You have two cows. They produce 1.2 tons of methane gas per day. After a hefty donation to the re-election campaign of your local representative, the government gives you enough emission permits for six cows. You sell three permits, buy another cow, and apply for a European Commission grant to build a methane-gas power station.
You have two cows. You pledge one of them to me as collateral in a swap for some of my pigs. I pledge the cow to my neighbor as collateral in a swap for some of his sheep. He pledges the cow to his cousin as collateral in a swap for some of his cousin’s goats. Better pray the livestock market doesn’t crash and we have to try and round up that cow.
Paul Kedrosky’s take on venture capitalists,
You have two cows. One is male, and one is female. Mike Moritz says he loves both cows and will buy 35% of the pair for $100. After the deal is signed he tells you to kill your female cow, and then says your male cow must produce a baby cow within three months or you’re fired. Three months and one day later he fires you, takes your remaining cow, and transfers it into a milking machine company which then goes public on Nasdaq, earning him $10,000,000. Citing a lactation preference in the term sheet, however, he keeps all but $0.10 of the proceeds. “No hard feelings,” he says, “and be sure to come back the next time you have cows.”