Sunday, 21 June 2009

28 Gazillions Later

Since a career in banking is no longer guaranteed to make for glamourous living, it is time to branch out into entertainment. Here is my pitch for a movie project...
The movie starts with a pre-credit sequence showing a few well-groomed men in a high-rise office building in London. They stand in front of a Bloomberg terminal, applauding the launch of a new type of asset, one that is not shown to the audience.

Our unnamed hero is introduced as a successful, mid-level banker who has just been discharged from the Priory where he spent an unspecified period of time after suffering from burn-out.

Upon his return to work, he finds the City of London completely deserted, although it is rush hour. He manages to find local coffee vendor, Mr Frothy, who is hiding. Mr Frothy viciously attacks him until our protagonist manages to convince him that he does not pose a threat.

Frothy then reveals what has happened during his absence: Bankers created toxic assets which spread like wildfire across the financial markets. Once unleashed, anyone who came in contact with those assets directly - or with those who had been exposed to them - underwent a rapid transformation and became a mindless, raging lunatic. The first sign of infection was lack of consumer spending - to the extent those infected started bringing packed lunches to work. This was quickly followed by a descent into general man-slaughtering madness.

The Government reacted by quarantining the infected at Canary Wharf, turning it into a high-security area they labelled 'The Bad Bank'. But despite their efforts, there were more infected citizens still on the loose.

Our hero persuades Frothy to join him on a mission to Canary Wharf to get a better picture of the catastrophe that has befallen London.

There they discover the sinister truth behind the authorities' actions. The military had been trying to design toxic assets for decades, but the resourceful bankers succeeded first. Hence the bankers were being contained to bring the knowledge of those assets into the hand of the state.

Our protagonist is shocked by the plan to nationalise bankers in order to turn them into deadly government weapons, and decides to flee the country. Uninformed because of his recent 'holiday', he believes that the phenomenon is specific to the UK, and considers continental Europe a safe haven.

After being chased through London by hordes of raging bankers, our hero and Frothy make it to St Pancras, and collapse into their seats on the Eurostar.

Frothy, the trustworthy companion who has been serving the banking community for decades, unpacks a sandwich from home, and offers a bite to our hero with a smile on his face.
Published first on Here is the City Life on February 1st, the original can be found here.