Once upon a time, in a far away land, lived a very prosperous tribe. Just a mere 10 years back, they would fight every-day, rob each other of their valuables, murder for money…. but not anymore.
Because deep down, no-one wanted it. So a few youngsters got together and they devised a fair, safe system where everyone could deposit their valuables without the fear of losing their stuff, being robbed, living in fear … and then take back their valuables from the system when needed.
They dint have their own houses so they occupied a long forgotten public house, and kept everyone’s wealth… They guarded it well…
They decided to call this a BANK.
The region became peaceful. People started leaving their homes un-locked. They started trusting one-another. Importantly, the tribe could now concentrate more on growing their crops and increasing their productivity, so everyone could eat more and they could barter for more. And that’s what they did. Slowly they all became prosperous.
The news of this tribe spread. Other youngsters came to this tribe, learnt and started their own banks in their villages.
So the once warring tribes, now became friends..
A few years passed. Members of these tribes began to wander. But they dint want to carry expensive valuables and money during their journeys. So the first tribe again started thinking of a solution.
And they did come up with one. A partnership between the various friendly tribes and their banks.
So now banks had multiple offices. Deposit money at X, collect from Y. They called it a Merger. One man famously said “our world is becoming flat”. Most did not understand.
These tribes now became even friendlier with each other, and trade between them was on an all time high.
Slowly the tribes became more and more ambitious. So a few tribesmen started asking for loans. And then more and more..
But the bank did not have so much money. So they started rewarding those who would deposit money, with the promise of more after a certain period of time. To offset the loss, they would start imposing an interest on those borrowing.
FAIR-ALL. Everyone thought it a brilliant idea.
A few years passed.
By now, these kids were not young anymore. Greed and power had seeped in. They thought they were the singular cause of all the progress of society. The controlled the entire economy. They started calling themselves the bankers.
And now slowly, since the entire tribe’s money was with the bank, everyone was alarmed. The bank controlled all the trade. This was becoming pretty serious.
So the governments of the tribes stepped in, and assured the citizens that their money was safe.
This was a blessing in disguise for the “bankers”. They were virtually clear of all the responsibility. The responsibility was now entirely on the Government. But lucky these boys were. They still had all the control of the bank’s by-now full coffers.
They then got the most ambitious of everyone in the tribe. Weren’t they the most intelligent, they all thought. They were THE bankers.
So in-spite of the money not being theirs, they started investing in others ventures. Took a share in the produce, in the profits… and very quickly went berserk. Started investing left, right, centre. Starting providing loans to all and sundry. Even if they well knew they wouldn’t get money back.
And invented a few useless words. And more useless concepts.
In this over-excitement, they ended up taking more wrong decisions than right ones. And ended up losing the entire tribes money as a consequence. And now since each of the banks were inter-dependent, all the other tribes got affected, without even knowing how.. and why….
People lost all their valuables in this very organized nonsense. The bankers ran away into oblivion.
The government compensated the citizens. With the taxes that the citizens only paid in the first place. And So now the government itself was bankrupt.
Slowly the tribesmen began fighting again and anarchy came back. Back to where it all began..
One old man, wondered to himself… “These banks started so well. It was such a good concept.… THEN WHAT THE FUCK WENT WRONG.”
A young boy – after listening to this grumpy old man remarked : “Profitability sir. Banks weren’t meant to run after profitability. They were only meant to be safe-keeps of our money. Wonder why you allowed it to happen.”