Friday, 22 June 2012

Hard Times

The scene: in a cobwebby ill-lit counting house in an unidentified island somewhere off the shores of Switzerland, Moody is huddled over his abacus and post-it stickers.

Moody (tallying on his fingers): RBS, Barclays, HBOS … Lloyds … er –

Enter Poor.  Moody does not look up.

Poor: I suppose you’ve already thought of Bank of America, Citi, BNP?

Moody: Do you take me for an idiot?

Poor: Of course.  I mean, of course not.

Enter Fitch, a weedy stripling.  Moody and Poor smirk condescendingly.

Fitch: Good news, sires.

Moody: Well, spit it out, boy.

Fitch: I have downgraded the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.  (They stare enquiringly at him.)  Oh, and the IMF.

Poor (shakes his head): It’s not enough.  Have we run out of countries?

Moody: Let’s put it this way.  In order to downgrade any more countries, we will first have to upgrade them.  And that would never do.  Why, we’d lose all our credibility!


Fitch: Um – may I make a suggestion? 

Moody: Yes?

Fitch: Well, if we’ve run out of banks and countries to downgrade –

Poor: Yes?

Fitch: Why don’t we just downgrade each other?


Moody and Poor (to each other): Out of the mouths of …

Fitch (excited): Bags I first!

The lights go out.  Voices over:

The Markets: It’s all gone very quiet all of a sudden.  Oh dear, what do we do now? 

The Politicians: It’s all gone very quiet all of a sudden.  Oh dear, does that mean we have to do something?

Exeunt all, pursued by a dead bull and a dead bear.

The Human Race: Toodle pip.  Can we get on with it now please?


  1. Moody and Poor must be some sort of part of speech, somewhere between onomatopoeia and litotes. Perhaps it could be called a "Fitch"

  2. And where was Mistress Standard during all this kairphuphall?
    At the cauldron no doubt?