Lyrics: The Genie Song

To give you a flavour of what you might be in for!

I was a simple student of molecular biology

When I met a merchant banker who was sniffing round our college, he

Invited me to join his intellectual endeavour

And put me among people who seemed so awfully clever

I very soon excelled at things like leverage and gearing

It seems I had a talent for financial engineering.

 

Chorus:

He very soon excelled at things like leverage and gearing

It seems he had a talent for financial engineering.

 

And model after model of extreme sophistication

I built into an edifice above our island nation

Each structured product glittered in its own peculiar light

As intertwined they floated on their self-sustaining flight

But then alas came Nemesis across the Atlantic Ocean

A tidal wave that put an end to our perpetual motion.

 

Chorus:

[repeat previous two lines]

 

It seems the models had been built upon a false assumption

Which would have been quite obvious to anyone with gumption

But somehow it eluded banks and all their supervisors

Accountants, rating agencies, and legions of advisers.

At once the whole world needed funds to keep themselves afloat,

But with none to lend each other, we were all in the same boat.

With every counterparty on the verge of going bust

You knew one thing for certain, there was no-one you could trust.

 

Chorus:

[repeat previous two lines]

 

I took my latest models and I threw them in reverse

The structures crashed around me and that only made things worse

My calculus was wrong by several standard deviations

And data points collided in quite horrid correlations.

Our bank, like all the others, was well and truly caught

With just one option left, to turn to the Lender of Last Resort.

Chorus

[repeat previous two lines]

Just for a month or two it wasn’t very funny

We had to scrimp and scratch about to make ourselves some money

But interest rates and big fat spreads were working in our favour

And very soon our life took on its old familiar flavour.

We borrow from the central bank and now, what’s really nice is,

We gamble tons of capital just as before the crisis

In fact with so few rivals we can trade in giant scale

Knowing that if things go wrong we’re much too big to fail.

[Exit in a puff of smoke]