Monday, December 6, 2010

How the economy works in 2010 - great analogy

Colleague Justice Litle sent this explanation of the modern, enlightened way to manage an economy.

Mary is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin. She realises that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronise 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 Mary's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Mary's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Dublin .

By providing her customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Mary gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Mary's gross sales volume increases massively. A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Mary'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, 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 Mary's bar. He so informs Mary.

Mary then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since, Mary cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, 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 Mary'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 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 multi-billion euro 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 Mary's bar.

Now, do you understand economics in 2010?

Via Email - The Daily reckoning by Bill Bonner
Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ethical Dilemma for Doctors - A survey

I am forwarding an interesting email that I received from a Physician. Doctors are requested to take out a couple of minutes and respond to the same.

MedScape just published a result of a survey conducted:"Physicians Top 20 Ethical Dilemmas".

No such effort has been made in India, as far as I know. This is my attempt to start a dialogue between medicos on such issues.

Pl answer the six Qs given below and also encourage your colleagues/ other practitioners.

I will publish the findings after 1 month and I assure you NO NAMES!!

Dr C H Asrani


Q 1. Would you refer a patient to a physician just to return a favour or other gains, even when you knew the physician was not best qualified for the job at hand?

Ans: Yes/ No/ Maybe

Q 2. Would you overstate (falsify) a patient's condition for him/ her to get insurance reimbursement or cashless authorisation?

Ans: Yes/ No/ Maybe

Q. 3 Would you prescribe tonics/ medicines just because a patient demands them (even when they were not clinically indicated)?

Ans: Yes/ No/ Maybe

Q 4. Will you break professional secrecy if you felt that the patient’s condition may be harming others (like HIV +ve)?

Ans: Yes/ No/ Maybe

Q 5. Would you agree to give an opinion against another practitioner, knowing fully well that he/she has committed a grave error of omission?

Ans: Yes/ No/ Maybe

Q 6. If, facing a situation, would you mind getting romantically/sexually involved with a patient?

Ans: Yes/ No/ Maybe

Please read my BLOGS at

While replying, please leave the answer, deleting other two options


Q 6. If, facing a situation, would you mind getting romantically/sexually involved with a patient?

Ans: Maybe

Email your replies to drchasrani - at -