named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Wyoming
when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust..
The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and
YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, "If I tell you
exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a
Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully
grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it
to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet,
where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which
he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an
The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it
to an image processing facility in Hamburg , Germany ..
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has
been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL database
through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and,
after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech,
miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy and says, "You
have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with
amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what
your business is, will you give me back my calf?"
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why
"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government", says Bud.
"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess
"No guessing required." answered the cowboy. "You showed up here
even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already
knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of
equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't
know a thing about how working people make a living - or about cows, for that
matter. This is a herd of sheep...
Now give me back my dog.
Heidi is the proprietor
of a bar in Detroit . She realizes that virtually all of her customers are
unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar.
To solve this problem, she comes up with 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
Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result,
increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the
largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit. By providing her customers'
freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at
regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer,
the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases
A young and dynamic
vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts
constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi'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 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 Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.
Heidi then demands
payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot
pay back their drinking debts. Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations
she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose
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. The suppliers of
Heidi'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
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 workers. Fortunately
though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are
saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar 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 Heidi's bar.