Joke 1
Joe Blogger had a cheque returned last week. They said it was due to “Insufficient Funds.” Now, Joe’s not sure if they meant his account or the bank’s?

Joke 2
There are two sides to a bank’s balance sheet – the left side and the right side. On the left side, there is nothing right, and on the right side, there is nothing left!

My cell phone has been bombarded with forwarded jokes like the ones above ever since the global financial crisis started. At least some people have their sense of humour intact despite the troubled times. Some might even thank God for such small mercies.

rtr1yu4z_comp.jpgThe BSE Sensex which has been hurtling down in a merciless downward spiral for the past 8 months has seen a Monday morning surge. The index is up more than 7 pct on assurances from finance minister P Chidambaram that the government was working on more measures to improve liquidity.

But will liquidity revive the markets and restore confidence?

For its part, India’s top private sector lender ICICI has unleashed an unprecedented information drive (on TV, by email and SMS) to assure depositors that all is well with the bank.