TO: The global financial authorities, comprising:
The International Monetary Fund
The World Bank
The World Trade Organization
The central banks of all countries, and
FROM: The typical Asian consumer.
Dear Sirs and Madam,
I understand that you are in the middle of a series of bail-outs in which you give large amounts of public money to needy people all over the world.
You have generously given US$150 billion to insurance salesmen at AIG. You have handed $22 billion to carmakers at Chrysler and General Motors. You have given more than $350 billion to bankers around the planet.
Well, here’s some good news. I am just about to put in MY requisition slip for bail-out funds, and it is very reasonable indeed. You’re gonna LOVE it!
I need only a fraction of the money you gave the folk above. I'm talking about a bail-out package of, wait for it, not $20 billion, not $10 billion, not even $5 billion. All I'm asking for is a mere $1 billion.
Yep, that's all. Peanuts. Petty cash. Pocket change.
Unlike bankers, I will NOT take this money from you with one hand while furtively handing out massive bonuses to my mates with the other. (Back off, guys.)
I will NOT make a mockery of my plea by flying to collect the money in a luxurious private jet, as people mentioned above have done. No, I shall fly economy to New York, take the downtown bus to your office, and carry the money away in a biodegradable supermarket plastic bag.
I will NOT take your money and lock it away for my own use, as bank loan depts have done.
On the contrary, I plan to have a shopping spree that Grace Mugabe would find excessive.
I will shop in a manner not seen on this planet since my wife went shopping with 13 of her counterparts and stripped an entire department store bare, leaving only the shell of the building.
Why should you bail me out? These are tough times, and I need money like everyone else.
Who is most deserving? The carmakers who made vehicles motorists don't want? The fund managers who put everyone's savings into bad investments? The bankers who pushed poor folk to buy homes they can't afford?
No, the money should go to people who have not misbehaved. We Asian consumers earned money by working for it. We did our share of saving and our share of consuming. We spent money we had, not cash from credit cards. We make up 60 per cent of the world's population, but on a per capita basis, we make relatively little of the world's pollution and use few of the world's resources.
You know us. We are math geeks. We work in factories. We cook smelly food. We have low crime rates. We read comics. We miss-spell road signs and menu items. We have black hair, we wear glasses and we are generally harmless.
And besides, we think you should be nice to us. After all, it will soon be our turn to run the world.
The typical Asian consumer.