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Around The World (Posted on 2003-03-20) Difficulty: 4 of 5
While walking in a park, one morning, I found a Hundred Rupee note on one of the park benches. I picked it up, noted the number and took it home.

In the afternoon the plumber called on me to collect his bill. As I had no other moey at home, I settled his account with the Hundred Rupee note that I had found.

Later I came to know that the plumber paid the note to his milkman to settle his monthly account , who paid it to his tailor for the garments he had made.

The tailor in turn used the money to buy an old sewing machine, from a woman who lives in my neighbourhood. This woman incidentally, had borrowed Hundred Rupees from me sometime back to buy some household appliance. She, remembering that she owed me a Hundred Rupees, came and paid the debt.

I recognized the note as the one that I had found on the park bench, and on careful examination, I discovered that the note was counterfeit.

How much was lost in the whole transaction and by whom ?

See The Solution Submitted by Ravi Raja    
Rating: 3.5556 (27 votes)

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Solution solution | Comment 5 of 131 |
Nothing was lost in the whole transaction, as a worthless piece of paper was found, changing no one’s net wealth. If we ignore the counterfeit note, as it has no value, and take the transactions in reverse chronological order, we see that the note has merely triggered the indirect payoff of the woman’s debt to the narrator.

Remembering that the woman owed the narrator 100 rupee’s, it got paid off as follows:

The woman gave the sewing machine worth 100 rupees to the tailor (considering that the 100-rupee note really wasn’t worth anything, so it wasn’t really sold). The tailor passed the value on to the milkman in the form of 100 rupees worth of garments.

The milkman passed the value on to the plumber by absolving his account of 100 rupees (as the chronology is reversed, this was done in anticipation, actually, as was all of these passings on of value).

And finally (initially, in real time) the plumber did 100 rupees worth of work for the narrator.

  Posted by Charlie on 2003-03-20 03:15:03
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