October 02, 2008

Wall-Street and Main-Street: A lost play by Beckett

"Wall-Street" is a head of a man sunk up to his ears in banknotes. "Main-Street" is a double amputee walking on his elbows nearby. As the amputee passes by...

Main-Street: I lost my legs, I lost my house, I lost my job, have mercy on an old soldier. Do you have a dime for an old soldier?

Wall-Street: Hey there, stop, give me 700 billion dollars or else...

M: What the fuck?

W: Give me 700 billion dollars or else...

M: Or else what, dickhead?

W: if you don't give me the money, I won't lend it to you back at interest. And you'll freeze to death.

M: You're fucking hallucinating. Look at me. If I had 700 billion dollars , I'd treat myself to something better than this, wouldn't I?

W: give me 700 billion dollars. That's your only hope.

M: Man you're so thick. I don't have any fucking 700 dimes for chrissake!

W: Oh crap! You're the people. Just make it up. What is money anyway? A note with a number scribbled on it.

M: Then why don't you make the money up?

W: Only the people can do it.

M: Ah?

W: Because you can impose taxes and force people to pay or else...

M: But you're forcing me to pay, what's the fucking difference?

W: I'm asking you to pay, or else you'll die freezing in the cold. That's all the difference in the world.

M: Well, fuck you! I'm giving you nothing.

W: Well of course it is up to you. But with the money I'll lend you, you could be buying yourself a burger or something, take a bath. Think about it.

M: Why can't I take the money I make up and just buy me a fucking burger without paying you a fucking interest?

W: Because you won't know how to allocate it correctly. You'll blow it, spend it on stupid things, bridges to nowhere, welfare checks for fake cripples that just wouldn't put an honest day's work, leeches, thieves.... Money takes smarts, economics, good models, correct structures of incentives, multipliers, tough investment decisions. You need professionals; you need entrepreneurs. People who understand money. People who have money and can be trusted to make the right decisions about money because it is their money.

M: But you just blew everything up?

W: If we can sometimes allocate capital badly, imagine what would have happened if people like you were in charge of it.

M: Do you mind if I take one dollar from this pile, buy me something to eat?

W: hands off you lazy bum! This is my hard earned money!!

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