Tuesday, May 05, 2009



Linda is the proprietor of a bar in Cork . In order to
increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are
unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later.

She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the
customers loans).

Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood into
Linda's bar. Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate
payment constraints, Linda increases her prices for wine and beer, the
most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes
these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Linda's borrowing
limit. He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the
alcoholics as collateral. At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert
bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and
PUKEBONDS. These securities are then traded on markets worldwide.

No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities
are guaranteed. Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the
securities become top-selling items.

One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager (subsequently
of course fired due to his negativity) of the bank decides that slowly the time
has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Linda's
bar. However they cannot pay back the debts.

Linda cannot fulfill her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy. DRINKBOND
and ALKBOND drop in price by 95 %. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in
price after dropping by 80%.

The suppliers of Linda's bar, having granted her generous payment due dates and
having invested in the securities are faced with a new situation. Her wine
supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.

The bank is saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock
consultations by leaders from the governing political parties (and vested
interests). The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied on
the non-drinkers.

courtesy : email from vivek, springboard

What is the right decision?

*Insight into Decision Making - Good One:*

A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use

while the other disused. Only one child played on the disused track, the

rest on the operational track.

The train is coming, and you are just beside the track interchange. You can

make the train change its course to the disused track and save most of the

kids. However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused

track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the train go its way?

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make........


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Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice

only one child. You might think the same way, I guess. Exactly, to save most

of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most

people would make, morally and emotionally. But, have you ever thought that

the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right

decision to play at a safe place?

Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who

chose to play where the danger was. This kind of dilemma happens around us

everyday. In the office, community, in politics and especially in a

democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the

majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how

farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are. The child who chose not to

play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in the case

he was sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him.

The great critic Leo Velski Julian who told the story said he would not try

to change the course of the train because he believed that the kids playing

on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in

use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens..

If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he

never thought the train could come over to that track! Moreover, that track

was not in use probably because it was not safe. If the train was diverted

to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake!

And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might

end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids.

While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be
made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right

one. *

'Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't

always right.'

Everybody makes mistakes; that's why they put erasers on pencils.*