Sunday, June 12, 2005

back room boys at the peoples' bank of china.

.
scene - the back room at the peoples' bank of china.

dramatis personae in order of appearance -

gung ho - radical whizz-kid chinese economic policy wonk.
han gon - conservative senior chinese economic policy wonk.
no tyet - impoverished north vietnamese exchange student.

gung ho -
how much dollar ?
han gon -
tomorrow one trillion computer say.
gung ho -
what yankees say now ?
han gon -
yankees say, no sweat. i o u one trillion only small piece paper.
gung ho - (nearly losing inscrutability)
bush paper tiger ! bush play poker ! time say to bush - 'see you'.
no tyet -
not yet.
han gon -
confucius say, who rides tiger, fears dismount.
gung ho -
time go tiger shoot.
no tyet -
not yet.
gung ho -
float yuan ?
no tyet -
not yet.
han gon -
maybe revalue five per cent.
gung ho -
maybe means five per cent every full moon ?
han gon -
me many shanghai flats in wife's name.
gung ho -
mistress' name ?
han gon - many those, also.
gung ho -
sell flats.
no tyet -
not yet.
gung ho - revalue five per cent, lose face.
han gon -
only five per cent face.
no tyet -
. . .every full moon.
gung ho -
eureka !
han gon -
???
gung ho -
link basket !
han gon - (contemptuously )
link basket ? markets freak. banks fall down. party bosses angry. wonks sent to gobi for retraining.
no tyet - (agreeing )
not yet. me no shanghai flats yet.
gung ho -
f *** sh*nghai flats. (untranslatable expression of dismissal)
han gon -
now me eureka !
gung ho and no tyet -
???????????????
han gon -
leak statement. say 'maybe link basket. . .' watch markets freak. monitor freak. print out numbers and show party boss. hedge risks.
no tyet - (full of admiration )
han gon teach great wisdom, now han gon teach greenspan inscrutable mandarin speak ?
gung ho - (aside )
teach granny suck eggs . . .
han gon -
now teach greenspan eat same fudge-speak greenspan teach middle kingdom.
gung ho - (getting carried away )
tally ho ! tiger shoot with blanks ! speak fudge ! freak markets ! geronimo ! ( flies out of the door brandishing shiny new mobile phone)

(a pause)

han gon -
no tyet my friend. you like rent shanghai flat reasonable ? discount for cash. spare mistress you housekeeper ?
no tyet -
rent dollars or linked basket ?
han gon - ( after considering.)
linked basket.
no tyet -
thanks but, not yet.

(exeunt omnes )
.

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