What happened today?

25 Mar

Overheard in a bar by our Brussels correspondent:

“Well of course everybody’s been completely knackered with the overnight hoo-hah in Nicosia, trying to explain the facts of life to Nicos and chums, who’re clearly not happy anyway and extra jumpy when they hear a Russian accent. Herman had settled down behind his desk for a kip, Wolfgang was in a foul mood, and Mario’s not speaking to anyone at all, since he slammed down the phone on Tuesday saying he was sick of clearing up everybody else’s mess, did we have any idea how much Goldman would pay for a man of his talents etc etc. So the eyes settled on this work-experience lad we’ve had doing a bit of this and that round the office. Not the sharpest tool in the box – main life experience to date was failing a university course in farming IIRC – but keen as mustard and had helped out with the photocopying and got Olli’s ipad hooked up to 3G so we were looking around for something for him to do longer-term. Simple enough we thought. Talk to the press about the little fiasco in Cyprus, sad face about the sacrifices the Halloumi Massive are suffering, calm notes of triumph about our handling of the situation and how European Unity had prevailed.

A bit of background: things have been a little touchy with our German masters of late, what with the elections this year and Angela reading that biography of Bismarck. Now everyone knows it’s never going to happen, but the refusals to buy these lovely big chunks of Spanish and Italian bank equity without bothering about sovereign guarantees have been getting tetchier of late, so we’ve resigned ourselves to Operation Silence: nobody discusses how we’re going to fix the banks without anyone who has money being involved, Mario papers over the cracks and hopefully something comes up and the whole mess just goes away, because if push comes to shove, there’s not enough money in the pot to make everyone whole. Unfortunately, what little Jeroen didn’t get was the importance of keeping your trap shut in Operation Silence. So he launches off on this tirade about how Cyprus was only the start , what happened to Russian money launderers today will be Spanish widows tomorrow, depositors of Europe line up to be sheared. And bugger the carefully-prepared script about “Cyprus is unique”, oh no he has to say it’s a template for the rest of Europe, so if you live in colder climes, invest in a sleeping bag, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time waiting for the ATM.

Of course this goes down like a cup of cold sick with the spivs in the markets, blood on the screens, Euro down the toilet, and within seconds we’ve got Francois on line one, Mariano on line two, and the rest of the switchboard jammed by Italians all claiming to be the next Prime Minister. So quickest reverse-ferret in history, very pointed two-liner on the website (would’ve been three lines, but managed to persuade Pierre that “little clog-wearing cretin” didn’t sound very ministerial). So job done for now, These Are Not The Bailout Templates You Were Looking For but lord help us if the cat ever does get out of the bag.”

20 Responses to “What happened today?”

  1. Jon March 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Brilliant, really!

  2. Juha "suvituuli" Lehtinen March 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    By the way – Alexander Stubb, Europe-minister of Finland, said the same hours before Dijsselbloem. In a FBC interview Stubb said: “[from now on] the banks will be closed down. Full stop.”

  3. Hans Jacobs March 26, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Well, jeroen dijsselbloem just stated he had never heard of the word “template” so therefore he could have never used it in that content. I ask you, someone in his position, that does not know the word or expression “template”?
    He just also stated when he was a guest in a talkshow that he did not regret the timing of his words when talking about Cyprus being a ‘template’-> example for other banks, and that he would just say the same again.
    He should be sacked as of now. Oh wait, sorry, they don’t do it that way… He should be promoted away to another ‘important’ position…
    Nederlands, the country that always fails with taking penalties in the heat of any sockergame should not bring a kandidate to any financial top position.

    • veeceebee March 26, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      It is by far the smartest thing I have ever… EVER heard saying by a person making that kind of decissions. Financials should be responsible for them selves. Are you bankrupt? Pitty for you, we don’t fuck the taxpayers anymore. You know how much more healthier this the whole sector makes? Oohh noo… being responsible for my own actions. It is about fuckimg time.. And what does he say later on? I dont know the word template. Whahaha now that is a loser, show some balls Jeroen! Genie is out of the bottle I hope for now…

      • Metrognome March 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

        I WOULD agree with you but you see it’s not quite what you think it is. I wish it was so from the outset but alas it has not been.
        The correct reading is more like:
        - If the Northerners (read German banks) stand to lose then everyone is made whole and the debts go to the taxpayers (see: ABN, Fortis, Bankia, Irish banks)
        - If the southern small-fry or (even better) foreigners stand to lose then we’ll take them to the cleaners for every penny they’ve got.

        So, choose one or the other. Just don’t do one thing for the German exposure and a different thing for everyone else’s.

  4. Milton Arbogast March 26, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    French banks are tanking. The problem is France. Very nice post, and appreciated that your first phone call was from Francois. He has been trying very hard to serve Angela, his looney constituency (whoever they are), and his own second-rate intelligence (?)… and failing. Au revoir.

  5. yorksranter March 26, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    One of the regularly scary things about the EU is the way it occasionally hoists pols who would never in a million years be elected as their national PM to serious power. you look at this guy and you wonder when his mother will show up.

  6. groda.eu March 26, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Fabulous post.

  7. Henry Wright March 26, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Came to this via Pawel’s tweet, hilariously true take on the events over the past few days. Who needed to stay awake all night Sunday? Should have got my beauty sleep then come here to read this.

  8. Milton Arbogast March 26, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Actually, reading it again, it is truly wonderful and wonderfully funny. Thanks. Need some relief. Love the description of the Dutch Pope’s assistant (did you notice his early Catholicism).


  9. Milton Arbogast March 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    The press corps assigned to Ronald Reagan would sit in the hotel bar drinking scotch and playing cards while Reagan was speaking in the ballroom, having assigned one of their number to actually listen to the speech in case Ronnie “committed news”. Of course, old trouper that he was, he never did.

    Jeroen (sp) committed news.

  10. Copito (@copito61) March 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Fantastic! More than a touch of PG Wodehouse there, one feels, and quite in the style and keeping. Private Eye would have been proud to come up with something like this…

    • pawelmorski March 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

      That’s very nice of you. Appreciated!


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