Do YOU play by the rules? by Stanley Bing @FortuneMagazine September 5, 2012, 9:32 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons FORTUNE – It’s increasingly clear that the world is full of people who believe that the rules, in life and in business, do not apply to them. Every day you read tales of miscreancy in finance, politics, organized religion, and its cultural counterpart, organized sports. It’s no mystery why trust in our institutions is at an all-time low. So ask yourself: Are you in step with the times? Take this little quiz and see. If your enterprise had a chance to make a huge amount of money by laundering cash for weapons dealers and drug cartels, would you do it? A. Yes. If I didn’t do it, somebody else would. B. No, I’m not a banker. If you knew about a product that had no business model and could not see its way to profitability in the next five years, would you raise money for it, take it public, and then cash out just in time to watch it spiral down into insolvency, leaving credulous investors holding the bag? A. Sure. That’s the way the startup market operates! B. No, I’m not a venture capitalist, tech blogger, or Stanford graduate. If you were one of the people responsible for establishing the interest rate that determined the cost of loans all over the world, would you fudge the numbers if you thought you could get away with it? A. Yes, if everybody else was doing it. B. No, I’m not a banker. If you were a champion tiddlywinker and felt your thumbs growing stiff, would you take performance-enhancing drugs to prolong your career? A. Yes, but only if they were undetectable. B. No, unless they would also help me in the sack. If you worked for a pharmaceutical company and knew of a test showing that one of your drugs caused frogs to grow a third eyeball, would you bury the report in chocolate pudding until the product went off patent? A. One test? What was its provenance? We dispute it! B. No, but I don’t have to suffer from the horror of athlete’s foot. If you found out that your enterprise achieved its excellent results for 2012 by illegally forcing people from their homes, would you accept your bonus? A. Yes. I like my bonus. B. No, I’m not a banker. If you made hundreds of millions of dollars a year, would you hire a brilliant team of lawyers to figure out a bunch of ways to avoid paying taxes? A. Yes. Paying one penny more in taxes than you have to is as wrong as taking performance-enhancing drugs and getting caught. B. No! … er … is there a way to do that? If your job was to sell securities to naive, untrained, and generally unsuspecting investors, would you put a hard sell on investment products that your firm secretly was betting big money would fail? A. I really hate moralistic jerks who don’t understand that the marketplace is all about winners and losers, and it’s better to be a goddamn winner. B. No, I’m not a banker. But I’m starting to wish I were one. Scoring: Give yourself 10 points for every (a), because the world is yours, apparently. And deduct 10 points for every (b). You clearly don’t know the score, pal. This story is from the September 3, 2012 issue of Fortune. Follow Stanley Bing at stanleybing.com and on Twitter at @thebingblog.