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[SUBMITTED 7.10.19] Morally Bankrupt

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Candlewhisper Archive
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[SUBMITTED 7.10.19] Morally Bankrupt

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:50 am

Do we have an issue about bankruptcy? I don't think we do.

DRAFT 4 23.9.19:
TITLE:
Morally Bankrupt

VALIDITY:
Capitalism, Internet

DESCRIPTION:
Limited liability company 'On The Books' was one of the biggest online retailers based in @@NAME@@, diversifying from pre-packaged holidays into a broader retail market. However, a series of poor financial decisions led it into significant debt, and following a year of massive losses it has declared insolvency. With vast debts unpaid and limited assets to liquidate, clarification is being sought on the legal framework around which creditors should get first dibs.

OPTION 1
"The Treasury has to come first," asserts Revenue Director Penny Pinn-Sherman, hovering vulture-like at the edge of the room. "Public finances depend upon settlement of unpaid taxes, and prioritising government revenue keeps the burden on income taxpayers low."

OUTCOME:
taxmen are issued steel cap boots to kick you when you're down

OPTION 2
"You must protect affiliated industry," asserts billionaire hotel owner Conrad Milton-Harriott. "Imagine a chain of unfulfilled invoices, then unemployment from cost-cutting downsizing, and small companies going under through cashflow failures. Start with the biggest creditors first, and safeguard the economy."

OUTCOME:
"Money for Nothing" is the official anthem of many a megacorporation

OPTION 3
"No, you have to pay back the smallest debts first!" pleads mum-of-three Donna Pinafore, whose greying hair has turned chalk white after hearing their long-awaited holiday has been cancelled. "Think of the little people!" She holds up her wailing youngest child for your consideration.

OUTCOME:
supply companies submit two dozen invoices for twenty-four paperclips

OPTION 4
"Look, a lot of us worked the last months with our salaries 'deferred', to try to save the company," complains unemployed shelf-stacker Si Attica. "Covering all unpaid wages should be the first priority. You do care about the working man, don't you?"

OUTCOME:
company directors make sure that they take their multimillion @@PLURALCUURRENCY@@ pay packet before declaring insolvency

OPTION 5
"Limited liability is the problematic phrase here," argues anti-capitalist campaigner Sue S. Sidal-Tendensee. "Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts, and maybe they'll be more financially cautious."

OUTCOME:
vagrants sometime have cardboard signs that read "please help, 45 million @@PL(CURRENCY)@@ in debt"


DRAFT 3:
TITLE:
Morally Bankrupt

VALIDITY:
Capitalism, Internet

DESCRIPTION:
Limited liability company 'On The Books' was one of the biggest online retailers based in @@NAME@@, diversifying from pre-packaged holidays into a broader retail market. However, a series of poor financial decisions led it into significant debt, and following a year of massive losses it has declared insolvency. With vast debts unpaid and limited assets to liquidate, clarification is being sought on the legal framework around which creditors should get first dibs.

OPTION 1
"The Treasury has to come first," asserts Revenue Director Penny Pinn-Sherman. "There's always unpaid tax bills to settle, and the public finances depend upon national interests being prioritised in these situations. We can then appoint Insolvency Practioners to figure out the rest, with less urgency."

OUTCOME:
taxmen are issued steel cap boots to kick you when you're down

OPTION 2
"Honestly, it's financially best to protect affiliated industry," proposes billionaire hotel owner Conrad Milton-Harriott. "Imagine a chain of unfulfilled invoices, then unemployment from cost-cutting downsizing, then small companies going under through cashflow failures. Start with the biggest creditors first, and maybe inject a little extra cash to help these big players thrive."

OUTCOME:
"Money for Nothing" is the official anthem of many a megacorporation

OPTION 3
"No, you have to pay back the smallest debts first!" pleads mum-of-three Donna Pinafore, who is out of pocket from a cancelled holiday. "The greater the number of debts you repay, the fewer people suffer."

OUTCOME:
supply companies submit two dozen invoices for twenty-four paperclips

OPTION 4
"Look, a lot of us worked the last months with our salaries 'deferred', to try to save the company," complains unemployed shelf-stacker Si Attica. "Unpaid wages should be the first priority."

OUTCOME:
company directors make sure that they take their multimillion @@PLURALCUURRENCY@@ pay packet before declaring insolvency

OPTION 5
"Limited liability is the problematic phrase here," argues anti-capitalist campaigner Sue S. Sidal-Tendensee. "Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts, and maybe they'll be more financially cautious."

OUTCOME:
vagrants sometime have cardboard signs that read "please help, 45 million @@PL(CURRENCY)@@ in debt"


DRAFT 2:
TITLE:
Morally Bankrupt

VALIDITY:
Capitalism, Internet

DESCRIPTION:
Limited liability company 'On The Books' was one of the biggest online retailers based in @@NAME@@, diversifying from pre-packaged holidays into a broader retail market. However, a series of poor financial decisions led it into significant debt, with the final nail in the coffin being an expensive and unsuccessful foray into Webflix-style streamed digital content. Now, following a year of massive losses it has declared insolvency. With vast debts unpaid and limited assets to liquidate, clarification is being sought on the legal framework around which creditors should get first dibs.


OPTION 1
"The Treasury has to come first," asserts Revenue Director Penny Pinn-Sherman. "There's always unpaid tax bills to settle, and the public finances depend upon national interests being prioritised in these situations. Take government's cut first, and then appoint Insolvency Practioners to sensibly oversee the remaining disbursements, with political expediency determining the order."

OUTCOME:
taxmen are issued steel cap boots to kick you when you're down


OPTION 2
"Honestly, it's financially best to protect affiliated industry," proposes billionaire hotel owner Conrad Milton-Harriott. "Imagine a chain of unfulfilled invoices, then unemployment from cost-cutting downsizing, then small companies going under through cashflow failures. You must always start with the biggest creditors, and then work down sequentially towards the smallest. When the money runs out, maybe add just enough from the government to keep companies afloat and to keep the economy strong. It's the best path to economic stability and regrowth."

OUTCOME:
"Money for Nothing" is the official anthem of many a megacorporation


OPTION 3
"No! You have to start with the little people, and pay back the smallest debts first!" pleads mum-of-three Donna Pinafore, who has been left out of pocket after booking a holiday at Eisnerworld theme park in Brancaland. "Individuals like me can least afford the loss... I mean, think of my poor kids! By the time I've saved enough to book this holiday again the oldest one will be in her twenties! I mean, what twenty-something your old wants to hang around a cartoon-themed park?"

OUTCOME:
supply companies submit two dozen invoices for twenty-four paperclips


OPTION 4
"Limited liability is the problematic phrase here," argues anti-capitalist campaigner Sue S. Sidal-Tendensee. "That capitalist mechanism is the cause of heartache here, and needs to go. Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts, and maybe they'll be more financially cautious."

OUTCOME:
vagrants sometime have cardboard signs that read "please help, 45 million @@PL(CURRENCY)@@ in debt"

DRAFT 1:
TITLE:
Morally Bankrupt

VALIDITY:
Capitalism, Internet

DESCRIPTION:
Limited liability company 'On The Books' was one of the biggest online retailers based in @@NAME@@, diversifying from pre-packaged holidays into a broader retail market. However, a foray into Webflix-style digital content streaming proved its downfall, with failure to gain a market share leading to massive losses and then to insolvency. With vast debts unpaid and limited assets to liquidate, clarification is being sought on the legal framework around which creditors get first dibs .


OPTION 1
"The Treasury has to come first," asserts Revenue Director Penny Pinn-Sherman. "There's always unpaid tax bills to settle, and the public finances depend upon national interests being prioritised in these situations. Take government's cut first, and then appoint Insolvency Practioners to sensibly oversee the remaining disbursements, with political expediency determining the order."

OUTCOME:
taxmen are issued steel cap boots to kick you when you're down


OPTION 2
"Honestly, it's financially best to protect affiliated industry," proposes billionaire hotel owner Conrad Milton-Harriott. "Imagine a chain of unfulfilled invoices, then unemployment from cost-cutting downsizing, then small companies going under through cashflow failures. You must always start with the biggest creditors, and then work down sequentially towards the smallest. When the money runs out, maybe add just enough from the government to keep companies afloat and to keep the economy strong. It's the best path to economic stability and regrowth."

OUTCOME:
"Money for Nothing" is the official anthem of many a megacorporation


OPTION 3
"No! You have to start with the little people, and pay back the smallest debts first!" pleads mum-of-three Donna Pinafore, who has been left out of pocket after booking a holiday at Eisnerworld theme park in Brancaland. "Individuals like me can least afford the loss... I mean, think of my poor kids! By the time I've saved enough to book this holiday again the oldest one will be in her twenties! I mean, what twenty-something your old wants to hang around a cartoon-themed park?"

OUTCOME:
supply companies submit two dozen invoices for twenty-four paperclips


OPTION 4
"Limited liability is the problematic phrase here," argues anti-capitalist campaigner Sue S. Sidal-Tendensee. "That capitalist mechanism is the cause of heartache here, and needs to go. Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts, and maybe they'll be more financially cautious."

OUTCOME:
vagrants sometime have cardboard signs that read "please help, 45 million @@PL(CURRENCY)@@ in debt"
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:44 am, edited 19 times in total.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:49 pm

If this place sells everything from holidays, to books, to brick-a-brack, etc. how in the fudge is it displaced by Netflix?


Also, option 4's effect line should talk about how this effects mum and dad shareholders, those who have very little say in how the company is run, beyond annual meetings.

If unlimited liability applied to public companies, and I owned, let's say 300 shares in Company X. Company X has over 450,0000,000 shares to distribute. If company X goes broke, it means personally liable for part of the debt. Option 4's effect should address that
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Why stylised as "rePublic"
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:25 am

Australian rePublic wrote:If this place sells everything from holidays, to books, to brick-a-brack, etc. how in the fudge is it displaced by Netflix?


It's not displaced by Netflix, rather it tries to compete in Netflix's arena, spends too much on trying to set up that service and purchase in content etc., makes massive losses from that venture, and loses the market's confidence. A death spiral kicks off and the company collapses.

It's absolutely feasible - it doesn't take much research to find out about streaming services that have failed and brought their companies down with them.

Also, option 4's effect line should talk about how this effects mum and dad shareholders, those who have very little say in how the company is run, beyond annual meetings.


The option is proposing that company directors be held liable, not shareholders.
It makes this clear in the sentence:

Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:40 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:If this place sells everything from holidays, to books, to brick-a-brack, etc. how in the fudge is it displaced by Netflix?


It's not displaced by Netflix, rather it tries to compete in Netflix's arena, spends too much on trying to set up that service and purchase in content etc., makes massive losses from that venture, and loses the market's confidence. A death spiral kicks off and the company collapses.

It's absolutely feasible - it doesn't take much research to find out about streaming services that have failed and brought their companies down with them.

Also, option 4's effect line should talk about how this effects mum and dad shareholders, those who have very little say in how the company is run, beyond annual meetings.


The option is proposing that company directors be held liable, not shareholders.
It makes this clear in the sentence:

Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts

There's an easy loophole to that too. The whole board just resigns a couple of months close to liquidation and replace themselves with some poor uniovolved suckers who now have to take the blame
Last edited by Australian rePublic on Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Disclaimer: In-Character posts are NOT a reflection of the real world Australian government, any government departments, or any Australian states or territories. I have no authority over real world government decisions. This nation does not reflect my views, as I am trying to unlock banners
From Sydney, NSW. From Greek ancestry. Orthodox Christian.
Why stylised as "rePublic"
16 Published Issues and 1 WA Resolution
Issue Ideas You Can Steal

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:29 am

Australian rePublic wrote:There's an easy loophole to that too. The whole board just resigns a couple of months close to liquidation and replace themselves with some poor uniovolved suckers who now have to take the blame


Sounds like a good follow up issue. :) Or even an alternate effect line, will think on that.

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Candensia
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Postby Candensia » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:22 am

While the situation is quite interesting, I've got some questions.

How could one of the largest online retailers in @@NAME@@ manage to bite off so much more than it could chew, that it ended up bottom-up? Surely this company, an Amazon or Ebay analogue, if I understand correctly, would be able to successfully take a loss without taking down the entire company. Moreover, the company was taking a risk; expanding into a new market, they surely would have taken steps to ensure their livelihood in the event their foray did not pan out.

Perhaps the company could be framed as already in financial trouble, and their choice to expand into digital-content streaming as more of an unsuccessful last ditch gamble to save themselves?
Last edited by Candensia on Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:21 pm

Candensia wrote:While the situation is quite interesting, I've got some questions.

How could one of the largest online retailers in @@NAME@@ manage to bite off so much more than it could chew, that it ended up bottom-up? Surely this company, an Amazon or Ebay analogue, if I understand correctly, would be able to successfully take a loss without taking down the entire company. Moreover, the company was taking a risk; expanding into a new market, they surely would have taken steps to ensure their livelihood in the event their foray did not pan out.

Perhaps the company could be framed as already in financial trouble, and their choice to expand into digital-content streaming as more of an unsuccessful last ditch gamble to save themselves?


I like that. Will work it into Draft 2.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Any thoughts on Draft 2, before I pop it into the Staff Issues oubliette?

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:37 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:OPTION 4
"Limited liability is the problematic phrase here," argues anti-capitalist campaigner Sue S. Sidal-Tendensee. "That capitalist mechanism is the cause of heartache here, and needs to go. Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts, and maybe they'll be more financially cautious."

Personally, I think option 4 is a bit extreme. I think it would completely collapse the economy if you got rid of limited liability corporations.

Perhaps an alternative option would be to make directors personally liable for debts incurred through insolvent trading?

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:44 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Take government's cut first, and then appoint Insolvency Practioners to sensibly oversee the remaining disbursements, with political expediency determining the order."

I'm not sure what you mean by 'political expediency'. After taxes, I don't see what other political interests could have a right to the company's assets.

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:14 pm

Also, this is just a personal preference, but I really want to see an option where employees have priority. Who would want to work for a corporation if they weren't sure that they would receive their next paycheck?

If you don't want 5 options, you could mush together options 2 and 3 to be all other unsecured creditors (paid in equal proportion)
Last edited by Fontenais on Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:23 am

Fontenais wrote:
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:OPTION 4
"Limited liability is the problematic phrase here," argues anti-capitalist campaigner Sue S. Sidal-Tendensee. "That capitalist mechanism is the cause of heartache here, and needs to go. Make it so that company directors are always personally liable for company debts, and maybe they'll be more financially cautious."

Personally, I think option 4 is a bit extreme. I think it would completely collapse the economy if you got rid of limited liability corporations.

Perhaps an alternative option would be to make directors personally liable for debts incurred through insolvent trading?


It's kind of meant to be extreme. In NS, we often put crazy radical options in the final position, a bit like when we declare that everyone is unable to eat anything but pasta, or use frontal lobotomies to "put women in their place", or make skateboarding the only way to travel.

The general assumption is that these measures eventually crumble and fail as society finds a way to circumvent, reverse or outright ignore the law of the land, but damage can occur along the way, so we assign suitably punitive stats. The intention would be for this option to be this sort of decision, which would indeed wreak havoc on the economy.

The character's name was meant to give some clue to that outcome, btw.
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:26 am

Fontenais wrote:
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Take government's cut first, and then appoint Insolvency Practioners to sensibly oversee the remaining disbursements, with political expediency determining the order."

I'm not sure what you mean by 'political expediency'. After taxes, I don't see what other political interests could have a right to the company's assets.


As in, granting the rebates first to those who matter most to you politically, like anyone likely to be a political donor, to people who need to be convinced to vote for you, or whatever.

You might be right that isn't very clear though, so I'll look at changing that for the next draft.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:27 am

Fontenais wrote:Also, this is just a personal preference, but I really want to see an option where employees have priority. Who would want to work for a corporation if they weren't sure that they would receive their next paycheck?

If you don't want 5 options, you could mush together options 2 and 3 to be all other unsecured creditors (paid in equal proportion)


Hmm, I could go to 5 if I shrink the existing options. Will think on it.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:47 am

Okay, gone to five options. It makes each one a little thinner, and perhaps loses some of the wit and character, but I think it may be worth it.

Will think on how to make existing options more amusing. Right now, it's just joke names and punchlines.

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Window Land
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Postby Window Land » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:06 am

You're missing a @@CURRENCYPLURAL@@ macro in the fourth effect line.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:50 am

Fixed, cheers.

Still searching for the extra funny. Not sure how to get it in though.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:46 am

Well, this one has become more relevant again in the UK, with travel agent Thomas Cook going under today.

Anyway, have tried to add a little funny back in.

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:10 am

I really like this, I think it's an interesting issue.
Just one minor point - I had to look up what 'cogitate' meant in Option 3 - maybe you could replace it with something simpler? (for the less erudite reader)
Edit: Also, personally I wouldn't sympathise with a wailing child - maybe the child could be giving Leader puppy-dog eyes?
Last edited by Fontenais on Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Anarchy

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:17 am

Fontenais wrote:I really like this, I think it's an interesting issue.
Just one minor point - I had to look up what 'cogitate' meant in Option 3 - maybe you could replace it with something simpler? (for the less erudite reader)
Edit: Also, personally I wouldn't sympathise with a wailing child - maybe the child could be giving Leader puppy-dog eyes?


Changed it to "for your consideration".

And I think the wailing child ought to stay, as there's a reason why this beleaguered mum is going grey. You're meant to sympathise for HER, not the child.

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:14 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:And I think the wailing child ought to stay, as there's a reason why this beleaguered mum is going grey. You're meant to sympathise for HER, not the child.

Sorry, my bad, that makes perfect sense
Edit: I think I must have been thinking of drafts 1 and 2 where Donna says 'think of my poor kids'
Last edited by Fontenais on Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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