Abbottabad, Pakistan. While many in the world, especially in the US, are celebrating the death of Al-Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden as a welcome news, it might turn out to be a very bad news for Pakistan. Authorities have confirmed that the Abbottabad mansion of Osama, reported to be worth 1 million USD, was mortgaged to many private and public banks in Pakistan, which now face almost a certain risk of default.
“Osama had taken loans worth billions of dollars from various banks by pledging his Abbottabad mansion as collateral,” Iqbal, an executive with Citibank Pakistan told Faking News, “Apart from that, he had various credit cards that he used to fund his own and possibly his organization’s expenses. I myself had sold him a Gold Card with his clean shaven photo and some fake name on it.”
Although Banks in Pakistan are not coming out in open like the Pakistani army over their association with Osama, sources inform that the financial institutions are having late night meetings to find out ways to save themselves from an impending financial crisis.
“We could face a severe cash crunch,” said an official of Habib Bank on conditions of anonymity, “We had thought that we could recover some cash by acquiring the Abbottabad mansion and turning it into a pilgrimage spot, but to our horror, we found out that at least a dozen other banks had the same security for loans they had issued independently to Osama.”
Sources say that the banks didn’t bother to check the details of the borrower (in this case, Osama) as his mortgage loan applications always had names of some “influential people in the establishment” as guarantors. This caused the credit rating of Osama to be upgraded to “triple A” status, with more banks queuing up to lend him money.
“Many of these banks had securitized the loans and sold it off in the market, which led to a real estate boom in Pakistan,” pointed out a market watcher, “Now the imminent default by Laden and destruction of his collateral can create domino effect and create similar scenes in Pakistan as was witnessed in the US some three years back.”
Sources further inform that Osama had never defaulted on his payments earlier as his guarantors enjoyed guaranteed cash-inflow through some foreign funding. But with Osama reported dead, the guarantors themselves are clueless.
“They can’t even claim for the 25 million US Dollars reward that US Government had announced for anyone helping catch Osama,” a banker rued.