Curious Little Leo


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“Curious little Leo” is a children’s book about money, which is created by a unique campaign with the collaboration of future bankers and future clients. Read more about the Next Generation Banking campaign

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Curious Little Leo

  2. 2. © 2013 ING BANK N.V.This publication was realised by:Concept: ENERGIZE+ Amsterdam, Wenka Booij (ING Bank)Authors: Jesse Ridder, Jurriaan van Bokhoven & all the contributors of theNext Generation Banking challengeEditor: Mariska HammersteinIllustrations: Rhonald Blommestijn (Artbox)Art direction: Jurriaan van Bokhoven, Jesse RidderLay-out: Jurriaan van Bokhoven, Martijn de Vries (Studio Doen)Production: Annemarie Neef, Paul KoolePrinted by: Studio DoenFirst print.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted inany form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy or anystorage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
  3. 3. Dear reader, young or old,This book is the result of a unique collaboration between future bankers andfuture clients. We hope that it may inspire you to always stay curious.Enjoy.Koos TimmermansVice-chairman of ING Bank
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  5. 5. Leo is 9 years old. He is a very creative boy who lovesto draw. One day Leo got a great idea. “I’m goingto make my own money!” he said. So he grabbed hisbest coloured pencils and started drawing the mostprecious banknote ever made. It was green, yellow,and pink. Leo used only two numbers: the 1 and the 0.He started with the one and then covered the wholepaper with zeroes. Now his banknote was worth onehundred billion million gazillion euros, and Leo could buyanything he wanted. To keep this valuable money safe,he decided to go to Mr Bank.5
  6. 6. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” asked Mr Bank. His voicesounded like a hundred voices put together. And with the sound of a thousandbuzzing bees, all of Mr Bank’s cameras suddenly turned towards Leo!“I’m Leo, and I have very precious money I want tokeep safe!” said Leo. He stuck out his tongue andmade funny faces at Mr Bank’s cameras.Mr Bank smiled, even though he didn’t have a mouth. “I’m afraid I can’taccept that money, little Leo. Nobody will be able to pay with money you’vecreated yourself.”Not only was Leo very creative, he was also quite curious.He looked up at Mr Bank and he asked him a question.A good question. The best question.The best question in the history of all questions ever asked:“Open your vault, Mr Bank!” called Leo.7
  7. 7. Mr Bank stayed quiet for a while. And a while longer. And after havingthought about Leo’s question very long and hard, he finally answered:“Well, little Leo, you simply can’t pay with money you’ve created yourself.But if someone really likes it, he may want to buy it from you. But then, itwouldn’t be called money. It would be called a piece of art. And a piece ofart is worth whatever someone wants to pay for it. You could say it’s worthten euros. And someone else could say it’s worth ten cents. People pay withreal money, because everybody knows what that money is worth. That’sbecause money is a very, very good agreement. An agreement everybodypromised to keep.”“That’s great!” said Leo. “I hereby promise that mymoney is worth more than all the money in the world!So everybody can buy everything with it!”9
  8. 8. And in return for their gold, I gave them a piece of paper. So everybodystarted using my pieces of paper to pay for things. Because those pieces ofpaper had value that was related to gold. Those pieces of paper we now callmoney. Everybody trusts this money because people know it has real value.”“So is this what we need banks for?”asked Leo. “To create money?”“No, I don’t create paper money anymore, Leo. These days money iscreated by one very special bank, that only works for the government,”Mr Bank explained. “What I do now is fix puzzles. The puzzle of peoplewho have money and people who need money. When people bring me theirmoney, I keep it safe for them in my big vault. But instead of letting all thatmoney just sit, I lend some of it to people who really need it. Becausesometimes people have a dream and they need money to make that dreamcome true.”Mr Bank shook his head. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, Leo.Money has to be something of real value. Let me explain…”“A long time ago, people didn’t use money. They just traded things. Fourloaves of bread for a chicken. A cow for some land. Or ten tomatoes fortwenty potatoes. But that got confusing. People weren’t always happy withwhat they got in return. And taking your cow to the store wasn’t very handy.So people started using pieces of gold to pay for things. Because gold isvery beautiful and shiny and most of all… very precious. It’s preciousbecause there isn’t all that much gold in the world. And the less we have ofsomething, the more it’s worth.”“Then my parents are very rich!”yelled Leo. “Because our dog Maxis a real Golden Retriever!”Mr Bank smiled. “Well, I don’t think Max wouldlike to live in my big vault. There’s only gold in there.The gold that people brought to me, to keep it safe.10
  9. 9. Mr Bank sat down and cleared his throat. He had noticed that his voicesounded like a hundred voices put together. That is not a very pleasantstorytelling voice. So after clearing his throat, he said in a single voice:“Imagine you really like birds. You want to make special birdhousesand sell them. Not just to your parents, but also to your grandparents,neighbours, and teachers. Then what do you need? You need a hammer,a saw, wood and some nails. But you don’t have any of those things yet.So you’ll need money to buy them. That’s where I can help! Because I havea lot of money in my vault that I can lend you. So you can start makingyour birdhouses.”“Then, after a couple of days of hard work, your birdhouses are ready.You can start selling them to your parents, grandparents, neighbours, andteachers. And guess what Leo, you just made some real money! And with allthe money you just earned, you can pay back what you borrowed from me.”“Great!” said Leo. “But I don’t really want to makebirdhouses. Could you just lend me one hundred billionmillion gazillion euros, so I can buy whatever I wantfor the rest of my life? Let’s see, I’m going to buy abrand new bicycle….. a giant TV…. a game console… ahouse full of cookies….”Mr Bank interrupted him. “Wait a second, Leo. Lending money isn’t free.It actually costs you money. Not only do you have to pay me back, you alsohave to pay me something extra.”12
  10. 10. “It’s like a thank-you,” Mr Bank explained. “Let’s say your mother wants to makecookies one day. She’s got all the ingredients she needs, except for sugar. So sheborrows a cup of sugar from the neighbours. She promises to return the cup ofsugar later. And when the cookies are ready, she gives them a cup of sugar andsome of the cookies. In other words, she borrowed something, and she gave itback with something extra. That’s what we call ‘interest’. Pretty interesting, isn’t it?”Mr Bank started shaking with laughter. “Funny joke, if I may say so myself.”When Mr Bank noticed that Leo didn’t understand his joke he got serious again.“Interest is the money I earn for lending you money. And do you remember that allthis money actually belonged to other people? The people who put it into my vault?Well, I also pay them a part of that interest. This way, everybody earns money!”“Why isn’t it enough thatI just pay you back?” asked Leo.13
  11. 11. “You mean to tell me that if I put money into yourvault, I would also get something extra?”“That’s right, Leo! That’s what happens when people bring me theirmoney,” said Mr Bank. Leo wanted to make sure he understood.“You are saying that there are people that bring youmoney. And there are people that borrow money, sothey can do things to make money themselves. Thenwhy are there still poor countries?” he asked. “Yousaid you would fix the puzzle of people who havemoney, and people who need money. And by fixingthat puzzle, everybody earns more money. So whydon’t you do that for the poor countries as well?”You see, a lot of people already give to poor countries. They give thingslike food, medicine and money. But there’s an old saying that goes:‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish andyou feed him for a lifetime.’ So it would be a lot better if the people inthese countries learned how to earn money themselves. I do my bestto help groups who lend small amounts of money to the people there,so they can start their own small businesses. And sometimes I also givemoney to help children in these countries.15
  12. 12. This gave Leo a wonderful idea:“You know what I’m going to do, Mr Bank? I’m goingto start a business myself! I’m going to draw lotsof paper money. And then I’m going to sell thosedrawings to my parents, grandparents, neighbours,and my teachers. And then, when I have earned enoughmoney, I’m going to travel to the poor countries.I’ll teach the people how to make money for themselves!”Mr Bank was very proud of what he just heard. “You inspire me, Mr Leo. Youhave wonderful ideas. So let me help you. Will you sell me that banknoteyou created yourself? It would be an honour to be your first customer.” Leohappily sold Mr Bank his homemade money and said goodbye. And whatdid he do with the real money he just earned?16
  13. 13. He bought himself a beautiful new colouring set!18
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  15. 15. Thanks Noah, Nia, Bobby, LouLou andLane for your inspiring questions.And to all the contributors for yourinspiring answers!scan this QR code to see the video
  16. 16. Adrian AlexeAdrian Pop AE RehmanAgnieszka PiaseckaAizaz JabbarAlin Labau Alina AxenciucAmr HefnyAna Maria GhicaAna-Maria Simona WoghAnca MitroiAndrás SzabóAndreea Elena GalbinasulAndrei BogdanAndrei Risto Andrés González CórdobaAnke van OsAnne Mariel CabaleAnton MiklowiczAntonio AlagnaAntonio GianninoAnum Ali Arif ShaikAssya-Beatrice IvanovaBernardo Santos BetleyBobby MirautaBright King ChukwuBruno GorgaCarmen Alboi-SandruCata SimaCatalin ZabavaChitan AdrianChristina Pinzari Constantin MârzaCornelis ValentijnCris HuertasCristian StefanDan Catalin DumitrescuDancho BarrientoDaniel DebieDanny Jasperse David Panamá Eduard BotesEla CarabellaElisa CabuttoEric Lai Eskor JohnEstée HakEzra HortensiusFabian AlberFaruk YasaFilip Coenen Florin VisaFrancesco MorinoFrancesco S. CoronasFreemarket Freedomfighter Funmilayo Mide-AjalaGabriela Vasilescu Gellert LapkaGregory MoulinetHimanshu Yadav Iulian Stefan TurtaruJan Ka´zmierczak Joao AssisJolanta HoseckaJoris BerckmansJose Arregui José Nicodemos Maia NetoJoseph PyunghuaKevin ToshKristof Beckers Krzysiek DudzicLoes van GemertLoganathan Anandan Lu KeLuis Almenar Pizcueta Maciej WujciówMaciek ZiolkowskiMahmoud AbduoMargaret Wanjiru Maina Maria AlexandraMaria AsseyMarigona GashiMarkaveli Shakur Marton Bod Massimiliano SerraiottoMauro Alexis Battellini May XI Michał Chełmowski Miguel Voigt Miklos Norbert Milanko KunaMuntean NorbertNambasa JoyceNatasa JevtovicNati Velasquez LoNicolas SadeckNicu DorobantuNina ChengOana-Maria Budu Olivier HubertPaweł BudrewiczPetre LazˇarPrashant NayakRicardo AzevedoRicardo DijkhofRj ALeeRob SchepensSami Kantaoui JeghamSandu LunguSarah Peters Saskia van den BergSebastian Sanchez DeuerSergi Fernández Serhej Turiashvili Shoaib KhaleeliSilvan BanuSsempiira JacobStefan Buitrago Stefan HudiciStefan-Radu AlexeStéphane RollandSulayman HussainTayfun UrsavasTeo Dumitrescu Tomasz SzlazakTommaso Sorchiotti Tudor IonUlfie KareBear Umang RathiUroš Vuˇckovi´cVadim MuraVille WalleniusYasmin YunesYasser Al Romany YunisMany thanks for your inspiring contributions:If you contributed to the project but don’t see your name here, we truly apologize. Your submission is still very much appreciated.26
  17. 17. Many thanks for your insightful articles:Lucy KellawayFinancial TimesRead article: Kara Tan BhalaSeven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and EthicsRead article: thanks for your support:AiesecAndreas Sung UnstadCheck:!27