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Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced
to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around,
went out to the forest and started catching them. The man
bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish,
the villagers stopped their effort.

He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20
each. 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 increased to $25 each
and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort
to even find a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50
each! However, since he had to go to the city on some
business, his assistant would buy 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
already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when
the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for
$50 each.*

The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all
the monkeys for 700 billion dollars. They never saw the
man or his assistant again.
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plural

May 2009

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