In 2012, journalists and investors took to Twitter to express their feelings and frustrations about the financial world. We wracked our brains to pick out some of the best, most hilarious hashtags of the year.
It began with a silly tweet, and it turned into a meme. University of Michigan professor and economist Justin Wolfers started the hashtag #FedValentines on Feb. 10, just ahead of Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, to joke about the monetary easing measures he’d like to see Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve adopt.
Bernanke and his team put what’s commonly called “Operation Twist”—selling short-dated Treasurys to buy long-dated bonds and push down long-term interest rates—into motion in September 2011. But by the beginning of the year, investors were already pressing him to do more to stimulate a still sluggish US economy. The Twitter-verse was awash with corny finance jokes…
— Justin Wolfers (@justinwolfers) February 10, 2012
Our love has no moral hazard. #FedValentines
— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) February 10, 2012
— Austan Goolsbee (@Austan_Goolsbee) February 10, 2012
As it happens, even regional Federal Reserve banks joined the fun.
What do you get when you marry the Eurovision Song Contest, famous for its cheesy musical numbers, with a crisis threatening to destroy the euro? You get bored finance types inventing song titles to poke fun at Greece’s endless need for credit and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
A LOAN AGAIN (NATURALLY) #eurosongs
— Ivan the K (@IvanTheK) February 1, 2012
— Dan Davies (@dsquareddigest) September 6, 2012
#SpainIsNotUganda (and #UgandaIsNotSpain)
Spanish dignitaries had been adamant for a while that “Spain is not Greece”. But after Spanish banks got a €100 billion bailout in June, making the parallel with struggling Greece a little too close for comfort, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy felt compelled to text finance minister Luis de Guindos to keep calm because “Spain is not Uganda.” The Ugandan foreign minister retorted the next day, “Uganda does not want to be Spain!” This happened to be during Euro 2012, a massive soccer tournament. And so was born a Twitter frenzy.
Help Spain recover from its financial dilemma. Donate anything from money to shoes to clothes you no longer need. #SpainIsNotUganda
— Urban Legend Kampala (@ULKampala) June 11, 2012
— TMS Ruge (@tmsruge) June 11, 2012
— Elvina Nawaguna (@elvina_nawaguna) June 13, 2012
Indeed#spainisnotuganda. There is no way we would have scored 3 goals against Ireland. Go Spain
— Grace Natabaalo (@Natabaalo) June 14, 2012
2012 was a disappointing year for many traders, with markets moving more on rumors, trading in Apple stock, and—most importantly—the decisions of central banks. Chief among market movers was Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who repeatedly dropped hints that further easing of monetary policy was not far away. Those statements invariably moved markets, leading traders to pray for new “gifts” from the Fed.
Tell the Fed what you’d like in this program here: #bernankegifts
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) August 1, 2012
The blog When In Finance—and its associated Twitter hashtag—was born to handle all this sarcasm. The site, now home to more than 450 finance-oriented jokes, mostly using animated GIFs, parodies the foibles of working in finance:
Think we’ve forgotten one? Tweet your meme to @quartznews or @SimoneFoxman