A SuBPRiMe CHRiSTMaS CaRoL
E-Bernank Scrooge lived all alone in an old house. The yard was very dark and scary that night and when Scrooge wanted to unlock the door, he had the feeling that he saw John Maynard Keyne’s face there.
This was rather spooky, but Scrooge was not frightened easily.
“Bah Munger,” he said, opened the door and walked in. He locked himself in, however, which he usually didn’t do. But then he felt safe again and sat down before the fire.
Suddenly, Scrooge heard a noise, deep down below, as if somebody was dragging a heavy chain. The noise came nearer and nearer, and then Scrooge saw a ghost coming right through the heavy door.
It was Keynes’ ghost, and his chains were long; they were made of cash-boxes, HP ink jet cartidges and heavy purses.
“Who are you?” said Scrooge
“In theory I am your PhD ghost partner, John Maynard Keynes.”
“But why do you come to me now?”
“I must wander through the world and I wear these chains because I was a naive old PhD fool in life.
I only cared about fanciful money printing theories but not about the people around me.
Now, I am here to warn you.
You still have a chance, E-Bernank.
Three spirits will come to you. Expect the first tomorrow, when the NYSE trading bell tolls open.”
When he had said these words, Keyne’s ghost disappeared; and the night became quiet again.
E-Bernank Scrooge went straight to bed, without undressing, and fell asleep immediately.
When E Bernank Scrooge awoke, it was still very foggy and extremely cold, and there was no noise of people on Wall Street.
Keynes’ ghost bothered him.
He didn’t know whether it was a dream or not. Then he remembered that a spirit should visit him at the opening NYSE bell.
So instead of having a Brazilian butt, head and back wax at the Federal Reserve barbershop, E-Bernank Scrooge decided to lie awake and wait to see what happens.
Suddenly, the NYSE opening bell struck. Light flashed up on his trading screen and a small ink stained hand drew back the curtains of his bed.
Then E-Bernank found himself face to face with the visitor. It was a strange figure – like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old decrepit Randian fool.
“Who, and what are you?” E-Bernank Scrooge asked the ghost.
“I am Maestro the Ghost of Busted Bubbles Past. Rise and come with me.”
The ghost took Scrooge back in time, to a place where E Bernank Scrooge studied as a young PhD candidate. There Scrooge could see his younger self playing foolish market equilibrium games with other delusional central banker wannabes and future bonehead Nobel Laureates.
They were cheerfully running around a cheap imported Christmas tree made in China; and although they were hopelessly naive in their theoretical assumptions, they had lots of geek fun.
The spirit also took E-Bernank Scrooge to a money printing factory where Scrooge was an apprentice.
Scrooge saw the merry Christmas Eve they spent on the printing presses with his boss Mr Fuzzidice and his family. There was food and music and dancing and everybody was happy.
Then the spirit took Scrooge to yet another place. Scrooge was older now. He was not alone, but sat by the side of a beautiful young girl. There were tears in her eyes.
“It is sad to see,” she said, softly. “that yet another moron has displaced me – the love of fools gold. Your heart was full of real gold once, but now …? I think it is full of QE crap. Fiat fraud begets fraud…swindle begets swindle…error begets error and the whole cycle soon becomes woebegotten.
May you be happy in the lunatic path of monetary expansion you have chosen.”
“Spirit,” said Scrooge, “show me no more. Take me home. Why do you torture me?”
“One shadow more,” said the ghost.
They were in another scene and place; a room, not very large or handsome, but full of comfort. There was a happy group celebrating Christmas with all their warmth and heartiness. Scrooge recognized his former girlfriend. She was married now and had children.
Sweetheart said her husband with a smile, “I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon. E-Bernank Scrooge it was. I passed his office window; and as it was not shut up, and he had a candle inside, I could see him there. His money printing plan to revive the economy is faltering miserably and there he sat alone. Quite alone in the world, I do believe.”
“Spirit,” said Scrooge in a broken voice, “Take me back! I cannot bear it any longer.”
He struggled with the ghost to take him back.
And finally Scrooge found himself in his own bed again. He was very exhausted and sank into a heavy sleep.
E-Bernank Scrooge woke up in the middle of a snore, just before the CNBC midday report. He sat up in his bed and waited for the second ghost to come.
And there it was – the Ghost of Never Ending Banksta Presents. It had a curly brown toupee, sparkling eyes and it wore a simple greenback robe with white fur. Its feet were bare as the theoretical justifications for it’s nauseating bloviations. It wore a holy bailout wreath and thick glasses.
“Didn’t I just see you” inquired Scrooge.
“Shut up and don’t be a wiseass if you know what’s good for you” replied the ghost.
The ghost took Scrooge to his former partner Hank Paulson’s house – a not too shabby poor little 12 bedroom Park Avenue penthouse. In the kitchen you could see Mrs Paulson screaming at the maids preparing Christmas bailout dinner. Her spawn were cheerfully running around playing hide and go swindle.
Then the door opened and Hank came in with Tiny Timmah upon his shoulders.
Tiny Timmah was Hank’s dumbest protege. The only government salaried employee in the family. He bore a little crutch and wore a noose around his neck.
“On our way home, Tiny Timmah told me that he hoped the people saw him in the Harvard-Soviet Club, because he was a very very very important government central planning employee.
It might be pleasant to them to remember on Christmas Day, who made Bankstas rich and stroked that blind choom chugging fool Obama to sleep.” Hank’s voice trembled when he said this.
Then the Christmas bailout dinner was ready, and everyone sat down at the table. As the Paulson’s were very very very very…very poor by Forbes billionaire standards, it was not much they had for Christmas bailout dinner.
But still everyone was joyful and you could feel that they all had the TARP Bailout Spirit in their hearts.
“A Merry Christmas to all Bankstas my dears! God bless them. Let the rest suck it up and cope!” said Hank.
“God bless Bankstas, each and every one of em!” said Tiny Timmah.
He sat very close to his mentor’s side upon his little stool. Hank held his little hand, as if he feared to lose him.
“Spirit,” said Scrooge, who felt sorry for the feckless moron, “tell me if Tiny Timmah will keep his job.”
“I see an empty Treasury Secretary seat,” replied the ghost, “and a noose with Timmah’s name embroidered on it. If these shadows don’t change in the future, the happy moron will get lynched and hung with his chestnuts roasted over a Main Street open fire.”
This made Scrooge very sad for a nano-moment, but the spirit went on and took Scrooge to his best friend Lloyd Blankfein’s penthouse at 15 Central Park West.
Lloyd and his slimy friends had a very cheerful party and played squidilious games like suck a buck, subpenny the client and schtup the Kraut banker.
E-Bernank Scrooge really enjoyed their celaphopodic party and wanted to stay for another while but in a second it all faded and Scrooge and the spirit were again on their travels.
They visited many homes in fraudclosure: they saw rich Wall Street financiers and Bankstas who were glad to have QE Infinity and wanted more in the form of QE IV; PIIGS in foreign lands who were close to bankrupt but saved by the ECB bailout clock, poor common people whose bank accounts shrunk smaller every day – all because of the spirit of QE+N…, can-kick-onomics and moron hazard.
Suddenly, E-Bernank Scrooge noticed something strange about the ghost. Two children-like figures were at the ghost’s feet – a boy and a girl. But, they looked old and dreadful, like little monsters.
Scrooge was shocked.
“Spirit, are they your creatures?” Scrooge asked.
“They are Wall Street’s creatures,” said the spirit “The boy is Want, The girl is Want More. Cherish them both, but most of all cherish this girl” said the spirit.
“Have they no place they can go?” asked Scrooge.
“There are no prisons for Bankstas just like there are no Chinese iPad workhouses for the unemployed?” the spirit turned on Scrooge with his own words.
The NYSE bell struck the close.
The Ghost of Neverending Banksta Presents disappeared.
And at the last stroke of the bell, Scrooge saw the third ghost coming towards him.
“Slowly and silently the ghost came nearer. It was very tall and wore a deep black piece of clothing, which covered its whole body and left nothing of it visible but one outstretched hand holding a stinking counterfeit Cohiba cigar stub.
Are you the Ghost of Crashes Yet to Come?” asked E-Bernank Scrooge, “I fear you more than any other spirit.”
The ghost did not say a word, and Scrooge was really scared.
They wandered through lower Manhattan past OWS stragglers at Zuccotti Park and Scrooge heard some men in Guy Fawkes masks talking about a Central Banksta who had jumped.
E-Bernank knew the men and wanted to find out, whom they were talking about. But the spirit moved on.
They next stopped in a swanky uptown area where many pinstriped thieves and liars lived. They had stolen things with them and made fun of the person who once owned those things.
“Ha, ha!” laughed a woman, “He threw everyones money out of the chopper when he was alive, to profit us even more when he was gone! Ha, ha, ha!”
After that, the ghost led Scrooge through streets that were familiar to him; and as they went along, E-Bernank Scrooge looked here and there to find himself, but nowhere was he to be seen.
They entered poor poor poor Hank Paulson’s penthouse and found the mother and the Paulson spawn browsing Zero Hedge.
Quiet. Very quiet. The noisy Paulsons were as still as statues.
When Hank came in, the children hurried to greet him.
Then two young Paulsens got upon his knees and laid their little cheeks against his face as if to say, “Don’t mind it, father. Don’t be sad.”
“You went to Maiden Lane today?” said his wife.
“Yes, my dear,” returned Hank. “I wish you could have gone. It would have you good to see how well guarded the place is.
But you’ll see it annually. I promised him that we would walk there every April Fools Day in his honor.
My little, little Timmah.” cried Hank. “My little captive moron.”
He broke down in tears. He couldn’t help it. If he could have helped it, he and his Banksta loving protege would have been farther apart perhaps than they were.
The ghost moved on and took E-Bernank Scrooge to Trinity Church graveyard.
The spirit stood among the graves and pointed down to one.
E-Bernank Scrooge slowly went towards it and following the ghost’s finger read upon the stone “The Great Asset bubbles of QE”.
“Spirit!” E-Bernank cried, “hear me. I am not the money printing PhD fool I was!
I will not be the Central Banksta I must have been so far! Why show me this if I am past all hope? Good Spirit, I will honour austerity in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall be within me. I will not ignore the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me that I may change my fate so I may adorn the cover of Time Magazine yet again!”
Full of fear, Scrooge caught the spirit’s hand. But the spirit suddenly changed – it shrunk and faded and finally turned into a giant fraudclosure sign post…
And the calendar said December 25, 2012….
“There is nothing Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.”–Samuel Johnson
To ALL Ye ZeRo HeDGeRS,
HAVE A HAPPY AND MERRY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON!