Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lending to Goliath

I guess we all know who Goliath is. The one slew by David, you know. Now, how would you like dealing with him in biblical times? That's a brilliant idea and is the subject of this joke from

An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural-history museum. "I've just discovered a 3,000 year-old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!" the excited scientist exclaimed.

To which the curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out." A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. "You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?"

"Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, '10,000 Shekels on Goliath'."

(Photo credit:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Anecdotes by Oleg Palamarchuk about Oleg Palamarchuk

I love this interesting smorgasboard of anecdotes on money which I took from . I thought I'd share them with you:

The writer-polyglot Oleg Palamarchuk accompanied one German businessman in his trip to Russia. And at the end of this trip the translator asked the German:
"Do you understand that your company risks much by investing money in the Russian economy? What if Russia will fall in default again and split into parts?
The old Bavarian smiled:
"If Russia split into parts, it will mean that we, Germans or Americans, haven't invested money here in vain."
* * *

The teacher-polyglot Oleg Palamarchuk conducted a lesson in German. The topic was economics and bank business.

"What do you think I must do to become a successful banker?" asked a student.

"I can't say what you should do, but I can tell what you shouldn't do. Follow the three rules: first, don't lend money those who don't have any; second, don't lend money those who need it badly; third, don't lend your own money."

* * *

During a lecture the students asked their teacher-polyglot Oleg Palamarchuk:
"Why don't American and European businessmen invest money in the Ukrainian economy?"

"They don't understand our realities. In the USA a businessman should compete for his place under the sun. But in Ukraine, if a businessman wants to earn money, he should find a place in the shadow and doesn't shine," explained the teacher.

* * *

The Ukrainian youth enjoys computers like other young people in the world.

"It was a wise man who created the computer?" expressed his excitement a boy who attended the English course conducted by the teacher-polyglot Oleg Palamarchuk.

"You are wrong," said the teacher-polyglot. "In this world only God creates; Satan makes up; the Europeans and migrants from Europe into the North America invent; the Russians find; the Chinese compile; and the Jews make a profit on their activity.

* * *

One day the teacher-polyglot Oleg Palamarchuk met his former school-mate and they had a talk. And the first question was about jobs.

"I am a general director of my own company," praised the school-mate.

"Recently you told me that you were just a director," remarked Oleg Palamarchuk.

"It was earlier, then I was alone, but now I hired a guy, and there are two persons in the company: he is a director, but I am a general director."

* * *

Once a school-girl asked her teacher-polyglot Oleg Palamarchuk:

"Why don't you do business? You know so much! What can you earn by teaching in the country where not so many people want to study?

"To do business in my country", explained Oleg Palamarchuk, "one should be slippery, otherwise one will be caught; one should be hard, otherwise one will be cracked; one should be flexible, otherwise one will be broken. And the main rule of our business: the less you know, the longer you will live. But I know too much to survive in our business."

* * *

One day a friend of the writer-polyglot Oleg Palamarchuk called him up:

"I want to share my joy with you. I have just von 1000 dollars at a lottery."

"OK, give me half the sum and I will share your joy."

(Photo credit:

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Some Classic Banker Jokes from L. William Sediman

L.William Sediman was the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Among the classic bankers' jokes attributed to him are the following:

On The World Bank's blank cheque aids

"I was there for the World Bank and we had $2 billion to spend, and if you want to really be treated royally, just wander through Russia with $2 billion that you can provide them... I got so full of caviar that I couldn't look at a fish egg again."
On the Russian lending problem

"I went into one small bank and there were three or four of the tougher looking Russians sitting around with AK47s and I said, I know that crime is awful around here, but do you need to have a real army here to defend this small of a bank? They said, well, they are not here to defend the bank, those are the people who collect our loans."
On the Japan banking problem

"A doctor calls up his patient and says, I have bad news for you and worse news for you. You have only 24 hours to live. The patient says, oh, that's terrible. What could be worse news? The doctor says, I've been trying to get you since yesterday."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Merchant Banker

Here's a slightly edited banker joke from which highlights one of the inherent risks of modern information technology in banking operations and an excellent illustration as well of Murphy's Law at work:

The National Westminster Bank admitted recently that it keeps personal information about its customers - such as their political affiliation - on computer.

But now Computer Weekly reveals that a financial institution, sadly unnamed, has gone one better and moved into the realm of personal abuse.

The institution decided to mailshot 2000 of its richest customers, inviting them to buy extra services. One of its computer programmers wrote a program to search through its databases and select its customers automatically. He tested the program with an imaginary customer called Rich Bastard. Unfortunately, an error resulted in all 2000 letters being addressed "Dear Rich Bastard." The luckless programmer was subsequently sacked.

(Photo credit:

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Iconic Toaster

Banks ocassionally launch marketing campaigns to generate deposits. Toasters seem to be a favorite give-away in these promos because it's cheap but at the same time highly utilitarian. Here are a couple of banker jokes from about this icononic give-away product:

Children are stupid. That's why they're in school. I'd lecture for an hour about percentages and interest rates and at the end I'd ask one simple question, "You put ten grand in a BANK for one year at 5 percent and what do you get?" Some kid would always yell out, "A toaster."

* * *

Three stages of BANK failure:
1. Concern--that's when they put a limit on withdrawals.
2. Panic--that's when they put a moratorium on withdrawals
3. Desperation--that's when they call you up and ask for their toaster back.

* * *

You can tell when you're in trouble--the BANK sends somebody to repossess your toaster.

(Photo credit:

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