There have been lots of big financial stories this week, like Detroit’s new emergency manager or the potential bailout happening in Cyprus, with lots of controversy and hype. It’s forced me to try to lighten the mood with puns. Part of me disagrees with this approach (yes, I do), but who doesn’t love a good pun to brighten the day (intelligent people)? So for the first time in This Week in Financial Blunders, expect puns galore in an effort to make the news a little brighter (we’re all super excited)!
Big Trouble in Tiny Volkswagens
German car maker Volkswagen saw plenty of success in North America and China last year; they sold 9.07 million cars worldwide, and a 23.3% rise in sales from their Asia-Pacific market, selling 2.8 million cars in China specifically last year. Those sales in China are about to hit a major speed bump (ugh). BBC News reports that last week Chinese state television showed footage of Volkswagen drivers having “sudden acceleration and loss of power.” The fault, according to Volkswagen, is in the direct-shift gearboxes that could be messing up the power flow. Despite trying to move production into the fast lane (I’m sorry) this year, recalls on many cars such as the Passat, Touran, Golf, and more start on April 4th. All they can hope for is someone to pump the brakes (I’m ashamed of myself) on this bad situation.
Paris, I Raid You
The woman at the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, better hope her finances are as straight as a loaf of French bread (you’ll hate the pun when you find out she’s French). The French IMF head (see?) has had a pretty impressive run so far: she acquired an additional $430 billion from G-20 countries for the IMF, and is ranked #38 on Forbes’ list of powerful people. She’s also #8 on their power women list. So why is she saying “bonjour” (please, stop me) to French police searching her apartment? It stems back from the time when she was the finance manager for ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy and overseeing a case involving businessman Bernard Tapie. The skinny of the case was that Tapie, a noted supporter of Sarkozy, tried to sue his bank, Credit Lyonnais, claiming they poorly handled the sale of Adidas back in 1993. Lagarde was in charge of the arbitration panel that awarded him 400m euros for the alleged wrongs against him; the money from the bank that was awarded to him was public money. So, the French police raided her house in regards to this and if she is investigated it could jeopardize her position as IMF head, which is supposed to run until 2016. If that were to happen she might be yelling mercy or Merci! (I went to college…to write these puns…)
Citibank, the United States-based investment bank, is set to pay one heck of an ATM fee (that pun isn’t even relevant to the story). The damages? $730 million dollars in a settlement against bondholders for allegedly publicizing sub-prime mortgages and high securities from 2006-2008. The bank released a statement after the settlement was announced, still clinging to their innocence, but wanting to find an end to the lawsuit and avoid future conflicts that may arise. Not too long ago (August 2012 to be exact), the bank paid $590 million in settlement money to shareholders who accused Citibank of shady practices in order to falsely boost their share price. With two major settlements in a little over a half a year, who knows if Citibank is close (don’t…) to breaking (don’t do it…) the bank (…sigh).
The Kind-of Full Monty
A sport clothing company has watched a yoga pant recall make their stocks slide into downward dog (for the love of…I give up). Lululemon, maker of yoga gear, has recalled a significant amount of their black yoga pants because the Canadian company deemed their pants were too revealing. Their pants are produced in Taiwan, and the supplier claims they’ve followed the specifications as ordered. Regardless, it hasn’t stopped Lululemon from assuming the warrior pose (…please…stop…) and recalling 17% of their in-store pants. The recall marked a 5% drop in the company’s share price.
Well, there you have it folks, a pun-laden edition of This Week in Financial Blunders like you’ve never seen before (you’ve never seen it for a reason). I hope we all had a better day (we didn’t because of this, and as always, if I missed a story please post it below with(out) as many(little) puns you can think of.