This email was passed on to me by my office manager. It makes what happened seam absurd:)
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 customers 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-consumed beverages. 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 collateral.
At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers find swift code of their most important customers and 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.
One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager (subsequently of course fired due his negativity) of the bank decides that slowly the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.
However 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 competitor.
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