Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Predicting the next financial crisis

This has put me in a silly mood:

European regulators to publish doomsday scenarios for banks
European banking supervisors are tomorrow expected to try to assuage concerns that their stress tests have not been tough enough, by publishing details of the types of calamities banks have been asked to withstand.

I can exclusively reveal that these scenarios include:

  • An asteroid heading for Earth is blown up by Bruce Willis, but all the small chunks just happen to land on the banks.

  • A giant mutant lizard besieges the Santander head office after his mortgage application is declined.

  • A plague of the living dead ruins the actuarial projections on which pension funds are based; unable to afford the potentially eternal payments, they collapse.

  • Staff at the credit-rating agencies responsible for grading sub-prime-mortgage-backed securities finally notice that their keyboards have letters other than ‘A’.

  • Derren Brown snaps his fingers and we all remember that money is an illusion.

  • Hapless subcontractors at HSBC branches accidentally fill the staff vending machines with money and the cashpoints with snacks.

  • President Sarah Palin.

  • The euro breaks up, and the public bulk-buy Sellotape to stick the notes back together again. Higher demand makes the price of Sellotape rocket, leading to a surge in the number of gnomes employed in the tape mines. However, the now-overcrowded working conditions cause a series of industrial accidents, sparking civil unrest, government intervention and the bankruptcy of Sellotape plc. The resultant continent-wide tape shortage provokes sanctions and ultimately war.

  • The traders’ braces snap and their trousers fall down just as the vicar is about to come round for tea.

  • Bank TV ads finally cause a series of murderous rampages; victims’ relatives sue for compensation on the grounds that where there’s blame, there’s a claim.

  • Somewhere, a small child loses faith in the fundamental goodness of the finance industry.

But I’m sure there are other potential calamities…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown becomes a futures sales person.

Or he is employed to look into the future for further hiccups.