Before netting, before zero sum ownership society

Numbers work in Credit Crisis for Kindergartners. .

Physical marbles: 4
Marbles promised from Bob: 0
Marbles promised from Sue: 2
Total assets: 6

Marbles owed to Bob: 7
Marbles owed to Sue: 18
Total liabilities: 25

Equity: -19


Physical marbles: 6
Marbles promised from Alice: 7
Marbles promised from Sue: 1
Total assets: 14

Marbles owed to Alice: 0
Marbles owed to Sue: 2
Total liabilities: 2

Equity: 12


Physical marbles: 0
Marbles promised from Alice: 18
Marbles promised from Bob: 2
Total assets: 20

Marbles owed to Alice: 2
Marbles owed to Bob: 1
Total liabilities: 3

Equity: 17

If you trade for promises, then accounting in the short run does not matter. If you take 5 of the real marbles and get a bike, that is real…5 out of the 40 makes sense until margin calls.

Most of us think we actually own the houses we live in. Some of us do if we pay our taxes. Most of us think that when we have cash in our pockets, even borrowed, we are moneyed. I think the parents remained unaware of the trades because they were out charging fine dinner and wine meals, or considered it cute, or wonderfully precocious, and not affecting the real economy. Partly true, but nobody is happy.