responsible like less number of staff members in FBI to investigate the agencies like consumer product safety commission which creates huge lapses in the system as there is a higher percentage of lead in kid's toys.


The government is failing terribly with their policies to reduce the number of elite class crimes. The need of the hour is to create an integrated system where all the cases can be reported with transparency.


The plan of action must begin from the governing bodies to the regulating agencies, the judiciary system and then the general public. There must be coordination at all these levels, and the culprits should not be covered rather exposed.

References for Research Conversation

Cord, Louise, et al. “Inequality Stagnation in Latin America in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.” Policy Research Working Papers, The World Bank, 2014, doi:10.1596/1813-9450-7146.

Cull, Robert, and María Soledad Martínez Pería. “Bank Ownership and Lending Patterns during the 2008–2009 Financial Crisis: Evidence from Latin America and Eastern Europe.” Journal of Banking & Finance, vol. 37, no. 12, Dec. 2013, pp. 4861–4878, doi:10.1016/j.jbankfin.2013.08.017.

Deaton, A. “The Financial Crisis and the Well-Being of Americans: 2011 OEP Hicks Lecture*.” Oxford Economic Papers, vol. 64, no. 1, Nov. 2011, pp. 1–26, doi:10.1093/oep/gpr051.

Ford, Richard. Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar : Stories of Work.

Porzecanski, Arturo C. “Latin America: The Missing Financial Crisis.” Repositorio.Cepal.Org, ECLAC, 2009, repositorio.cepal.org/handle/11362/5069.

Sutherland, Edwin H. “Is ‘White Collar Crime’ Crime?” American Sociological Review, vol. 10, no. 2, Apr. 1945, p. 132, doi:10.2307/2085628.

“Why Didn’t Anyone Go to Prison for the Financial Crisis? - You’re Wrong About.” Spotify, open.spotify.com/episode/4DVksiDnjp2yGUL0Cydtg8. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our English Assignment Help

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