The Balance Sheet

Who sees your balance sheet? I mean your bank account, statement of assets and liabilities, inventory, business records, insurance papers, criminal records, etc. Your spouse? Your parents? Your children? Your neighbours? Or nobody?

Well, if you’re a real person who is a real taxpayer, someone’ll see something. If you’re a member of a real organisation with a real constitution, you are entitled to see the financial and legal truth every year. If you never get to see it, there are state government officers who can step in and demand a look.

If you’re not a real person – just a name – or not a real organisation – just a concept – you might not have any real need to keep or show records. You can call yourself what you like and there may not be a legitimate way that you can be called to any account.

This is attractive. I would love to be able to ask people for money and get it. Or ask them for their professional skills – and not pay for them. Or solicit donations that never move on. But I am not confident in my ability to carry it off.

I might be so if I could armour myself round with a title of something that sounded official…Royal Ruritanian Relief Fund or some such. Little danger of the Ruritanians sending out an inspector and if I styled myself as not-for-profit I could try my hand. You can have a lot of fun even if you don’t pay shareholders. It’s all in the definitions…

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