Stress Test Haiku

by Chris Sturr | May 07, 2009

Hat-tip to Kiaran H. for passing this along:

The stress tests are done
Surprise—many banks are fine
Now, go buy that bridge

It originally appeared on Jon Talbot’s blog at the Seattle Times, in a thoughtful post about recent layoffs at Microsoft. Here is one of the parts that was thoughtful:

The media do the public a disservice by continually looking for “good news” of a turnaround. Let me explain: This historic recession was years, even decades, in the making. Behind it are deep structural problems that can’t be quickly addressed. The green-shoot watch distracts from a clear-eyed view of our situation and discussion of the reforms needed. It also continues the salesmanship seen in some of the financial media (CNBC, call your office) that enabled the disaster.

I also like his comment about the CEO signing emails about layoffs simply, “Steve”: “You gotta love CEO Steve Ballmer signing his layoff email to employees, ‘Steve.’ Just good ole Steve. Such is ‘business casual’—we’re all on first-name basis. Except one signs the checks and pink slips.”

On the topic of “green shoots,” the blogger at Corrente had this gentle critique of the haiku: “I thought haiku was supposed to be seasonal. So what about those green shoots?” Corrente readers were up for the challenge; here’s my favorite (partly because of its relevance to this D&S article):

spring rain on green shoots
tweakers rip out copper pipes–
bank-owned properties

The colleague of Kiaran’s who sent her the haiku thought it was from Calculated Risk blog. It was not, but they did have part of a series of haikus on bank failures:

From the FDIC: FirstBank Financial Services, McDonough, GA
Georgia on my mind…
First Bank, number seven gone
Still no end in sight.

From the FDIC: Alliance Bank, Culver City, CA

Alliance? With Whom?
F.D.I.C., plus U.S.
Eight In Oh Nine Now.

From the FDIC: County Bank, Merced, California

Mercy for Merced
Trifecta is now complete
A Quinella next?

D&S blog readers should post their own left economics haikus in the comments section; maybe we’ll print them in our new “$.02″ reader contributions department of the magazine.

—CS

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