Friday, January 26, 2007

Cousin Trouble at The Market Ball

Debt and equity are first cousins. Both are named "Capital", but that's were the similarity ends.

When invited to the Market Ball, Mr. Bond - not exactly a young buck - sedately and somewhat lazily danced to the inflation and credit risk waltz, while young and pretty Miss Stock shook her stuff to the earnings samba - she was always much too frisky. Bond hung out with the uppity middle age banker, CFO and Treasury crowd, eating canapes and drinking Cristal, while Stock spiked the punch with smuggled moonshine and flirted shamelessly with the raucous brokers, analysts and money managers. Always a free spirit, she occasionally had a go with the hoi polloi waiters, too.

But no more. Seemingly bored with Strauss and pate, Bond has fallen head over heels for his young and sexy cousin and is now burning the dance floor with her to all known versions of "Ring My Bell". Everybody in the Ball was shocked at first, but most of them are now in full Saturday Night Fever mode. They are lustfully ogling and cheering the pair on as it sashays on the parquet floor discharging pheromones grinding and sweating. Seems someone spiked Bond's champagne with some credit derivative mickey and he is throwing all inhibitions overboard in his middle age.

But not everyone is amused. The central banker old maids, sitting primly on a stiff couch near the restroom, are all a-titter and a-flutter. Their chaperone instincts do not approve. If they let those two go on, they say, it won't be long before Mr. Dollar and young Miss Euro start making googly eyes at each other... and haven't Petrol, Copper and Gold been seen stepping out with Inflation? Oh no, this is definitely getting out of hand.

The old maids go into scheming mode. As they put their heads together, Boe - the oldest and most respected - announces she has already taken some action: she has unexpectedly turned down the music a notch, but no one seems to have noticed. Fed, the richest, was hoping to stare everyone to submission but she's realizing sterner stuff may be needed. Eseebie reports she is constantly warning everyone to cool it in the most explicit terms, but it seems the crowd is brushing her aside. Boj, the youngest and most timid of the group, is twisting her hankie in her hands worrying like, well, an old maid - she just doesn't know what to do.

Whatever the old maids finally decide, however, they also need to the catch the guy who slipped Bond the mickey and throw him out of the party. Otherwise they may have to set the place in fire before everyone decides it's time to go home to bed. Alone.

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