Burning Down the House

Once upon a time, a few boys whose families owned the biggest lemon groves in town got together and opened up a lemonade stand. It was a very hot summer, so they sold an enormous amount of ice-cold lemonade. Since they controlled the supply of lemons, they were able to quickly raise prices from 10 cents per glass to as much as $1.50. Their customers didn’t mind as they could afford 1.50, it was excellent lemonade, and there were no alternatives. They like it so much, in fact, they invested $2 trillion in shares of the stand.

One day a freak storm hit town, and the temperature dropped from 95 to 25 degrees in a matter of hours. The weatherman said it could last for months. Not many people were interested in ice-cold lemonade, even though the boys frantically dropped their prices. They even tried cutting back on the amount of lemonade they made. For some reason, this had no effect on sales, and prices continued to drop. A few boys split away from the group and tried selling cheaper lemonade on their own, but this further depressed prices. Soon, the lemonade stand went out of business. The end.

And that, boys and girls, is how OPEC came to be in their current predicament.

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