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Everything about the financial crisis need not be depressing. People are finding humour in the middle of the stocks meltdown, although punters who have burnt their fingers and much more would find it rude.
Mobile phones are abuzz with funny SMSs doing the rounds about the financial storm and the stocks crash.
Consider this SMS that goes: 'Markets are set to regain 20,000 mark... (but only if) Sensex, Nikkei and Hang Seng are put together at 5,000 points each, NYSE Composite at 1,000 points, Dow Jones Industrial Average at 3,500 and Nasdaq at 500 points.'
In the real world, the Sensex is still above 10,000 point mark, but has nearly halved from its record high level seen early this year, DJIA has dipped to near 8,450, Nikkei is trading near its 20 year low at over 8,000 points.
There are also jokes online like 'Black Mondays used to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Now they are coming along more regularly than Delhi Metro trains.'
Another SMS doing the rounds says: 'Respected Sensex Sir passed away on October 10, 2008, after not keeping well for nine months. The last rituals would be conducted at Lehman Brothers' place.'
Another talks about the companies' balance sheets: 'Assets are written on the left and liabilities on the right side. But, there is nothing left on the right and nothing is right on the left.'
The market value of all the listed companies in India has nearly halved to about Rs 36.5 trillion from the level seen about nine months ago on January 10, the date when Sensex had scaled its record high of 21,206.77 points.
Another joke doing the rounds says that Raj Thackeray is ready to allow non-Mumbaikars to stay in the city, but it would be mandatory for them to invest in the stock market.
There are also some other jokes with political flavour: 'Bankrupt allowed to return to their native place without ticket, says Railway Minister Lalu Prasad'; 'Bankrupt to be given imported wheat free on ration: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar'; 'Stock market losses to be treated as tax deducted at source: Finance Minister P Chidambaram.'
There are also SMSs like 'Blockbuster Saare Zameen Par (Everyone bites the dust) enters into 10th straight month at BSE and NSE multiplexes.'
Another one says: 'When the Sensex was at 21,000, the stock of a single real estate company was ruling close to Rs 1,500. Today, you can get entire sector for the same price and, with Lehman Brothers having invested in the sector, further bargain is expected.'
About global developments also, humour abounds about the crisis and one such joke has gone to the extent of Iceland being auctioned on eBay at a starting price of 99 pence.
Some British papers have reported even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown trying his hand at such humour. While giving a speech in London, he quipped on hearing a mobile phone ring, "I don't know if another bank has fallen."
Taking a dig at government's rescue packages, one says: 'All sports stadiums in the USA currently named for banks, insurance companies, or financial institutions will have to be renamed 'Federal Reserve Park.''
There are also some definition SMSs: Markets are the places where two types of people meet up in the morning -- those with experience and those with money. Towards the end of the day, they exchange their assets and go home.
One joke defines a bull market as a phase when an investor mistakes himself for a financial genius and a bear market as a period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewellery and the husband shoots himself on the trading floor.
Another joke on the bull-bear theory says: There used to be bulls and bears in the market, now every one is a plain old ass.
Another one defines P/E ratio as the percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.
'The market may be bad, but I slept like a baby last night. I woke up every hour and cried,' describes the plight of investors. Another comes in form of a tip: October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to invest in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.
Then a conversation has been visualised like this in one SMS: 'How many stockbrokers does it take to change a light bulb? Answer is two -- One to take out the bulb and drop it, and the other to try and sell it before it crashes.'
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