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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Puns, at a time when humor is necessary

According to Ed Baker, publisher of Yachting magazine, people with mere money are having problems with the meltdown in the market, but people with wealth couldn't care less. Marianne Richards, who manages super-yachts in the Antibes, says, "There might be a tiny bit of 'Oops, my shares have just dropped, I shouldn't.'" But people with real money get over it fast. "They might feel a bit guilty and say, 'I can't buy that today, I'll see what the stockmarket does' - but they'll call the next day."

And what do they call for? According to an article in the Guardian, written by Angelique Chrisafis, and repeated in today's Auckland Sunday Star-Times, people are buying super-super-super yachts like never before. While Capitol Hill, not to mention most of the world, was panicking about sub-primes and the credit crunch, last weekend's Monaco Yacht Show proved that the mega-rich have never been richer. Some of the floating palaces they have been buying resemble cruise liners -- cruise liners costing up to $400 million, equipped like fortresses, because the prospect of piracy is almost as worrying for these merchant barons as the possibility of foreclosure is for ordinary people.

All we ordinary people can do is shake our heads and laugh, just as the human race has been doing for perhaps 700 million years. And here is a sampling of what is flying about the internet, leavened with puns:

From the City of London:
"What is the difference between a pigeon and a merchant banker?"
"A pigeon can still put a deposit on a Ferrari."

If you had purchased £1000 of Northern Rock shares one year ago they would now be worth £4.95; with HBOS, earlier this week your £1000 would have been worth £16.50; £1000 invested in XL Leisure would now be worth less than £5; but if you bought £1000 worth of Tennents Lager one year ago, drank it all, then took the empty cans to an aluminium re-cycling plant, you would get £214. So based on the above statistics the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and re-cycle.

The puns come from the Japanese banking industry:

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded.
Sumo Bank has gone belly up.
Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.
Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.
Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks whilst Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.
Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal

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