In Sam We Trust

Jun 2013
One afternoon when Babe returned home from his secondary school, he was surprised to find many villagers, including his neighbours See and Wo, wailing and banging angrily at the door of his grandfather Sam's house. After asking some people in the crowd, he was delighted to learn that his grandfather had gone into hiding to default on debt payment.

Like his cousins, Babe did not hesitate to ratchet up antagonistic sentiment towards See who was popularly perceived as Sam's biggest creditor in the village. Babe often likened See to a bank where his grandfather could withdraw cash freely without fear of force payment. In his conversation with his friends, he often said sarcastically about See: "Never lend money to anyone you cannot force to pay those loans back."

See was a whipping boy in the frequent quarrels between Sam and some of his relatives. For instance, in reference to See's ownership of the debt, one relative teased Sam during a quarrel: "See your daddy!" Another relative accused Sam: "As a village chief, you let See run all over us."

Babe and his cousins had no qualms in urging their grandfather not to honour See's debts. That was why Babe was so happy on hearing the news of his grandfather's debt default. However, on returning to his house near his grandfather's home, he was surprised to find his uncles and aunts, other family members and relatives wailing, screaming and thumping their chests. He was even more shocked to learn that his grandfather Sam had borrowed huge amounts of money from them, and they were now reduced to paupers by his debt default.

Contrary to popular perception in the village, the people Sam most indebted to were his 12 siblings and many other relatives. See was responsible for just over 7 per cent of the total debt, while Wo was in the second position with a slightly lesser amount.

Sam was a compulsive gambler. In order to satisfy his gambling cravings and enjoy an obscenely high standard of living, he had borrowed huge amounts of money not only from his family members and relatives but also many villagers. He lied to them that he was using the loans to invest in some big corporations in the cities. Very few people doubted his ability to pay back the loans since he was able to pay the interest to everybody on time. His secret lay in using new loans to pay old debt and interest.

At first, Sam was convinced that he would get away with his massive debt problem. The debt bomb, however, continued ticking away with breathtaking speed. It had been a great party but the good time would not last forever. Now that the party was over and the day of reckoning had arrived, he had no choice but went into hiding to default on debt payment.

The currency used in Sam's village was called "totcoin". At the time of this fictitious story, one totcoin was equivalent to ten US dollars. Amid the commotion, Babe found out from the creditors the sheer amount of Sam's debt. The following is a list of the creditors and the amount of debt at the point of time of the fairy tale:

1. Sam's family members and relatives 110,000 totcoins (about 66 per cent of the total debt)
2. Mr See 14,000 totcoins (about 7.7 per cent of the total debt)
3. Mr Wo 11,700 totcoins
4. Mr Car 2,900 totcoins
5. Mr Oil 2,600 totcoins
6. Mr Bra 2,560 totcoins
7. Mr Tai 1,900 totcoins
8. Mr Swi 1,800 totcoins
9. Mr Bel 1,700 totcoins
10. Mr Bri 1,600 totcoins
11. Mr Sin 820 totcoins

As Babe required a quiet place to study for his examination next day, he left his house with his school textbooks for a tiny stream some distance away from the village. On the way, he heard a beggar muttering these words: "In Sam We Trust."
Jun 2013
Did your parents drop you on your head one too many times? :eek:
Dear Senator, to millions of unfortunate people, this is nothing compared to the inevitable dropping of the "financial nuclear bomb" on their heads one very fine day. :)
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