Patrick McKenzie+ Your Authors @patio11 I work for the Internet, at @stripe, mostly on accelerating startups. Opinions here are my own. Sep. 09, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

I am not terribly surprised and also think that in some ways this article counterintuitively shows the process working correctly and as designed.

Elaboration follows.

A lot of processes in finance have to do fraud checks, and historically they’re mostly front-ended.

There is a false positive risk for this and a far greater impact on conversions; many legitimate small businesses can’t instantly paperwork “I am a legitimate small business.”

It was a reasonable policy priority of the US to distribute this relief extremely widely, and so most of the fraud checking happened post-approval.

Which will fairly readily discover an attempt to steal from the government.

Which you should not do as a bank employee.

I think the base rate of bank employees who would steal is pretty low, but with hundreds of thousands of front-line employees and a job which has been progressively deskilled, would put it as non-zero.

Which is, after all, why banks check.

This is also why, in one’s mandatory compliance training, you’ll have a moment which rhymes with “We trust you to follow the law, and to understand that we exhaustively record everything. Others who heard a warning like this, and did not heed it, are in prison. Don’t be stupid.”


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