Financial sectors received another blow today when the world's two largest and most respected sperm banks separately announced that they were in a sticky situation. The Nobel Sperm Bank in Oslo and the Jade Pagoda and Two Golden Drums Sperm Bank in China are both leaders in the field of quality sperm production, dissemination and insemination.
In a banking sector that is tightly regulated, the announcements first sent ripples through investor circles that quickly became convulsive overnight. "When we visited the Nobel Sperm Bank last month to size them up, everything appeared firm. I just don't know why they collapsed. I'm drawing a blank", commended international regulatory chief Hans Ondeck.
Hans Knudstrom, director of the Nobel Sperm Bank, explained that their bank, informally called the Genius Factory, serves clients who want to improve the chances of having intelligent and high-achieving off-spring. "As I've said before, sperm banks are a slippery business in the best of times," asserted Knudstrom. "But due to the credit crunch, our donors are making more withdrawals than deposits. The more they withdraw, the greater the crisis in their confidence. It's all quite psychological and becomes a performance issue really."
"We know the sperm is out there, but how to get it back into circulation? These Nobel laureates are a quirky bunch of nerds anyway. Once they get an idea into their heads it's hard to change them. Right now they think it's safer to keep their sperm deposits at home under their mattresses rather than in the banks."
"We're changing our incentives to attract more donors", explained Knudstrom. "We used to give away a free pocket pen and pencil set, but now we're offering a Hadron Collider Particle Accelerator Home Kit with new sperm deposits of over 60 million per millilitre."
Nobel is also starting an ad campaign appeal featuring Sally Struthers who will interview offspring poster children already produced by artificial insemination from their bank. "Basically Sally will pitch the idea that these poor, unfortunate misfits would never have been born in the first place if whacky, greedy, privileged parents had been deprived of Nobel sperm. It's shamelessly emotional, but if it moves even one Nobel laureate to ejaculate in our direction, we'll be happy," gushed Mr Nordstrum.
In China, the Jade Pagoda and Two Golden Drums Sperm Bank in south west Sichuan province pleaded for hands-on assistance. Jing Zi, director of the state-run celebrity sperm bank, explained that domestic consumption of sperm with high quality characteristics has steadily been on the rise in China, due to the new economy.
"We may be latecomers, but China's nouveau riche want everything the west has right now, and that includes designer sperm, not cheap knock-offs from street vendors", explained Ms Jing. "With the global credit crisis looming, we've had a run on our bank in recent days, and that has gobbled up all our deposits."
"It took us completely by surprise. With a surplus of 25 million Chinese men, and most of them living lonely existences in the cities where they have gone to find work, we thought we would have an endless stream of semen. But that has dried up practically overnight. I know we Chinese are risk-aversive and like to save everything down to the last drop, but this is ridiculous," sneered a frustrated Ms Jing.
"Right now we are in a crisis. We need buckets and buckets of bailout. The Chinese People's Liberation Army is single-handedly working around the cock (clock). The young men are exhausted but are not complaining," beamed Ms Jing proudly.
PLA General Luguan Liumang told reporters on the scene that his soldiers are no strangers to national disaster, citing their extraordinary performance during China's past year of floods, blizzards and earthquakes. The General proudly remarked, through a slightly embarrassed interpreter, "Our brave young men are willing to self sacrifice their last drop of bodily fluids for China's future. Luckily we have prepared for this sperm bank emergency and the soldiers have received hard training as individuals, small groups and together as whole platoons. We have measured their performance and they are well-fit for the job at hand. We will gloriously pump billions into our sperm bank non-stop."
Due to the enormity of the problem, and well aware of the heroic efforts but small individual contributions of the Chinese soldiers, the Jade Pagoda and Two Golden Drums Sperm Bank has pulled in Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and choreographer Zhang Jigang who staged the recent Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Choreographer Zhang waxed poetic, "It's really hard to take in the beautiful sight of 4,000 young men, all performing fluid hand and body movements in perfect harmony with each other, first gentle movements, then a crescendo of beating drums, and finally a stunning climax of fireworks. And smiling all the while, of course!"
Just when things seemed well in hand, the Jade Pagoda and Two Golden Drums Sperm Bank was hit with more bad news. The central government in Beijing leaked a report accusing the sperm bank of watering down its sperm and adding melamine to fool inspectors.
Ms Jing cried foul. "We've had a spotless reputation. These charges must be investigated." Former inspector at the sperm bank, Xiao Yang Le Ba, stated, "I'm from the Old School. If it looks like sperm, feels like sperm, smells like sperm, and tastes like sperm, then it's sperm. But today everybody wants to earn a quick yuan. You just can't tell the real McCoy any more. The romance has gone out of sperm donation. We used to give them a small plastic cup and a porno mag from Taiwan and they'd come out smiling. Now they demand a 55 gallon drum and a copy of Financial Times. We should have suspected something. I'm glad I took early retirement."
With the possible collapse of sperm bank giants Nobel and Jade Pagoda and Two Golden Drums, other related sperm industries are starting to feel the ripple effects. In Japan and Norway, the whaling industry has reported that sperm whales are nowhere to be found. Denying overhunting, the whaling industry blamed global warming. Whaling spokesman Al Gore issued a brief statement, "Hey, don't blame us. If tight underwear can reduce sperm count, then global warming can reduce sperm whales. It has nothing to do with corporate greed."