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A Fable Of Economic Crisis


I am no economist. But here is my take on today’s economic crisis. Let me tell you a story to make my point.

There were three fishermen in a village. They were not able to do fishing because they lost their nets. One day one of them heard of a fishing net weaver in the neighboring village. So he went and rented a net from the weaver. To pay rent, he borrowed the money from the same weaver. He could go fishing now. The second one found out and he did the same thing. The third one went to rent a net as well. The weaver had only two nets. But he smartly figured out that the three fishermen never go fishing at the same time, so there will always be one net idle. He smartly figured out scheduling algorithm. So also started renting the two nets to three fishermen.

All four were happy. The fishermen always assumed that they will have net whenever required. The weaver was happy to be able to rent two nets to three people.

One fine day the assumptions made in weavers scheduling algorithm broke down and all three fishermen needed the net. They came to realize that there are not really enough nets and sometime they might end up not getting the net. So each fisherman started renting the net for more time than required to avoid the risk. This increased the net renting price (Inflation), also the nets started staying idle for long times (Dropped output). The fishermen could not pay their rent loan installment in time. The weaver started losing money and he could not maintain the nets. Ultimately everyone was poor again.

Nothing changed from start to beginning but everybody’s risk perception. Originally, with the false perception of zero risk and abundance of resources was created by the weavers assumptions. This perception broke down and everybody started paying high insurance to avoid the risk and this left little money for investment.

In today’s case, the net weaver is the bank and fishermen are consumers.

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