Friday, 5 December 2014

It's Panto time!


 "HOOD ROBIN AND HIS SCARY MEN"

LIST OF CHARACTERS:

Baddies:
Hood Robin The most successful banker of all time
Friar TaxFree The world's biggest expert on tax avoidance
BigBonus John Lives only for his bonus
Allan a Deal An infamous deal-maker.
Much the Hedger's Son The son of the biggest hedge fund trader ever.
Prince WallStreet The toughest banker/private equity manager/ hedge fund   trader/ commodities dealer/ in the whole world.
The Sheriff of the City

Goodies:
An Old Man
Churl.    A hero of the poor
Hack! Another

***********************
A COPSE IN SHERWOOD FOREST. MORNING. Hood Robin and his Scary Men sing and dance.

SCARY MEN
We are the filthy rich;
We're ripping off the poor.
We're leaving them without a stitch,
The bailiff at the door.
We're the golden boys of banking! Oh yeah!
The golden boys of bonuses as well!

We are the filthy rich;
We're ripping off the poor.
We take it all without a hitch,
'cos we're above the law.
We're the golden boys of banking! Oh yeah!
The golden boys of bonuses as well!

Enter Prince WallStreet and the Sheriff.
WALLSTREET
O.K! O.K! Very nice - but quit it! You guys have gotta work a lot harder if we're gonna hit 18 billion in bonus this year. Ya gotta hit the poor harder! Harder, ya hear! That's what they're here for, right? To be hit, right? Our bonus target is 18 billion and I don't mean 17 billion. Geddit?
HOOD
We're working on it WallStreet. We'll get there, don't you worry.
WALLSTREET
There's millions of poor out there! Go out and get 'em! I've fixed everything up with your government so you don't have no issues there, OK?
SHERIFF
Oh, yes. Oh dear me, yes. The Prince did a splendid job. I'm sure we could never have done it without him.
WALLSTREET
So tell the guys what I did.
SHERIFF
Well, after a series of meetings, the government backed down totally on all of its threats. Every single one!

The Scary Men cheer.
SHERIFF
They threatened total transparency.

The Scary Men groan.
SHERIFF
They threatened dreadful regulations.

The Scary Men shudder.
SHERIFF
They said they'd put an extra tax on our bonuses.

The Scary Men suck in their lips.
SHERIFF
They said they would never bail us out again.

The Scary Men make 'ouch' noises.
SHERIFF
But, in the end, they backed off from everything they'd said. Nothing will happen. Nothing whatsoever. It's all absolutely splendid!

The Scary Men whoop and applaud.
WALLSTREET
So, there ya go, guys. The road is clear. And the poor are everywhere. So no delay. Let's do it!
SHERIFF
On the subject of the poor being everywhere, we are very close to completing the wall around the City. It's 25 feet high all the way round! Of course, the police will continue to patrol the City every day, as they always have. So you see, there will be no bank raids in our territory! Tee hee.

The Scary Men laugh and pat each other on the back. Wallstreet and the Sheriff leave.
Enter an old man carrying a bundle under his arm.

HOOD
Hold fast there, old loon!
OLD MAN
Eh?
HOOD
Stop! Where are you going?
OLD MAN
France. If it's any business of yours, young man.
HOOD
France?                            
OLD MAN
Aye, France. It's warmer there and they have baguettes and citizens' banks. And that's where I'm going.
HOOD
Taking all your money with you, are you?
The Scary Men all laugh.
OLD MAN
 I am.
 HOOD
   In that bundle?
OLD MAN
Aye. Although what its got to do with you, I don't know. Who are you, anyway, with all your impertinent questions?

The Scary Men all hoot.
HOOD
I'm Hood Robin. And these are my Scary Men. So hand over your bundle, old loon.
OLD MAN
Dear me. That's bad news.
HOOD
Too right!

The Scary Men all laugh again.
The Old Man walks forward to the front of the stage and addresses the audience.

OLD MAN
Friends. Don't be too worried about me. I've got a little surprise for this rabble, even though I’m very old.
He turns towards Hood.
OLD MAN
Yes. that's really bad news. For you, I mean.
HOOD
What? Don't make me laugh! Hand over your bundle!
OLD MAN
Here you are. But you shouldn't open it.
HOOD
Come on! Why not, eh?
OLD MAN
Because you might not like what you see inside.
HOOD
Then, you open it!
OLD MAN
Are you frightened, Hood? I thought you were a big tough guy.
(To the Scary Men) And he's your leader? How sad.
HOOD
I'll knock your block off, you old loon, if you don't shut up and open that bundle.
OLD MAN
Don't say I didn't warn you.

He puts the bundle on the ground and slowly unrolls it. Nothing happens. Hood approaches the bundle warily and the Scary Men gather round at a distance.

HOOD
Well? Let's see what's in it!

The Old Man picks up something from the bundle and holds it out to Hood.

 HOOD
What's that?
OLD MAN
Bad news for you.
HOOD
Eh?
OLD MAN
My life savings. A five cent Euro coin and a button.
HOOD
Don't mess with me, you old fool. Where's the rest?
OLD MAN
Are you kidding, young Hood? After all the government cuts, and prices going up for everything, food and heating, and heaven knows what else we haven't heard about yet. What chance do we have to save anything? Eh? We get the lowest old age pension in the world, and it's taxed! Do me a favour and go and rob a politician.
HOOD
Come on, guys. We're wasting our time here.

They exit. The Old Man comes to the front of the stage again.

OLD MAN
Clod-poles! That's what they are. Well, between you and me, their time is running out. Their golden days are over. Churl is coming! Remember that name - Churl!

A NEARBY FANCY RESTAURANT. HOOD AND HIS SCARY MEN SIT AT A TABLE. SAME DAY

HOOD
Allan! Order up another six bottles of Krug, will you? And more of the foie gras. I'm feeling peckish. I tell you, I'm sick of looking at the poor. And at their stupid faces when we take their money. They're so boring.
FRIAR TAXFREE
Ah, that foie gras! I'll have a kilo, Allan. Now, Hood, I've been updating on new tax havens. Here are the latest. County Cork, Tijuana, North Korea and Tower Hamlets which has just declared independence from Britain. Of these, I think we can only sensibly use North Korea. Pass the toast, would you?
HOOD
Sounds good to me. How are you doing with your commodities search, John?
 BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. Good, boss.
HOOD
Well? What did you find?
 BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. Well, boss. I started at the 'A's and then I did the 'B's. Then I got to the 'C's and there it was, boss. Real cool. Coal mines in Qatar!
HOOD
What?
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. You're always saying we should target what's got nowhere and then talk it up. Well, coal mines in Qatar is exackerly that. Innit?
HOOD
H'm. What do you think, Much?
MUCH
Look, Chief. I'm happy to manage our Georgian estates in the Shires, and our chateaux on the Riviera, and our Manhattan penthouse apartments and our air-conditioned yachts and our super-charged Ferrari's, but I don't want to be involved in gambling, anymore. I’m happy just being V.P. Admin.
HOOD
OK. I have no issue with that. Did you research it, John?
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. Yeah! It was great. Percentually, coal mines in Qatar is the greatest opportunity since the invention of the credit default swap!
HOOD
Really? I see. Well. Anybody know anything about coal mines?
ALLAN A DEAL
I don't think there are any coal mines in Qatar.
HOOD
Does it matter? OK, John, you run with it, give it the whole algorithm treatment and report back. Looks like another useful instrument to make a few more pennies! Don’t forget to VaR it.
SCARY MEN (dancing and singing)
SPUs and SIVs; SPOs and CDOs;
CDSes and Derivatives;
Illicit credit-based securities,
Commodities and liquidities!
We love them all! We love them all!
'Cos we are the golden boys of banking. Yeah!

 A RAMSHACKLE VILLAGE IN THE FOREST WHERE SOME OF THE POOR LIVE. EVENING.

 OLD MAN
Where's Churl? I must see him!
CHURL
I am here. What would'st thou?
OLD MAN
Hood Robin and his Banker Gang are on the prowl nearby.
CHURL
Is that a problem?
OLD MAN
Yes! They have a huge target for robbing us! They intend to make an 18 billion bonus!
CHURL
18 billion? Excellent!
OLD MAN
What, Churl? Did you say 'excellent'?
CHURL
I did, old gentleman. Hack! and I have a plan and it will work best when they have amassed their 18 billion. Only then can we have our full revenge. Hack! is working on it every minute. The sweat drops off his brow, he will not stop, he will not even take off time to eat. He is a true hero and we must prepare a celebration for him, when we have achieved our objectives.
OLD MAN
Can I sing my favourite song for him?
CHURL
Which one is that?
OLD MAN
"Can't get a educashun; can't get no rotten work.
Every rotten politician is a money-making jerk.
Me muvver's in the hospital; wiv a bloke on either side;
Can't find a rotten dentist wivart a forty minute ride.
Drunks lyin' on the pavement; potholes in the road;
Useless rotten government; rotten billions owed.
Thank you, politicians; and all your clever staff.
Are you working for the working man? Don't make me rotten larf!"
CHURL
Very enjoyable, old gentle. But our first target is the bankers. Politicians are for later. Can you compose a song about the bankers?
OLD MAN
I think I can do that, Churl. Just give me a day.
CHURL
A day is all we have. My latest information is that the bankers are nearing their 18 billion. It will soon be time to act. Ah, Hack! What is it?
HACK!
The connection is not that great just here, Churl. Can we go somewhere where I'll have a max signal?
CHURL
O.K. We'll go the disused abbey, nearby. It's on higher ground.

IN THE RESTAURANT. SAME TIME.

HOOD
How's the Qatari coal mine algorithm coming along, John?
BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh. O.K. Some fiddly problems.
HOOD
I can guess. The markets are not convinced.
 BIGBONUS JOHN
Yeah. Dat's it, Hood.
HOOD
OK. Then tell them if they don't buy we'll leave. Go abroad. Set up somewhere else. That should shift them.
 BIGBONUS JOHN
Yeah, Hood! Great!
HOOD
OK, Listen, guys. I told our runners to report to the disused abbey up the road when we got to the 18 billion. My latest information is that we're getting there. I tell you, that delta hedging is just great to rack up the good stuff. So let's get up to the abbey, right now!



THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. LATER.

Hood stands before a small pillar on which he works at his computer while the Scary Men stand about expectantly.
HOOD
O.K. Uh huh. Great! The money's mounting up fast! We're going to do it, my men! We're well up past the 17 billion mark.
The Scary Men cheer.

THE NORTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME.

Hack! stands before a small pillar on which he works at his computer. Churl, the Old Man and the poor folk stand about watching.
HACK!
Whew! A good connection at last
CHURL
Can you do it?
HACK!
Just watch me!

THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME.

HOOD
Yeah! Here we go. Look at the screen! Do you see that? Here she comes! Watch this, guys! Seventeen billion, nine hundred and ninety nine million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine......... Here she comes! The big number!

THE NORTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME.

HACK!
Here comes their 18 billion.
He raises his hand dramatically, extends his finger, and to
a low rumble of thunder in the background, taps a key on his computer.
HACK!
And there it goes! Bingo! Straight out of their account and into ours.

He taps another key.
HACK!
And on it goes. Back into the accounts of all the poor. Each and every one reimbursed with the money the bankers took from them. There you have it, Churl! The wonders of technology! At your service!  Merry Christmas!

The poor dance and hug each other, tears streaming down their faces.

THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE DISUSED ABBEY. SAME TIME.
The Scary Men are clapping each other on the shoulder and
doing high-fives, except for BigBonus John who is looking at
the computer screen.
 BIGBONUS JOHN
Duh? Boss? Look at this. On your screen. It says 'Balance Zero.' What's that mean? Duh? Now it says 'All Balances Zero.'
HOOD
What?  What?  My bonus! My bonus! It's gone! Where? Where? Aaargh!
(Collapses on his knees, wild-eyed and weeping. The scary men look about them with fear and horror - they panic and run, screaming)
         THE END
The audience cheer and applaud loudly.