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