Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Who is Bart Turtelboom?

There a lot of people around with vivid imaginations. Some of them like to imagine that Bart Turtelboom is some kind of co-head of emerging markets at GLG Partners. [It's a funny old world.] And maybe he is. Wouldn't it be a wonderful surprise if it turned out to be true? Dear reader, if someone - a complete stranger in our strange land - were to grab you by the lapels, as you were reading the paper or sipping from a mug of coffee, minding your own business, basically, and were to ask you, "Who is Bart Turtelboom?", and you were to tell that person, with absolute conviction, "Bart Turtelboom is a co-head of emerging markets at GLG", wouldn't there be a massive sense of relief, not just within your good self, but within the stranger, and within everyone around you - possibly those people with the vivid imaginations?

O Master, I know I would be relieved. There's too much mystery in this world. I think we need to know who men like Bart Turtelboom are, and what they do for a living. Just my personal view, of course. I know everyone doesn't feel the same way.

Who is Mark Diab? Oh, don't get me started on Mark Diab! Mark Diab is a man like Bart Turtelboom, or he's supposed to be. The rumour is that Mark has joined GLG as a portfolio manager of all things! And it gets better! Bart Turtelboom and Karim Abdel-Motaal are delighted that Mark is a part of the team now and reporting to them. Are we expected to believe this? Who concocts these stories? We're having a hard enough time establishing the reality of Bart Turtelboom. I don't know who Mark Diab is! I've never heard of Karim Abdel-Motaal! They may exist. They may be more than mere thought-forms. I wouldn't rule it out. But isn't it inconsiderate of some bastard somewhere - having a right giggle, no doubt - to foist all these characters on us? We're only human!

O Master, spare a thought for me. I'm not even human, just a voice. All these so-called people are putting a terrible strain on my system, such as it is. I don't know if I'm coming or going. Bob Diamond himself could be stood right in front of me, I wouldn't know it. What is real? What is an illusion? What is a person? What is a voice? Actually, come to think of it, who am I?

Who is Michael Fowke? It had to happen sooner or later. I was always heading for this - this breakdown? No, I've had breakdowns before. More than nineteen. This is something else. An ultimate question. Who is Michael Fowke? I really need to know. Who is Michael Fowke? If I knew, would I be writing any of this? I hardly think so. I would be in the City, earning a respectable living, not floating on a cloud of utter insanity. O dear reader, I hope everything is all right with you. I hope you don't have these problems. I'm always judging you by my standards, but I don't know anything about you. I don't know who you are. Who are you? Dear reader(s), who are you?

O Master, don't go down that route. You don't want to know who your readers are, trust me. They're not likely to be upstanding members of the community, are they? Probably the sort of people who write letters to serial killers in prison, asking for their hand in marriage. Yeah, even civil partnerships. It all goes on. No, it's best you don't know, boss.