Too Big To Fail

In 2008, we saw collapse of financial institutions, led by US banks, unprecedented for its severity. Now, history appears to be about to repeat itself in Europe. Since we seem to be headed into the open season for bailouts, I decided to send in my bailout application right away to beat the rush and get ahead in line.

Dear Reserve Bank Governor,

I’m in a bit of a pickle, and need five crore rupees urgently. Before you consign this letter to the rubbish bin, I suggest that you ponder the consequences of it surfacing in wikileaks files.

I know what you must be thinking. Who is this guy and why does he deserve the ten crore rupees that he’s asking?  (As I write, the rupee is rapidly declining against the dollar forcing me to ask for more). First, you have understand that I am TOO BIG TO FAIL. If I were to be allowed to collapse, the economy as we know it would cease to exist and pandemonium and mayhem will ensue. Nothing short of global calamity awaits if that mind boggling scenario were to fruition as a consequence of your not sending me a check for twenty crores. If I were to fail, who would then pay salaries to my driver or dole out generous tips to taxi and auto drivers? If they don’t get paid, they will not have money to spend at liquor stores, which means liquor store barons will not have money to bribe MLAs. Starved of cash, MLAs will become susceptible to buyout offers from opposition parties and this would lead to fall of governments all around the country. Next thing you know, the Chief Election Commissioner is asking for a budget of ten thousand crores to conduct fresh elections, and the Central Government is forced to raise the prices of petrol and LPG to cover the shortfall in funds. This will lead to all kinds of nasty consequences like fallout between once-loyal alliance partners, cabinet ministers and chief ministerial offspring being sent to Tihar jail, disgruntlement with the Prime Minister and rise of civil societies demanding Jan Lokpal. Who knows, this might trigger the fall of the central government as a consequence of fratricidal wars between Home and Finance ministries, each trying to orchestrate the other’s downfall. All because you didn’t expeditiously release a check for a measly fifty crores.

You might wonder how I ended up in this hole. I made the mistake of watching every reality show there is on TV and sending in hundreds of SMSes daily to vote on random inconsequential matters. These things cost a fortune. Not to mention the fact that there’s been someone calling me practically every three minutes offering me a platinum credit card. I got them all and maxed out on Salman Khan movies, Farmville gifts and Samsung cellphones. Funnily, there seems to be a new festival every month, accompanied by mouth watering discounts on white goods – and I’m afraid that these temptations have proved hard to resist.

You must be convinced by now, I hope. If not, it is fair to warn that you leave me with no choice but to join a political party, become a Cabinet minister, manipulate tenders and reap ill-gotten gains. Come on, what do you say? What’s a hundred crores between friends?

Yours sincerely.


* Inspired by a ‘shouts and murmurs‘ column in the New Yorker


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