A Financial Crisis Parable

Sunday, October 5, 2008

(Please forgive my ignorance of economic jargon and enjoy this parable of cronyism and corruption.)

Let's set up the characters:
You will be playing the neoconservative leaders (and potential leaders) of our country.
Your house will be standing in for the American economy.
Mr. Greed E. Skoundrul will play the role of any of these failing financial institutions, you choose.

Story time:
Your good ole friend, Mr. Greed E Skoundrul, helped you get to be who you are today. For example, he probably lobbied your spouse to accept your proposal, slipped you extra cash when you were between jobs, etc. etc. Naturally, you returned the favor and offer Greed a place to stay when he asked. The guest room is a true honor, since your house is (or at least was) the best in the neighborhood. You wouldn't dare put any stipulations or limitations on this great honor because he's your friend. No one wants to seem a stickler to his or her friends and your not above this kind of exchange of favors that makes the world go 'round. Plus, you're ideologically against making rules for housemates.

If only you could have seen this coming...
Mr. Skoundrul calls you from jail and begrudingly tells you a horrific story. Not only does your pal, come housemate, need your help securing bail, but he also burned down your house. Now, some might say, 'hindsight is 20/20,' but doesn't it sound like some simple ground rules or oversight could have helped you to avoid this situation? Maybe simple rules like, 'no drug dealing from my house,' or even 'no hot plates in your room' could have at least kept this irresponsible friend from taking advantage of your hospitality.

What's done is done - you need to rebuild, right? Take care of the house and resound yourself to not letting this jerk or any other take advantage of your hospitality again. Let the law punish your former-friend, Greed, while you learn from your mistake. Your therapist reminds you that rules and regulations set appropriate boundaries for functional relationships and should be applied to everyone, especially friends. But you can't help yourself...you bail him out and borrow against the mortgage of your (burnt down) house to do so. Then, you go out for drinks with Mr. Skoundrul and talk about your mutual disdain for all those critics who just don't get your friendship.

That sure sounds happily ever after. But did I forget to mention Joe Smallbusinessowner drowning in the backyard pool as the house caught ablaze? Yeah, but Greed's fire made for better television, so Joe should have found a more extravagant way to go under...it's his own fault...really.

Moral of the story is...wait, there are too many. You decide.


CodeNameGazelle said...

The moral of the story is..."Don't trust ANYONE!"

Pocketknife said...

Thanks, Mom!

flashlight said...

So gazelle is pocketknife's mom! Very interesting. Hi Mom.