Once upon a time the United States was faced with a huge financial crisis and was on the brink of disaster. The crisis was beginning to affect the whole world.
The government called together all the top economists and financial wizards along with computer experts and statisticians. The group began tracing the roots of the financial meltdown. They plugged in every accounting record they could find. After several weeks of work they narrowed down the beginning of the problem to a small town in Ohio.
They probed even further and zeroed in on Circleville. They found that the Circleville Ford Dealership was just about to close its doors due to low sales. The owner of the dealership told the federal investigators that he had been doing okay until 2006. He said, “Sales were slow, but in September we missed the minimum quota. We were only one sale away from our goal. Joe Smith came in to look at a car and we were doing up the paperwork. Joe planned to come back the next day and pick up the car. He never showed up. It’s been downhill ever since.”
The Ford dealer told the federal team that because Joe didn’t buy a car his salesman missed out on a boat he was planning on buying. Finally, the salesman was laid off because he lost his usual pep and enthusiasm.
The fed team went to Joe’s house to interview him. He told the team that he had been going to buy a Ford, but when he got home that day he found a layoff notice from his work. “I just couldn’t buy a car in those circumstances,” he said. Joe did find a new, lower paying job but he had to cut back on all his expenses.
The wizard team followed the depressing trail further. The car salesman and his wife lost their house to foreclosure when they couldn’t make the payments on their mortgage. The bank with the mortgage couldn’t sell the house. It had to stop making loans to other customers for home improvements and cars. This caused a ripple effect in Circleville which spread to other nearby towns and finally to Cleveland. Then, from Cleveland all across the United States.
“Ah ha,” said the experts, “the financial crisis can be solved quickly.” The U.S. Treasury issued a check for $35,000 to Joe Smith. Joe was told he had to buy a new car. Joe did. The dealership was saved in the nick of time. They hired back their salesman. He regained his pep and sold quite a few cars that week. He bought his new boat and bought back his house from the bank. The positive ripple effect spread across the nation and the world went back to normal.
* I read a story with this same plot a long time ago. I have not been able to find the story or the author. If you remember the story let me know.
Labels: odd facts