If laughter is the best medicine then investors who lost money as a result of turmoil in the US sub-prime market may take solace from a parody out of the United Kingdom.
In a week when US Citigroup chief Charles Prince stepped aside after steering the company to an $11 billion loss from the sector yet managed to pocket just under US$100 million in the process – what else can investors do but laugh?
The week before the now ex-head of Merrill Lynch did likewise when he walked away from multi billion dollar losses for his group with US$161 million in his pocket.
The longstanding satirical team of John Bird and John Fortune, also known as The Two Johns, have a shot at the greed and questionable intelligence of the world’s investment professionals.
Sentiment they say, is when…
“Things are going along nice and normal when suddenly out of the blue one of these sharp and very sophisticated people (investment professionals) says ‘Oh my god something awful is going to happen!!’”
“Err, shall I jump out of the window…
“Exactly yes, let’s all jump out of the window…”
“Sell, sell, sell.”
“And then a few days later this same sophisticated person says you know I think things are going rather well…. we’re rich… buy, buy, buy…
When one of the Johns offers the question:
“…Shouldn’t you have seen this (the sub-prime crisis) coming?”
The other retorts:
“Well, it is true, we didn’t actually foresee it in the strict sense of the word.”
“…Or in any sense of the word.”
“We didn’t foresee it but when it happened we did notice it, which is almost as good isn’t it?”
Watch it for yourself but a great piece of satire.
“We all felt deeply embarrassed, I mean I hardly dared take my Ferrari in for a service yesterday.”
“What are you going to do?”
“What can I do about it the bloody thing needs a service, I’ve only got two Ferraris.”