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Laughter is magical. So much so that the king of laughter himself Charlie Chaplin once observed “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” I’ll take laughter over “an Apple a Day” anytime.

Some people get their laughter from the visual arts and some get their dose from their family members or close funny friends, I get mine from reading Syrian news. Honestly!!!

Like this one, written by AP and copying to the letter what the Assad regime wanted conveyed… sorry propagandized.

AP’s stringers in Damascus filed this morning a story under the title “Syria holds it first auction of treasury bills” (And unfortunately carried as is by “Bloomberg”). The story had to do with the Assad regime issuing its first ever Bonds to raise funds for his defunct regime (See Story).

The first sentence, in the news item, gives away what the regime was trying to sell and how the AP stringer fell for it. It reads: “Syria’s state news agency says the country’s first ever auction of treasury bills was two times oversubscribed and was won by state-owned banks.” The two key words are “Oversubscribed” and “Won by state-owned banks”.

For the novice amongst us, in oppressive countries, state-banks march in absolute lock-step with the regime. So if Assad says “Buy”, no sane bank director would dare not to. But the story is even funnier.

The fact that a bond issue, whose coupon payment is set by the state at a rate controlled only by the state, has been oversubscribed twice is as farcical as the British buying the Eiffel Tower from Sarkozy. It’s even funnier than Assad winning the presidential elections in 2007 at 97.62%.

You want to top this one?

How about a government bond issue that get bought by banks the government owns, funds, and controls? In the world of finance, this is called Assadoff.

In fact, I do not think the shares of Google’s first IPO were twice oversubscribed. But Assads’ socialist bonds are.

No patriotic Syrian has any sympathy for this family because the father destroyed the country and his son is finding out how deep a hole he left him to dig himself out of. Isn’t it dandy to live under the Assads?


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