The Fisherman & the Banker

My thanks to Mr. Sun for sharing this story with me. I told this story all over town last week. Enjoy.

“The Fisherman & the Banker” or “How much is enough?”

Somewhere along the Pacific coast, a New York banking executive sat in a little seaside cafe in a small Mexican fishing town. With his newspaper in hand, he noticed a little skiff coming into shore. He was intrigued and approached the man bringing in his tiny boat. The fisherman had with him three of the biggest and most beautiful fish the banker had ever seen. Quite impressed, the banker asked the fisherman “Was it hard to catch those fish?”

‘No senor’ was the reply.

‘Did it take you long to catch them?’ asked the banker.

‘No senor.’

‘Why don’t you catch more fish?’

‘I have enough for my family’s needs’ responded the fisherman.

Surprised by his answer, the banker asked ‘What do you do with the rest of your time?’

The fisherman described a typical day, ‘Well senor, I sleep late. I play with my children then I go out a few hours in the boat. I return for a good lunch and a siesta with my wife. I again spend time with my children and when the sun goes down I walk into town, have a few drinks and play cards with my amigos.’

The banker felt that he could help the young fisherman with his years of experience; ‘I’m a Harvard MBA and I can help you. First of all, you need to spend more time in the boat so you can catch more fish. Then with the profits you can buy a bigger boat and get more fish faster.’

‘Wonderful senor, then what?’ asked the fisherman.

‘Then you hire a village boy to help you with our ever growing catch. Then you buy a second boat and of course you’ll need a crew to man that boat.’

‘Wonderful senor, then what?’ asked the fisherman.

‘Eventually you get enough boats to have a fleet and control most of the fishing in the area. Then you’re big enough to cut out the middleman and go directly to the canner. After that you’ll buy out the canner and have to move to Mexico City and run operations from there.’

‘Wonderful senor, then what?’ asked the fisherman.

‘Then you try to enter international markets and will have to move to New York City. The glory is that when the time is just right, you’ll go public and make millions!’

‘How long will this take senor?’ asked the bewildered fisherman.

‘Maybe 30-40 years.’ explained the banker.

‘What will happen then senor?’ asked the fisherman.

‘That’s the best part. You’ll retire to a quiet Pacific fishing town, where you’ll sleep late, play with your kids, enjoy an afternoon siesta with your wife and in the evening have a few drinks and play cards with your amigos.’


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mariah
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 15:54:34

    What about fishing for just an extra half hour each day to pay for catastrophe insurance in case one of the kids gets seriously ill?


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