"When it's a question of money, everybody is of the same religion." - Voltaire
Another one from the mail.
It's a slow day in a damp Irish Town. The rain is beating down harshly, and all the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit.
...On this particular day, a rich German tourist is driving through the town, 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.
The owner gives him some room-keys and, as soon as the 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 rushes 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 animal feed and fuel.
The guy at the Farmer's Co-op takes the $100 note and runs to pay his drink at the friendly neighbourhood pub. The pub owner slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar - who, is spite of facing hard times, has always gladly offered him her 'services' on credit.
The hooker then rushes over to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the $100 note.
The hotel proprietor quietly replaces the $100 note back on the counter, so that the rich traveller will not supspect anything.
At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that none of the rooms are satisfactory, picks up the $100 note, pockets it and leaves town.
...No one has produced anything. No one hs earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.
And that, dear ladies and gentlemen, is how a basic financial bailout package works!