This story was first published on 17th October 2008
Email claims that several Japanese banks, including the “Origami Bank”, the “Sumo Bank” and the “Bonsai Bank” are experiencing major difficulties due to the US sub-prime lending crisis.
Just a joke
Update on Banking crisis… news from Japan
Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on HBOS in the UK, uncertainty has now hit Japan.In the last 7 hours Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.
Most readers will immediately realise that the above emailed “news” item is intended solely to amuse. In a clever play on words, the unidentified author of the piece laments the worsening status of several (entirely fictitious) Japanese banks as a result of the current world economic crisis flowing on from the US subprime lending disaster.
Surprisingly, however, several people have emailed me to ask if the information in the message is true, hence its inclusion on these pages.
Presumably, those who are not familiar with the meanings of the words used as bank names in the message are those that do not “get” the joke.
If you are one of the people scratching their heads trying to see the funny side, here are a couple of hints. “Origami” is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, so saying that the “Origami Bank” has FOLDED, is an amusing play on words. Japanese Sumo wrestlers are characterised by their very large bellies, hence the reference to the “Sumo Bank” going BELLY UP. All the other bank names have similar double meanings.
A dictionary or some quick googling should help with the rest of the “bank names”.