Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Transferring debt to those beyond the grave

Or debt transferral between us and the after-life.
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Hmm, by the simple expedient of collecting all the CDO notes and duff loan certs, soaking them in water, and compressing them into discs it should be possible to place them over the eyes of the deceased.

In this way, the afterlife becomes impoverished, not us.

Would also work as deterrent for PRC, get a load of renegade Chinese to threaten to burn a stockpile of such things. I suggest removing the nukes from a submarine, and just have them sneaking about with piles of notes, each zippo lighter would need two keys to operate it.

Would make a good disaster film, K-19, the impoverished ancestor maker..

Could this perhaps explain the 20 container-load of Oiija boards recently ordered by HMRC?

NB Ironically Business:Financial:stock market is next to Business:Funeral on the categories list....

not_morrison_rm, Oct 28 2014

BBC News (2006) Britain Pays off WWI debt to USA and Canada http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6215847.stm
Interestingly, much of the debts owing after WWI were written-off during the great depression of the 20's [zen_tom, Oct 28 2014]

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       I don't think you've grasped the difference between the instrument issuer and the instrument holder, [nmrm].   

       If you've got the certificate (or, more likely, the record of title in a database somewhere), and you destroy it (or transpose it into a more aetherial plane), then you're not saying "I no longer owe [whatever it is]"; you're saying "I am no longer owed [etc.]".   

       The only time it would be in the interest of the holders of these things to give them to the dead would be when the dead made a credible offer to pay for them. When that happens, it's best to give the dead whatever they ask for until you've had time to line up the head shot.
pertinax, Oct 28 2014
  

       Hmm, I'll break out the iOuija board and see what's their initial offer...better not to start at the hot place, they have all the lawyers...   

       //the instrument issuer and the instrument holder,   

       Oddly redolent of er...how can I put it, well, no point in beating about the bush, I mean ********
not_morrison_rm, Oct 28 2014
  

       // Transferring debt to those beyond the grave //   

       So, just a slight variation of the existing mechanisms for transferring debt to those as yet unborn ?
8th of 7, Oct 28 2014
  

       And you've found your career niche...
normzone, Oct 28 2014
  

       //transferring debt to those as yet unborn ?//   

       Baked. Japanese multi-generation mortgages.
bs0u0155, Oct 28 2014
  

       //transferring debt to those as yet unborn ?// sp. Government Borrowing   

       Case in point (for people from the past is that) for example, we (the UK) only finally got around to paying off WWII sometime in 2006.   

       Come the invention of the time machine, allowing debt to be paid off by the (now) dead, finance will become a great deal more complicated.
zen_tom, Oct 28 2014
  

       //we (the UK) only finally got around to paying off WWII sometime in 2006//   

       Any coincidence that the US economy tanked months after they stopped getting the tank payments? Maybe we should get some cash back? "Thanks for all those P51s, much appreciated, even if we did need to sort out the noisy bit at the front. The Sherman however, was, in retrospect, and you know this, crap. Money back please. Also, when are we getting the royalty payments for the magnetrons, antibiotics, jet engines and the like?"
bs0u0155, Oct 28 2014
  

       I keep reading this as: Transferring doubt to those beyond the grave.
xenzag, Oct 28 2014
  

       No hang on, there might be something here: Executries could voluntarily take on debt obligations in order to reduce the inheritance tax burden on the estate. Everyone wins: the estate pays less tax, so more cash in the economy, the creditor gets their debt repaid for value (or something like it) and the debtor lives to rack up debt another day. You could run a matchmaking brokerage, debts for deads.   

       Of course, yeah, there's an effective netting in real life between the estate of parent and the overdraft of dissolute heir, but what I'm proposing is a tax break of sorts and should be something that the executors could take up wrt any debts, rather than debts of family members (though that'd work, too).
calum, Oct 28 2014
  

       // magnetrons, antibiotics, jet engines //   

       "… and you still owe us the subsistence on all those Eastern European emigre Jews we rescued, you know, the ones that built the atom bomb for you ? And we even loaned you Monty in December 1944 when you made a complete pig's breakfast of the Ardennes campaign, and you still haven't said thankyou. And Percy Hobart's DD tanks … not our fault they sank off Omaha, you should have bothered to read the instructions, same as you should have done with the Mulberry harbour we gave you the kit for …"
8th of 7, Oct 28 2014
  

       //Come the invention of the time machine, allowing debt to be paid off by the (now) dead, finance will become a great deal more complicated.//

I assume, z_t, that you are envisioning a scenario whereby you go back in time, borrow some dosh & leave your ancestors to pay off the debt before you are born?

If so, then it sounds a bit chancy to me as any ancestor with a grain of common sense will simply take out a massive long-term loan of their own, pay back the outstanding debt & pocket the rest. Leaving you to pay off an even bigger debt than if you'd just borrowed the money the normal way in the first place.

In fact, thinking about it, once they become aware of time travelling debtors, they are likely to do that anyway. Your only defence would be to take up permanent residence in their past.

I then envisage an ongoing scenario of mass migration to the past in order to avoid inherited debt, with each generation retreating further & further into history.

Some of the more radical debt deniers might go so far back into the past that, once they have hunted the dinosaurs to extinction, they will have to reinvent agriculture & civilisation from scratch again or go extinct themselves. Thus establishing a sound basis for further borrowing.
DrBob, Oct 28 2014
  

       Ah, but time travel into the past with a priori knowledge of outcomes (wars, boom/bust etc.) would allow the canny investor to clean up, before transferring their well-gotten gains into something durable, i.e. land titles.   

       In the 18th century, a hovel on the outskirts of Central London was probably quite affordable. By the 21st century, that same plot of land, just big enough to park a Bentley, has an annual rent exceeding the Gross Domestic Product of Costa Rica.
8th of 7, Oct 29 2014
  
      
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