The more I think about the relative positions of the two parties negotiating the auto industry bailout the more I am reminded of one of my favorite anecdotes of all time, from the 6th Century Chinese philosopher Shih Teng.

A wealthy man drowned in the Wei River and his corpse floated onto the property of a peasant farmer. The farmer demanded a large sum of money to return the body. The deceased's family sought Teng's advice and he told them, "Wait. No other family will pay for the body."

After the corpse lay in on the farmer's property for several days it grew quite unpleasant. He grew worried, and he also asked Teng for advice. "Wait," Teng said, "From no one else can they obtain the body."