[Outside a Spanish restaurant]
Spanish Government [patting pockets] - "Hang on... Has anyone seen my credit rating? I can't seem to find it"
Santander - "Uh oh, where did you last have it?".
Spanish Gov. - "I'm sure I had it a moment ago. I just used it to issue. You remember? Really expensive place. Cost a fortune!"
Santander - "Ah yes, thanks for picking up that one. I owe you. Hmmm.. You sure you didn't leave it on the table"
Spanish Gov - "No I was really careful. You can't trust anyone these days. My friend Portugal left his rating in open view, next thing broken glass and rating gone!"
Santander - "Bankia , Have YOU seen it anywhere?"
Bankia [sheepishly] "No??".
Santander - "Sure?".
Bankia - "Yup!".
Santander - "What's that bulge in your pocket?".
Bankia - "Errr,.. Nothing?".
Santander - "You aren't thinking of nicking the Spanish Gov's credit rating and using it to issue against, whilst the market isn't looking are you ?
Bankia - "Nope!"
Santander - "Come here! Show me what's in your pocket! Hmmm what's this then?"
Bankia - "Nonononono! you don't understand! I'm just BORROWING it! Just until I can repo back through the ECB some cheap cash! No harm done, no one will notice! Look I owe some bad people about E19bio at least. Pleeease don't tell! I'm going to give it back I promise!".
Santander - "Look if you give it back now, we won't tell anyone and it doesn't look as though the Gov has noticed what you are up to. Just put it back on the table before anyone sees".
Santander - "Hang on, HOW much did you say you can get with that rating?".
Bankia - "Well it should do me for at least 19bio, but I reckon it's good for a lot more before it wears out".
Santander - "Hmm. Look, if I don't tell the Gov and if we do promise to put it back, which we will right? Then perhaps if you do me for 20bil as well then I won't tell if you won't. No harm done and all that. Times aren't exactly that easy for me either".
Bankia - "Yes exactly! No harm done see? We stay within the ECB rules, the blind accountants don't see what's happening (as usual) and we just give the Gov his rating back once we've err, "borrowed" it for a bit. They won't even notice!"
Santander - "Better not let the markets know though"
[off stage - NEE NAW NEE NAW NEE NAW NEE NAW]
Bankia -- "Shit, it's the markets! Arrgh they are on to us, look at the yields! And they've got the Bubahounds with them. Those bastards will sniff out the faintest whiff of monetary financing!! LEG IT!!!!
[Exit Spanish banks from the stage of global finance]
Inspector Weidmann - "Evening All! Now what's been going on here then? Hmmm. A European Sovereign distraught having lost its credit rating? The smell of piss-take in the air? Only witnesses are accountants, ECB and a crowd of policy makers, but they all swear they saw nothing? Hmmmmm ..All VERY familiar .. Sargeant? We have here another case of "Printing Money". Round up the usual suspects!"
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