WASHINGTON Financial crises really do tend to be cyclical. But their regularity may be more obvious than you think, according to The Onion.
The fake-news site this week mercilessly satirized people's worst perceptions about bankers by reporting that the next big catastrophe will occur simply because executives think market stability has been the norm for too long.
"Claiming that enough time had surely passed since they last caused a global economic meltdown, top executives from the U.S. financial sector told reporters Monday that they are just about ready to completely destroy the world again," the story said. "Representatives from all major banking and investment institutions cited recent increases in consumer spending, rebounding home prices, and a stabilizing unemployment rate as confirmation that the time had once again come to inflict another round of catastrophic financial losses on individuals and businesses worldwide."
The story even included contrived comments from real-life bankers about their projections for the inevitable disaster, including executives at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Capital One and AIG. For example, an imagined Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs was quoted saying: "We gave it some time and let everyone get a little comfortable, and now we're looking to get back on the old horse, shatter some consumer confidence, and flat-out kill any optimism for a stable global economy for years to come."
Citing "sources," the paper said investment bankers are preparing to load up on "complex and poorly understood debt-backed securities that are doomed to quickly default" and issue "high-risk loans certain to drive thousands of companies into insolvency."