Friday, September 25, 2009

Re: Your email has won $1 million loan

This might sound similar.The other day I received a typical email from a person, who for reasons best known to him, did not mention his real name. The email ID merely mentioned his identity as ‘knightrider2007’. This immediately set me thinking in ingenious ways that is possible only if you are workless like me.

Was the person’s real name so bad enough for him to choose something which sounded not so much a human monicker as much an appellation of something that is at home in Vijay Mallaya’s stable? Even then why 2007? Did he finish 2007th in a race in which there were 10 contestants? But what happens if his real name were indeed ‘knightrider2007’? In that case, what would be his parents’ name? More importantly, what happens if it were a woman behind that impregnable anonym, ‘knightrider2007’? Well, in that case, the ‘him’ and ‘he’ in the previous sentences should read ‘her’ and ‘she’Heck, he or she, ‘knightrider2007’, and a couple of others who keep emailing me almost on an hourly basis, could well be the reason for the global finances being in such a huge mess today.

Let me explain: Basically what ‘knightrider2007’ had written to me about was that he or she was very keen to offer me over a million of dollars for no apparent reason other than that I happen to be me. I can imagine you sniggering that this is a regular spam that everyone with an email address gets every minute. In fact, these spam messages may well be the reason for the high internet traffic, which is roughly broken down as 25 per cent porn, aimless surfing on things and youtube snippets on T Rajendher, 25 per cent on searching that eventually lead you nowhere and 40 per cent on email forwards that are thought up by workless staff of heaven knows what company for the rest of the humanity that is busy acting that it is at work, and spam mails about financial bonanza offer. The remaining 10 per cent of the traffic is of those trying to figure out the various percentages that comprise the internet traffic.

Patently, ‘knight-rider2007’ and several others (mostly with African sounding names from Uganda to Burundi to Burkina Faso to other places that are too obscure even for a geography class) who have been painstakingly filling up our inboxes for years together, have modelled themselves on modern-day banks and insurance companies that work on the sterling prudential principle that everybody in this world is a bloody sucker for free offers. And the first lesson that they teach at the B-schools in financial management is that all loans, through concerted effort, can one day end up as freebies.

The second lesson that is tutored in is that the person in charge of disbursing loans and the person in charge of ensuring their repayment are two different persons. Banks operate this way because it can employ two people for one simple work. Further, this also seamlessly ensures that the banks, at the end of the year, emerge with huge NPAs.

In case you are wondering what NPAs are, well, they are handy acronyms that determine what should the government do in terms of fiscal management. If the NPAs are about at a middling level, say about a few hundreds of crores (in Indian context) the government issues statements that there was nothing to worry about the health of the said bank and waits till the NPAs reach a level when they get to be called ‘huge’.

Once the NPAs reach this level, the government gets cracking —— pay close attention here as this is the vital aspect of modern market economics ——— and issues statements that there is nothing alarming to unduly worry about the fiscal health of the said bank. The word ‘fiscal’ is used to convey the idea that the government indeed knows that the matter under discussion is economics.

Eventually, when there are no more loans to offer, the literal buck having literally stopped, and every person who has taken a loan is not ready to repay it, the government, with practiced alacrity, jumps into the fray and says something significant: ‘We are monitoring the situation closely’. The word ‘monitor’ is employed as because it looks more sincere and serious than when it is said: ‘We are watching the situation closely’.

Meanwhile, those individuals who have taken a loan, realising that none is willing to repay, rally into a group to increase their bargaining power.

This is naturally the cue for them to announce a loan waiver scheme, which is based on the sound economic principle, that the country’s official Mint is big enough to take up extra work of printing more money.

Elsewhere, the professional managers of the bank, who generally holiday in esoteric locations in distant lands come back from their vacations and get ready to take up their professional duty of bestowing loans on people who have no earthly chance of repaying them. This is roughly what capitalism, socialism and communism eventually are.

And my guess is that the enigmatic knightr-ider2007, who is offering me loads of cash for nothing, is actually a bored banker on holiday in an African country. He is apparently at it just to ensure that he doesn’t lose touch with the work that is awaiting him upon resuming his official duty.

So my advice to you all those who receive financial bonanzas on emails is: Accept them today. Or else, you will pestered with calls for availing loans tomorrow.

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