Lessons from an average bank heist

Sunday 9 June 2013, 1.58pm HKT

Updated 30 SEP 2013 (photo source)

Noon local time, 31°C (88°F), sunny and hot with some rain patches

INSTEAD of paying an obscene load of cash to be educated in the classroom, get your free, no-strings-attached, no-frills edjumacation from the School of Hard Knocks at the University of Hell and High Water.

bank robbery guangzhou temasek review



A bank heist in the city of Guangzhou in the south of China.

(Updated 30 SEP 2013:— Pic unrelated. Using it just to make a point. It’s actually a CCTV screenshot from a 2010 bank robbery in Miami, Florida, and released by the FBI. FBI source. Hat tip to Chris Spivey’s post.)


“DON’T MOVE!” the bank robber yelled out. “The money belongs to the State! YOUR LIFE BELONGS TO YOU!” Everyone hunkered down in silence.

  • This is called Mind-Changing Concept — changing the conventional way of thinking.

A woman laid herself on a desk in a provocative way. The robber told her point-blank, “Please! Be civilised! This is a ROBBERY, not a rape!”

  • This is called Being Professional — focus on what you’ve been trained to do!

When the bank robbers got back to their hideout, one younger robber (MBA-trained, no less) said to an older robber, “Let’s count up how much we got, guv.”

But the older robber (with only a Primary Year 6 schooling) shot back, “Nah, stoopid! There’s lots of it, and it’ll take us ages to count it up. The TV will be on tonight about exactly how much we ran away with from the bank.”

  • This is called Experience — still more important than paper qualifications.

Flashing back to the moment when the robbers were making their getaway, the bank manager was telling the bank supervisor to ring for the police at once. But the supervisor held off, explaining, “Wait! Let’s take out $10 million for ourselves and add it to the $70 million we’ve embezzled from the bank already!”

  • This is called Going With The Flow (or Swim With The Tide, if you’re Chinese) — converting an unfavourable situation to a favourable one for your own advantage.

The supervisor added, “It would be nice if a robbery were to happen every month…”

  • This is called Killing Boredom — personal happiness is more important than your ‘job.’

Sure enough, the heist made it on TV. The news reported the robbers made off with $100 million.

By now, the robbers had started counting up the cash. They counted. And counted a few more times. The count came too only $20 million.

WOT?! The robbers were pissed off: “We risked our necks on this job and took only $20 million. So with just a snap of the finger the bank manager took $80 million for himself. Looks like it pays to be educated than being a thief!”

  • This is called Knowledge Is Worth Its Weight in Gold.

At the end of it all, the bank manager now looks on the whole episode, smiling and feeling not without a sense of pride and accomplishment. He has successfully managed to use the heist for covering the market-share losses of his bank.

  • This is called Seizing the Opportunity — carpe diem — and daring to take risks.

So just who are the real robbers then?


Lessons ‘Five-by-Five’

1. Reset your perspective.
Can’t expect different results from doing or looking at things the same way as before.

2. Stick to your forté or the mission.
Preferably both.

3. Experience still counts.
You don’t want to keep ‘reinventing the wheel.’

3. Personal contentment has to take priority in the pursuit your livelihood.
Because it contributes to it.

4. Knowledge helps if experience comes up short.
“Know your shit — or know you’re shit.”

5. Opportunity knocks, often at the most inconvenient of times.
In short, keep a weather eye on the horizon.

COST OF EDJUMACATION: FREE (for $20 million less $100 million)

Tango Delta One-Three out.


(Reblogged from Temasek Review of Singapore and amended for clarity and interest)

(Hat tip to Vivien A. for the story)



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. Image via Temasek Review on Facebook. (B13188)

3 Responses to “Lessons from an average bank heist”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    I’m trying to imagine anyone foolish enough to complain they got less than accused of taking.


Comments are closed.

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