Monday, March 25, 2013

Problems with Triangles

(A Square writes) You can never trust the Lower Orders. Turn your back on them for a moment and they're up to no good. The latest fad of theirs is baking triangular flapjacks and hurling them into meetings at which their betters (Squares, Pentagons and Higher Orders) are discoursing on the finer points of Philosophy. Whilst one can see the class symbolism of such acts, even the humblest scalene Triangle ought to be aware of the danger of such reckless behaviour. Only today the Daily Flatgraph reported that a local school has banned the cooking of such angular shapes, mandating instead more regular forms such as an Octagon (the High Master is an Octagon). Meanwhile, our finest minds have come up with a wizard way of escaping from the banking crisis that continues to plague our nation. We have closed our banks for over a week, and now we will shutter the Flatland Popular Bank, and move all its small depositors to the Popular Bank of Flatland. The remaining depositors, who are overwhelmingly citizens of Northland, and do not possess a vote in Flatland, will be well and truly skewered. If they are lucky, they might get a fancy coloured piece of paper purporting to be shares in the Flatland Popular Bank. However, since every customer will have deserted the bank, there will be no value in this scrip. President Input of Northland is speechless with rage, and is rumoured to be about to switch off the supply of gas (again) to the LMN (League of Medland Nations), who are complicit in all this thimblerigging. Can it be long before the speculators in the Flatland Stock Exchange tumble to what is going on, and start to panic sell?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Flatland Banking Crisis

Things are not good in Flatland. The Chief Circle has addressed the nation to inform its citizens that all its banks are bust. They had been imprudent enough to invest heavily in the government bonds of Lineland, whose King has since repudiated its debt. So the vaults are seriously depleted - well short of satisfying the claims of its depositors.

Several plans have been adumbrated, with a view to reducing the misery of the masses of Triangles, upon whose votes the Ruling Classes rely. A plan by which each Triangle depositor would lose 6.75% of his* savings was ruled out, and the latest proposal involves no losses to the Triangles, whilst the large number of Northland depositors will have their accounts frozen, and as likely as not will lose the majority of their money.

* Women in Flatland, naturally, are not permitted to own property or open bank accounts - this remains a bone of contention amongst a vocal minority, who refuse resolutely to utter the Peace Cry, and instead go on protest marches, chanting slogans and aligning their needle-shaped bodies in a phalanx formation, so as to injure or kill innocent males in the vicinity. They are, of course, misguided, and should be grateful to their menfolk for sparing them the opportunity to undergo a 'haircut'.

It goes without saying that the Hexagons and higher-order citizens spirited their money out of the Flatland banks some time ago. The Ambassador of Northland is far from pleased, and is demanding a naval base in Flatland, to the consternation of the other nations within the League of Medland Nations (LMN). This provides Flatlanders with their best bargaining chip; the New Worlders fear Northland expansionism, and might pony up some New World bullion in order to head off President Input of Northland and his Merry Men. This situation is getting increasingly ugly, and several LMN nations are fearful that they will suffer a similar fate.

The Hellenland citizens have been discovering painfully that prosperity does not arise from a culture of promising each other ever-increasing pensions, subsidies and handouts, and are reverting to growing real olives instead of inventing them in order to claim LMN cash. The Chief Circle is commanding my attendance, so more news on another occasion.