Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I can't take credit for this but it is pretty cute.

The Credit Crunch Explained

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers, most of whom are unemployed alcoholics, to drink now
but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting
the customers loans).

Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of unemployed alcoholics
flood into Heidi's bar. Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the most popular drinks. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these
customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He
sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer
assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are
then traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these
abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed. Nevertheless, as their
prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items because (insert
here the name of your financial advisor) recommended them as a good investment.
One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager of the bank,
(subsequently of course fired due to his negativity), decides that the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. But of course
they cannot pay back the debts.

Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80 %. The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment due dates, and having invested in the securities, are faced with a new situation.
Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties. The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied on the non-drinkers.

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