is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin . She realizes that virtually all
of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer
afford to patronise her bar.
To solve this problem, she comes up with
a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay
later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby
granting the customers loans).
Word gets around about Mary’s „drink
now, pay later“ marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers
of customers flood into Mary’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales
volume for any bar in Dublin .
By providing her customers‘
freedom from immediate payment demands, Mary gets no resistance when, at
regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and
beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Mary’s gross sales
volume increases massively. A young and dynamic vice-president at the
local bank recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable
future assets and increases Mary’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason
for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed
alcoholics as collateral
At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert
traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these
customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These
securities are then bundled and traded on international security
markets. Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities
being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of
unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb,
and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of
the nation’s leading brokerage houses.
One day, even though the bond
prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank
decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred
by the drinkers at Mary’s bar. He so informs Mary.
Mary then demands
payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they
cannot pay back their drinking debts.Since, Mary cannot fulfil her loan
obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the
eleven employees lose their jobs.
Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS
and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value
destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans,
thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
suppliers of Mary’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and
had invested their firms‘ pension funds in the various BOND securities.
They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and
with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine
supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business
that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over
by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150
Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and
their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion
euro no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government.
The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on
employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Mary’s bar.
Now, do you understand economics in 2015?