Friday, 10 October 2008

Wisdom of the crowd

Despite this week's co-ordinated international action - and tendering of billions of pounds worth of financial support - markets plummeted today in a wave of panic selling. We sent a team to ask why:

[Cut to LSE, where our reporters have just made their entrance]

Right Next Time News Team: Hello? Excuse me? Would any one like to talk to us about...
RNT: Guys? Hello? We just need to talk to you for a min...
MRoT: AARRGGGH! No time, no time, no time. Can't talk, can't think. Must sell. Selling good. Sell! SELL!
RNT: Well, this is a waste of bloody time. Did anyone bring the taser? I think I can take down that genius by the coke machine. Let's see...
Unwitting Target: SELL! SELL! SEdzdzdzdzdzturgh.
RNT: OK, not the one I was aiming for, but never mind. Drag him back over here.
RNT: Shut up. What are you doing?
UT: Selling!
RNT: Why?
UT: The market's collapsing!
RNT: How do you know?
UT: Everyone's selling!
RNT: Why?
UT: Everyone's selling!
RNT: Why? No, don't say it, I still have the taser. Listen. We're giving you a ton of cash, we're keeping at-risk banks solvent, we're taking the rotten debt off your hands and we're cutting interest rates internationally. And you're still merrily ripping the guts out of the economy. What in the name of all that is holy do you misbegotten swine want?
UT: To sell! DZDZDDZZDZZDZDZZTTTTTauugh, not cool man! Not cool!
RNT: Answer the question, wretch.
UT: Everyone's frightened, OK? The markets used to do so well for us, and now we're all afraid in case they fall off a cliff. So we're doing the smart thing.
RNT: The smart thing?
UT: Yeah, the smart thing.
RNT: Sprinting blindly towards the cliff en masse?
UT: Well, yeah. You've got to look at the big picture.
RNT: Which is...?
UT: If some other sucker falls faster, I'll still get my bonus. DZDZDZDZDZDZDTTTAugh, Jesus, is that my hair? Can I smell my own hair? Hey, c'mon man! I answered the question!
RNT: You answered...poorly. How can we make you stop this insanity? Bearing in mind I'm not made of tasers.
UT: You need to make us feel good.
RNT: About yourselves? Look, psychotherapy's come a long way, but there are limits.
UT: About the market, man. You need to make us believe it will be alright. You need to make us want to buy.
RNT: OK - what makes you want to buy?
UT: The market goes up.
RNT: So why does that happen?
UT: Everyone's buying!
RNT: Why?
UT: Everyone's buying!
RNT: You do know I've been keeping this thing on half-power, right? What does the government need to do to make you and your filthy ilk feel like NOT kicking off a global depression?
UT: It needs to... it needs to hold us, OK? It needs to hold us, and stroke us, and tell us everything's going to be all right, just like it used to be. Otherwise the markets will keep falling, and falling, and I'll lose my bonus, and my wife will leave me and I'll have to move out of Surrey and the economy will collapse and the Icelanders will revert to Viking pillage and we'll have to live underground and eat corpses and the plague will spread and the zombies will rise again. Zombies! Zombies will eat your brains!
RNT: OK, someone tell me we brought a mains adaptor for this thing.

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