The making of new reality television show "Banker Island" has been cancelled after three days, when the contestants ran out of food and requested help. The show put eight banking executives on a desert island where they should have had enough resources to fend for themselves for three weeks. Hidden cameras were placed throughout the island, and attached to the bankers themselves to film the action.
The bankers started well. On their first day on the island they decided that their priority would be to create a new currency for it. After a couple of hours discussion they decided to name it the Strauss-Khan after a hero of theirs. The currency was to be imaginary and not based on any tangible asset, and Stuart, a former accountant, was tasked with the responsibility of measuring how much money each contestant had. Having nothing else to write with, he wrote each account's details in the sand on the beach.
After a long day's trading, one of the bankers, Geoff, claimed to have leveraged his investments carefully enough to be able to buy a ship to get them all off the island. Then the bankers realised that it was beginning to get dark and they needed to find some shelter.
One enterpreneuring contestant, Julian, had constructed a rudimentary hut out of branches and leaves. As it was the only shelter on the island, he decided he should auction the half-built hut to his fellow contestants. "It's a beautiful, exclusive, beach-front property," he said, and then promised the successful bidder that he could offer them a very generous mortgage rate, provided he received a deposit of at least 5%.
Geoff bought the property, but then didn't sleep in it, saying he would keep it as an investment. The bankers all slept on the beach, and as the weather was mild it was not too unpleasant.
The following morning, Ben made an announcement to the others. He had been rationing the emergency food, and said that now it was critically low. The others would have to buy it off him at a very high price. This caused some upset, but the bankers agreed to pay as they were used to paying ridiculous prices for meals. Dick offered to buy some food and put it into a mutual investment fund, where it would hopefully accumulate enough interest to feed everyone. However, the others weren't convinced by this plan.
At this time, the bankers agreed that they were in a bit of a pickle, as food was low and they did not know how to find any more. Timothy revealed that he had been given a satellite phone at the start of the week to call for help. However, the others persuaded him not to use it, and decided that with a telephone monopoly they could set up a successful telecoms company for everyone to invest their money into. This kicked off a remarkable day's trading, during which Strauss Khan Telecoms briefly became the richest company on the planet.
That evening, Ben gave them all a small amount of food and promised that food was still critically low. Overhead though, a storm was brewing, literally.
The next morning, when they awoke tired and hungry, high winds and rain had ruined Geoff's hut. Not only that, but Stuart's accounts scratched in the sand had been washed away. The bankers also discovered that Ben had been lying about how much food was left in order to sell it for a larger profit. The confidence also dropped out of the telecoms company and its shares were almost worthless.
The bankers realised that they were all heavily in debt and that they had to telephone for a bailout. As soon as they had finished breakfast, they phoned the programme makers and the show was ended.
After the ordeal was over, one of the bankers said that he was glad to be back at work. "It's a madhouse out there," he said. "It feels so much better to be here in the real financial world where things are under control."