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Old 13.12.2010, 18:49
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Irish bail out


It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town.
The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted.
Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit.
On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.
The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.
The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.
The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub.
The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit.
The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.
The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.
At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money and leaves town. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the bailout package works.
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Old 13.12.2010, 23:25
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Re: Irish bail out

It is now common knowledge that there is a potential domino effect of European sovereign debt contagion in roughly the following order:
Greece → Ireland → Portugal → Spain → Italy → UK ....

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Old 14.12.2010, 00:19
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Re: Irish bail out

Good one!
The only problem is there is always the weak link in the chain... The one that pockets the note and leaves the town and debts behind.
Then deposits it in a foreign bank that doesn't ask too many questions...
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Old 14.12.2010, 00:28
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Re: Irish bail out

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OK, so it's supposed to be a joke, but...

...the problem is: all those people in the example actually created some sort of value in the process of running up their debts.
In the 2010 reality, no value was created at all other than creating a real-estate bubble in the late 90s and early 21st century.
Though the building might have been "worth" 500k at some point, nobody is going to pay more than 200k for it now simply because it is not worth more, because there was no more than 200k in value created by constructing it (ignoring the land-scarcity/abundance factor for a moment).

So, at some point we will have to face the reality that a lot of the high-paid jobs we have don't actually create value in the sense that a pig-farmer raises piglets etc. to sell them to the butcher.
So, I setup and maintain servers etc for people so they can have email and web-pages and databases etc - but does that actually create value?
Nothing is "produced" (even though, we like to refer to the "production environments" we setup, in contrast to "test" and "stage"....).
Just bits shifted, bytes shuffled. A billion times a second.
Is that "creating added value"?
Deep inside me, I'm afraid that it is in fact not - and at some point, all the other people will realize that, too.
Then, I'll have to look for a job in the primary sector ;-/
I'd go for baking, if only it wouldn't require getting up so early....
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bail out, banking crisis, irish solution

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