The Words of the Cooper Family

Bail out story

Simon Cooper
December 9, 2011

Something I got from Richard Biddlecombe in an email:

It is a slow day in a little Greek village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everyone is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, looking for somewhere to stay. He 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 in.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the German 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 taverna. The publican then slips the €100 to his daughter who, also hit with hard times, has had to rent out a room on credit at the local hotel. She duly pays off her room bill to the hotel proprietor who quickly places the €100 back on the counter so the rich German traveler will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that none of the rooms are fit for him, and leaves town.

Nobody has produced anything. Nobody has earned anything. However, the whole village is out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the bailout package works. 

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library