Helga is the proprietor of a bar. It purports to be the best. A1 : in fact, it’s the AIBar.
NOT Helga’s Bar
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 a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now but pay later. Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger – thereby granting loans to her customers.
Word gets around about Helga’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Helga’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in town.
By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Helga’s gross sales volume increases massively.
A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Helga’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, or more acceptably AIBonds. These “securities” then are bundled and traded on international securities markets. Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AA” “AIBonds” really are 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.
A Fermanagh cement baron invests heavily and sees his assets rocket. He invests more and still more. One day, even though the bond prices still are 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 Helga’s bar. He so informs Helga. Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.
Since Helga cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga’s eleven employees lose their jobs.
Overnight, “AA” “AIBonds prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
The suppliers of Helga’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the AIBOND 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 workers.
Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government. The taxpayer will pay. The directors immediately reward themselves for their acumen with massive, multi-million euro bonuses.
The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, working-class, middle-class, and non-drinkers who have never been in Helga’s bar. And by savage cuts in social, welfare, health and education benefits.
It’s called capitalism. The Labour Party in coalition government prove themselves just as adept at screwing the poor as the Soldiers of Destiny who preceded them.
Fairy tale ?
Watch for the Budget in a few weeks time.