– Ring-ring ring-ring ring-ringity-ring
– Hello. Minister for Finance speaking.
– Oh, hello there. My name is Bock, a very minor thief indeed.
– Yeah, look, I was thinking, you know, since you’ve just bet the entire country to keep the banks in business …
– Well, you know how the banks caused all this themselves by handing out ridiculous forty-year loans to people for houses that weren’t worth it?
– Indeed. Your point?
– And interest-only loans to property developers?
– What about it?
– And then the people with the ridiculous forty-year loans thought they were rich so they handed the whole lot over to the property developers for stupid little ticky-tacky houses that cost about four euros to build?
– I don’t follow your point.
– Well, that was how the developers were supposed to pay back the loans to the banks, and the only losers would be the twenty-somethings who borrowed ten times their annual income over forty years. Our children, in other words.
– I don’t know what you’re talking about.
– And then the banks handed out loans to people who already had a house, and everybody including the banks and the estate agents talked up the market? And these people who already had a house just sort of pretend-bought the new houses from the property developers? And that created a scarcity and the price went up, and then the pretend-buyers sold the houses to more twenty-somethings who were in debt up to their necks because the banks didn’t give a flying fuck how much money they shovelled out the door?
– What exactly is your point?
– Well, the banks are in trouble now, because they made a complete shit of their business and didn’t bother to be careful. But that’s all right, because you’ve promised three times the entire annual income of the country to back them up.
– What do you want?
– Well, Minister, you see, I’ve made a complete shit of my own money as well. What I didn’t drink, I spent on Latvian hookers and brown acid. So I was wondering, is there any chance you might give me just a minute’s worth of our entire national income? Say €300,000? I’m not greedy.