When I was a kid, I read an amazing, humorous short story by the famous writer Shibram Chakraborty (1903-1980). The story revolves around the writer taking a 500-taka loan from his wealthy friends — the Harshabardhan and Gobardhan brothers.
According to the story, when Shibram needed some money one day-- he went to Harshabardhan and asked for a loan of 500 takas. His pitch was simple: I am your trusted friend; I have never borrowed money from you before, and I have no reputation of embezzling anyone's money before. He promised to return the money by next Sunday.
Harsha lent him the 500 taka and Shibram spent it, and almost forgot about paying it back till next Thursday. Shibram started panicking—where would he get the money now? Well, getting it from the other brother Gobardhan could be a quick solution. So he ran to him and pleaded: please dude lend me 500 takas and I promise I will return it to you next Saturday.
Anything for a good friend said Gobardhan, and gave him the 500 taka. On Sunday, Shibram gave Harsha the money he borrowed from Gobardhan.
So came another Thursday. Shibram went to Harsha again and said, "Well, my friend, I need that 500 taka again. But you see I am a good borrower. I returned the money in time, didn't I?"
"Yes, sure—an honest borrower like you is really so hard to find," said Harsha, and lent him the 500 taka again for a week.
Shibram gave the money to Gobardhan on Thursday and again borrowed the same amount from him on Sunday to pay back to Harsha.
This routine went on for a while. Then one day Shibram invited both brothers to a meeting.
"Listen, you both have been good friends of mine and I believe I have been a good borrower as well," Shibram told them.
The two brothers agreed that it was rare to find borrowers who return the money so timely.
So Shibram made an arrangement with them, "from now on-- every Thursday, Gobordhan will give Harsha 500 taka on my behalf, and on every Sunday, Harsha will give Gobordhon 500 taka on my behalf. Any questions?"
What an easy solution! Yeah! From then on, two brothers regularly exchanged 500 taka loans on behalf of Shibram.
Well, I could never imagine that this classic story would inspire so many people in the banking sector. That if you had special access to the banks, you could take out huge amounts of money and leave the deficit to be dealt with by the depositors themselves. It's a wonderful system!
People deposit money in banks. They transfer money through a mobile financial system (MFS) and the volume is in hundreds of thousands of crore takas. Money is flowing. If you take out, say 9000 crore taka with the help of the bank's board, it's not like that the borrowers will see that their particular money is missing. Plus, when you have something like 30,000 crore taka in your pocket—who is going to regulate you? Here, take some tips boy.
The Shibram way of banking can be award-winning. You can drain out Basic Bank, all the state banks, the Islami Bank or dozens of other private banks as well, and most likely never face any jail time. Even if you land in jail, you'd probably never have to return the money to the banks.
On the contrary, when you take out so much money from the banking and MFS stream, you can turn them into dollars and export the dollars to Singapore, Dubai, Melbourne or Toronto. You might even earn some export incentives. You might even win an export trophy for exporting the highest amount of dollars through private channels while draining the national exchequer.
With such a huge amount of money, you will be a respected man anywhere around the world. You will then sponsor some election candidates and be known as a man with a lion's heart for your generosity.
Meanwhile, using the Shibram principle—the banks would not collapse. People will continue to deposit money and genuine borrowers will return their money along with interest. These people, clearly stupid morons, will also pay the government taxes and they will keep the economic engine churning. So why worry about me taking out "some" money? Please step aside on my path to getting richer.