Another Twenty Ifs

1) If you are a European politician you

a) Have graduated from a political school which didn't have any windows onto the outside world
b) Are currently applying to be a traffic warden after a skill scoring test showed you would be better suited for it.
c) Are made for life.

2) If Europe were to learn a lesson from the France/Wales rugby match it would be that

a) Europe could happily play with a man down (Greece) and still put in a very credible performance.
b) The ref will always make sure that France is OK, so why bust a gut trying too hard.
c) There is no match, what are you talking about?

3) If you were to join an "occupy London" protest would you pitch camp in

a) The stock exchange, bearing in mind no one actually does any business there.
b) Mayfair, where the Hedge Funds live but bearing in mind coffees are extortionate.
c) Canary Wharf, bearing in mind that the Jubilee line could go down leaving you stranded, like the occupants, for months.
d) Get confused and end up on the steps of a Cathedral that looks like the front of the Exchange building in the City, which isn't the stock exchange anyway but is full of posh shops, well that's good enough for me.  

4) If you write for a blog, then the current run up in equity prices is due to

a) A natural bounce away from extremes of bearishness, but expect it to roll back lower again.
b) A growing realisation that economic data is not that bad.
c) Concerted intervention by dark forces bent on market manipulation to better their own ends at the expense of democracy and the little people.

5) If you are a US citizen and have $500 available from a loan shark do you

a) Take it and roll over your existing loans to avoid current physical threats on your well being.
b) Refuse it, citing Europe as an example of where borrowing without spending reform can lead to crippling structural problems.
c) Grab it and spend it on an Iphone 4s.

6) If you were working for the UK Met office would you

a) Suggest unsettled weather, but nothing too disseasonal then make a cup of tea
b) Just repeat what the new supercomputer says and look pretty.  
c) Go Rambo and scream that the UK is about to experience "Day after Tomorrow" style freeze apocalypse.

7) If the market is approaching important resistance lines do you

a) Sell or take profit on longs as they are called "resistance lines" for a reason
b) Buy like hell because just imagine what stops must be the other side.
c) Redraw some new lines to suit your position.

8) If you are newly graduated and finding it very hard to find a job do you

a) Explore every possibility, even if it means being flexible on role, income or even overseas location.
b) Sign on and hope it gets better.
c) Sue someone for suggesting that spending money on getting a degree would lead to a job (see FT Lex column last Saturday)

9) If you own a Bentley GT continental and lose your work car park pass down the micro gap in the back of the burr-walnut ashtray do you.

a) Spend 3 hours with a knife and tweezers trying to recover it only to see it drop further away into the depths of walnut heaven.
b) Go to Bentley and pay $$$$$$$$  to have them retrieve it.
c) Stay very quiet and don't tell anyone, but ask for a new pass saying that the old one went down the windscreen air vent on your Prius.

10) If you were a producer of Discovery Channel and had to create a new action adventure documentary would you chose

a) European Road Truckers - Hardened Ice road truckers try and haul a policy change through European Parliament.  
b) Most Dangerous Collateral - See how a French bank tries to refill its empty capital base and get it measured before it goes off (like the last lot).
c) Swamp Loggers - A family of loggers try and recover the reputation of US politicians from the depths of a mire.

11) If you were the UK Secretary of Defence would you

a) Be so stupid
b) Hope no one noticed
c) Be relieved as you never really liked the job anyway, but amazed you had to go so far to lose it.

12) If you were a teenage daughter and wanted something from your parents would you

a) Spend a couple of days diligently trying to please before broaching the request.
b) Build a strong case as to why your need should be supported.
c) Be as rude as sin, consciously do nothing to help and then scream and threaten to leave home should your request be challenged.

13) If you were a vegetarian and fancied a change would you

a) Go to that new restaurant that's opened in Covent Garden
b) Go on holiday.
c) Try the Chocolate and Pigs blood dessert at Bocca di Lupo.

14) If you own a UK energy company do you

a) Guffaw "Mwauhahahahaha" as you raise retail energy prices again.
b) Argue that you can't apply last year's costs to this year's revenue when calculating P+L and try and suppress a "Mwauhahahahaha" as you raise retail energy prices again
c) Point out that the design, PR and installation of a fancy new Danish Electricity Pylon to be used in the UK doesn't come cheap, before opening the window and bellowing  "Mwauhahahahaha" to the world as you raise retail energy prices again.

15) If you were Jean Claude Trichet you would

a) Depart in a dignified manner, keeping to the code as you know your speaking career will be supported by those you don't betray.
b) Spill the beans as you know your speaking career and book sales are directly linked to the dirt you dish.
c) Think who cares about a speaking career when Italy and Spain owe you so much. Another frappe please Silvio.

16) If Italian Industrial Production prints high do you

a) Explain it away with seasonals and any other factor you can find
b) Accept it as a signal that things aren't so bad
c) Ignore it and instead point out that Greek yields have just hit a new high.

17) If the A-Team decide to announce the leveraging of EFSF along the lines of the Allianz "First Loss" plan do you:

a) Argue that anything that looks like a CDO is bad, and therefore conclude it won't work.
b) Think hmm.. actually that's quite clever, isn't it?
c) Point out that Greek yields have hit new highs

18) If earnings yet again beat expectations do you:

a) Ignore it, as they won't have been affected by the summer chaos yet, and next quarter's will miss.
b) Accept that the real economy doesn't give a sh1t about what Sovereign CDS says.
c) Point out that Greek yields have hit new highs

19) If you were Schauble and said this morning  "UPCOMING EU SUMMIT WILL NOT PRESENT FINAL SOLUTION FOR EURO ZONE DEBT CRISIS"  You would

a) Hope it buys you yet another couple of weeks
b) Hope that your expression of realism will curry you more respect from the markets
c) Really regret having used the phrase "final solution "

20) If you were to protest about corporations would you

a) Use a balanced argument about how the world is changing and that greater transparency would be for the good of everyone.
b) Pick and choose which ones you protested about so as not to leave yourself open to charges of hypocrisy.
c) Stand there naked having realised that everything you own is made by a corporation.
d) Protest that Apple isn't a corporation, surely it's a charity that gives to the rest of humanity?

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Click here for comments
October 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM ×

@ 3 - Definitely Canary Wharf, I would walk home chiming the wonders of non fossil fuel transportation.

@ 4 - A for me.

@ 6 - Definitely C, then close all schools for a week.


October 17, 2011 at 12:10 PM ×

Just as my head was about to explode this morning, as I am short this rally, you post this - now I don't care any more. Exceptionally clever and funny.

By the way, did you know Greek yields have hit new highs. Well you never know.

Thanks for cheering me up

October 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM ×

16. I know it's laughable isn't it. It's not like Italy goes on holiday for the whole of Aug or anything is it.

Just look at the compelling evidence - the last time there was such a yr/yr acceleration was Jan (that other hive of activity) 2008. When lead indicators were also sliding as now. Not at all recessionary then. 2008 has since been dubbed the Italian renaissance

October 18, 2011 at 3:03 AM ×

"Inflation closes in on 20 year high"

Print, baby, print!

October 18, 2011 at 6:26 AM ×

Greek yields have hit a new high.


October 18, 2011 at 10:13 AM ×

Top marks, very funny. You have all really been at the top of your game these past few weeks - is it frustration or contentment that produces these results?
Good to know about the Bentley problem too. Now I have one more reason to not buy one.

October 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM ×

Some buts...

d) Respond positively to each lobby group that comes along knowing eventually something new will come along, they will get bored

d) God is referee and his acts uninsurable

e) Pretend I was going about my normal business worrying about the cost of bills and and wondering why the I feel poorer and thinking about what happened to all those endless property shows on TV and that chap who knocked over my drinks and then refused to buy me one back telling me I should be more careful where I put it.

d) Buy some MBS, rehypo, then buy some more ABS... you get the picture

d) Get all nostalgiac about the good old days of being a charming laughing stock and approaching cold fronts

d) Shout “resistance is futile!” and see what happens
8. d) Get the hell out of whatever predictable shite hole you are in and go on long working gap year

d) Repo the Bentley to pay the fee for the new car pass

c)....Its Gods work after all

d) Add lots of Oregano