Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hot new financial trend: default blame swaps

New York (Chemjobber News Service) In a surprising turn of events, R&D scientists across chemical and pharmaceutical companies have been growing wealthy due to a novel financial instrument: the default blame swap. This has been used to cushion the blow of taking the blame for various and sundry corporate failures of policy.

Here's how the process works: when a project is initiated, a ratings agency will analyze the project and the credit and the blame for its success or failure. Wall Street financial firms, investment banks and hedge funds will then offer terms for the default blame swap (DBSs) in case of project failure; people who typically take blame for the failure of projects can then purchase DBSs as a form of insurance.

This trend is rocketing across the country and is driving up the price of DBSs, as academic and corporate bench scientists of all stripes are eager to find some way of getting a benefit from taking the blame. Said one senior scientist, "Every time my department lead blames me for us taking a mauling in last month's quarterly profits, I get action -- what could be better than that?" International postdoctoral fellows who speak English poorly are increasing their purchases of DBS, too: "I tired of taking blame for lost reagents, bad project and big-ego PI! Now I get money!"

One idealistic Wall Streeters (who spoke on the condition of anonymity) sadly said: "It used to be that the boss would give the credit to the team members and would take the blame for bad decisions. Those days are gone - now it's every man and woman for themselves. Well, we might as well get some arbitrage from it; I've made double last year's bonus on DBSs!"

Corporate managers bemoan the trend in DBSs. Said one, "We used to take the credit and send all the blame to folks below us -- now they're getting rich on it. Where's the justice in that?" 


  1. Very funny CJ! In this day bemoaning in the pharmaceutical companies, a little sense of humor does not hurt. Can someone fill in on what is going on at Merck? I hear that big decision is due any time.

  2. What is happening at Amgen?