So a banker walks into a bar…


Financial reporters (including this one) have tortured countless metaphors in their quest to explain what the heck is going on in the economy. But sometimes funny does a better job. And at a time of falling markets and uncertainty, it helps to hold on to a sense of humour. So without further ado, here are some of the best financial crisis jokes, sketches and comic strips that have hit our inbox or been scavenged from the Interweb. (Note to viewers: a couple contain profanity.)

For starters, Reuters has pulled together a bunch of jokes about the financial crisis here, while there are a couple more here. My favourites:

Q: What is the capital of Iceland?

A: About $3.50


“I tried to get cash from the ATM today but it said “insufficient funds.” I don’t know if that meant them or me.”


Q: What is the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon?

A: A pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW

From the beginning this crisis has befuddled economists, analysts and investors with its complexity, archaic acronyms and behind the scenes market manipulations. Making sense of it all has been a challenge. Leave it to a bunch of stick figures to succeed where so many others have failed. This power point presentation (which you can view online here) was one of the first attempts at explaining the complexities of the subprime meltdown with humour. And it succeeds because it makes the absurdly complicated subprime scheme seem blindingly obvious:

Likewise, the British comedians Bird and Fortune took a run at explaining the subprime mortgage market in this now classic sketch:

So far Washington has devoted billions, if not trillions, of dollars to bailout U.S. banks. How does something like that work? Think of it like a doomed Arctic expedition, says Marketplace:

Here’s a Sinfest comic that takes on the bank bailouts and cuts right to the point of what this means for the average American consumer. Bang on:

While we’re talking comics, here are three more on the market meltdown:

And finally, the mock Economist cover that the Economist wishes it could run (and frankly, us too):

Credit to: the Big Picture, the Consumerist, Greg Mankiw, and all the folks with their finger on the Forward button.

PLUS: So a banker walks into a bar…II


So a banker walks into a bar…

  1. Sweet. Thanks.

  2. What’s the difference between the dirty thirties and the double naughts?

    last time the gold was yellow.

  3. That was great. Thanks.

  4. I’m pretty sure the saying is ‘without further ado’ rather than ‘adieu’ . . . am I missing some clever word play?

  5. haha, no you’re not, just a tired writer. thanks, it’s fixed.

  6. The “Transformers” cartoon is perfect (except that the victim also includes the unborn generation of future taxpayers who are now on the hook for the present banks’ stupid lending practices). So was what’s-his-name who placed a cartoon in the NY Times lamenting the death of a free market as the three allegedly wise US government bigwigs plant the hammer and sickle flag (à la Iwo Jima) into the scorched earth.

  7. What’s-his-name = Bill Perkins of Houstin TX.

  8. Ugh, make that Houston, sorry.

  9. Funny jokes :)

  10. I have a website here that really is great!

    http://www.theSmallCapAlert.com – It’s a Blog about investing that speaks to you in plain english, but also, they have a newsletter that they send out with Market updates, company profiles and other ideas surrounding the Stock Market.

  11. Love the economist cover!

    Jokes are good too… I like this one though:

    Broker (adj): What investors become.

  12. ““befuddled economists”

    What’s the opposite of an oxymoron?”

    I believe it is a tautology

  13. A truism, more likely.

  14. Heard in passing at Bay & King:

    “This is worse than a divorce – I lost half my net worth and I still have my wife!”

  15. Hahah! Hilarious :)

  16. Great post!

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