Viewpoint / A Personal Letter

Personal letter to Dr. Ehud Shapira,

Credit officer at Bank Leumi

Re: Urgent personal request for credit, good for me, good for you

Dear Mr. Shapira,

I wanted to bring your attention to a rare business opportunity that the bankers evidently missed in the storm stirred up by the tremendous collapse of Clubmarket. I trust that a wily, vastly experienced banker like yourself will recognize the opportunity and grab it with both hands.

To the point: It's no secret that the banks write off hundreds of millions worth of debt, billions altogether, from businesses belonging to the so-called business barons (though they grew big on your money, not theirs. And having written it off, it is not even yours anymore. But I digress.) You have come to take huge writeoffs for granted, and the only thing that changes is the name behind the crash Recanati, Teig, Zeevi and now Borovich.

I wanted to suggest a radical idea that would get you brownie points in the press, and mainly, could save you billions of shekels now being squandered on yachts, executive jets, luxury hotels and the devil knows what.

With your keen senses, Ehud, you must already know where I'm going. If Recanati, why not Cohen? Or Dagan? If Borovich, why not Haimovitch? Your choice, Ehud: pick some Yoni Doe, some Dagan, call a press conference and announce that you're going to grant unilaterally that happy nonentity a half-billion shekels in credit, just to be a philanthropist, because you love humanity and want this person to be happy.

The terms of the loan, if only for propaganda purposes, must be generous: basically no interest to speak of, suspend repayment of the principal by, say, 10 years and so forth, let your imagination fly free. (Many of the decisions you bankers make show you have rich imaginations.)

Now, you have to attach a secret appendix to the loan agreement: This is the cherry on the brilliant scheme. In that appendix, this Dagan for the sake of argument, let's call him Mike promises to cap his monthly spending at, oh, say NIS 100,000, and to take part in all the bank's campaigns, to sing its praises to the skies from every dais, to exert his charm and talent at singing, dancing and plucking flamenco tunes on the ukelele with his toes, all on behalf of the bank.

Mike and his heirs, or any other person on his behalf, will also undertake to return the money, no interest, remember, no later than 30 days from the time of his death.

Factoring in the average life span in the west, and the specific life expectancy in the Dagan tribe (knock on wood), I figure no more than, say, NIS 50 million would be used out of that half-billion shekel loan.Consider, Ehud, the tremendous savings compared with what you're likely to get back from the half-billion the Boroviches owe you for Clubmarket alone.

From my knowledge of them, unlike the Boroviches, I am confident the Dagans won't need to hasten to court to declare bankruptcy; they will stand tall and meticulously fulfill the agreement to the letter, and generally, they're likely to treat you a lot more politely.

Yours in friendship,

Mike Dagan

P.S. Please do reply at your earliest convenience. The mortgage certain Dagans took out from your bank is strangling them.