I found this posted on a stimulating cooperative blog called The Might Of The Pen. I'm sure they won't object too strenuously to my borrowing stuff from them from (especially since the blog is now defunct :-)...
If you have difficulty understanding the current world financial situation, the following story should help...
Once upon a time in a village in India, a man announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10.
The villagers, seeing there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.
The man bought thousands at $10, but, as the supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their efforts. The man further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.
Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate increased to $25 and the supply of monkeys became so scarce that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now act as buyer, on his behalf.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when he returns from the city, you can sell them back to him for $50."
The villagers squeezed together their savings and bought all the monkeys.
They never saw the man or his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere...
Welcome to Wall Street.