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How low can financial markets go?


I first read the following piece last November in the New York Times and found it to be hilarious! As a writer, I can sympathize: how many creative, interesting ways are there to describe a relentless decline in financial markets?

Since the following piece ran in the NYT, I've also heard it read by the author, Wendell Jamieson, in total deapan voice on Canada's public broadcaster the CBC. It has also been reproduced a few times -- including this version from Nov. 28, 2008 in the Times. it really is a very funny take on a less -than-funny topic.

Another Down Day for Wall Street …
By Wendell Jamieson

THE Dow Jones industrial average declined yesterday on news that manufacturing orders had decreased last month, and reports that the ongoing financial crisis has prompted a widespread loss of consumer confidence.

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted earlier today on word that Republicans were planning to vote against President Bush’s bailout package, even as many Democrats lined up to support it.

The Dow Jones industrial average cratered late this afternoon on fears that the Republican rejection of the bailout package could lead to a long-term recession, and worries that no one has a plan to fix the problem.

The Dow Jones industrial average ran down the stairs two at a time this morning as some Wall Street analysts said corporate earnings, though weak, were better than expected, and others said the earnings, though better than expected, were still very weak.

The Dow Jones industrial average took the elevator to the sub-basement this afternoon as President Bush signed the bailout bill, even as some analysts called it too little, too late, and others said it was too much, too soon.

The Dow Jones industrial average did a backward 2$ somersault in the tuck position off the high diving board late today, and then remained submerged for so long that its mother and sister grew worried, on news that that bailout package was no longer anticipated, because it had now been signed.

The Dow Jones industrial average parachuted off the Empire State Building this morning, and then ran down into the F train station at 63rd Street, where it lingered until a transit police officer asked it to move along, on fears that the new bailout package, though signed, will not be sufficient to stem the blood-letting in the financial sector.

The Dow Jones industrial average today took a ship to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, put on a deep-sea diving suit, and then descended to the ocean floor, where it examined rock formations on the continental slope, on fears that some on Wall Street had not properly factored in lower earnings when the Dow skipped down the stairs two at a time earlier this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average traveled to Saskatchewan early this morning and leased a P&H 320XPCÖ industrial mining drill, which it then used to bore 2.7 miles beneath the crust of the earth, releasing a bright orange flow of molten lava, on analysts’ worries that other analysts were not worried enough, while other were worried too much.

The Dow Jones industrial average yesterday pierced the planet’s core and reappeared hours later in the city of Xian in the Shaanxi region of central China, where it enjoyed a meal of dumplings and hacked chicken and watched a performance of traditional dances by local school children, on fears that financial news writers, having exhausted every possible metaphor to describe its endless downward trend, would simply stop writing about it.

Comments (7)

..."descended to the ocean floor, where it examined rock formations on the continental slope..."

This is my fave. The whole article is hilarious!

Yes, the Enron doc I watched was The Smartest Guys in the Room. It could easily be called The Sleaziest Greediest Scumbags in the Room too. It's a well-made film but boy, I had to take some deep breaths several times. ARGH!


VERY funny!! Love the way it builds to the last line, well done. Thanks for posting this, was a fun read!

I need to come back and read this later when I have more brain cells. Meanwhile, I am here to give you the letter H.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, good one! Being a fan of the olympics I was quite fond of sommersault in a tuck position explaination! :)

Thanks for this great post Sandra! Have a great day tomorrow.


Hi Annie, I think my favourite description was the Dow piercing the earth's core and reaching China, where it enjoyed a "meal of dumplings and hacked chicken and watched a performance of traditional dances by local school children...."

Now THAT's a dip in the markets!

Meanwhile, I"m putting the Enron doc on my ziplist -- I'm due for some extra outrage!

Hi Anne -- it was funny, in a painful sort of way (how low can it go?)

Thanks, Girasoli, for the letter H. It gave me today's post!

Kathy, the somersault was interesting, as was the Dow's long submersion (worrying its family!)


Sooooo funny to me Sandra! One of my freelance jobs is copyediting about 40 financial articles a day so recently I've seen a lot of this type of thing, but this article is brilliant!



Dana, when you're editing business copy I'm sure you see a lot of desperate attempts to find a new way to approach the subprime crisis!

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