Editor's Note: Welcome to "Funny Money," a feature written by New York-based comedian Jeff Kreisler. Lest there be any confusion, please note that this column is a work of satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy the weekend.
This week's big event came on Tuesday when
Chairman Alan Greenspan came out of his hole, saw his shadow and raised interest rates, thus assuring six more weeks of borrowing. When asked why the short-term rate kept increasing, Greenspan said, "We're just trying to keep pace with the price of oil."
Indeed, oil prices raced to all-time highs this week, despite assurances by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or D.O.O.M. While American consumption habits have not changed, other countries are seeking alternative sources of energy. Romania, for example, reported an uptick in sales of Fred Flintstone-style foot-powered cars.
In related news, the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia said it would close for two days because of security threats, i.e., the hosts needed to roll around in their money.
In corporate news, the bidding war for appliance maker
escalated, with rivals
and Ripplewood Holdings accusing each other of forgetting the fabric softener and mixing whites and colors. The bidding cycle was expected to end with a ding.
Elsewhere on the M&A front,
spent $1 billion for 40% of China's biggest online retailer, Alibaba.com. No word yet on the cost of the 40 thieves.
for $934 million, which explains why it costs about that much to have an "X-ray technician" look at your ankle.
Low Riders Take it Easy
announced that it may lose its partnership with a credit card processing company, thus making it only able to accept cash. The airline, facing bankruptcy, also lost its chief lobbyist and treasurer, both of whom resigned. A spokesman told investors not to worry, because, no, that's not fire on the wings, and yes, there still are a few parachutes left.
announced that it will move its HQ into New York's Flatiron District in an attempt to trim the corporate fat, get leaner and look better in jeans.
stores announced a 90% jump in quarterly profits on strong summer-clothing sales. Now if only those damn kids would pull up their pants, they could sell more belts.
admitted that some of its officers may have inflated earnings in order to beat forecasts. They also inflated waistlines to beat health and fitness. There's a lot of fat underneath that company's shiny glaze.
In legal developments, a judge in Delaware decided that the
board was not "derelict in its responsibilities" for giving Michael Ovitz a $140 million payment after he was fired. Buoyed by the news, execs promised to keep providing mediocre entertainment as long as they're able to give people $140 million to perform poorly. It's a magical kingdom, indeed.
won a $7 million settlement with a spammer and promised to reinvest "every penny." The company is following investment leads for lower mortgage rates, online poker, poor-spelling foreign nationals, and better performance in bed. Microsoft also needs you to pass this information to 20 close friends in the next seven days or you'll have five years of bad luck.
AOL unit also won a spam ruling, and announced a contest to give away $100,000. It sent notification emails to 20 million customers, thus cluttering in-boxes with worthless, time-consuming, um, uh, spam. Oops.
admitted that it overcharged suppliers for the cost of damaged merchandise. The company told investors that it compensated for overcharging suppliers by underpaying employees.
On a separate but related note,
asked a judge to dismiss parts of a sexual discrimination suit, claiming the little yellow smiley face guy knocked down prices on female wages by accident.
A couple of former WorldCom execs were sentenced to five- and one-year sentences for their roles in that company's $11 billion fraud. In related news, everybody everywhere stopped cheating. Former CEO Bernie Ebbers previously got 25 years despite claims that he didn't know about the fraud, or what pundits called the "aw shucks" defense. The "aw shucks" defense was, of course, pioneered in the 1956 case of Wally v. The Beaver.
Finally, two former executives of
were indicted on conspiracy charges in Washington. The execs wished there was some sort of pill to just make the pain of the ordeal go away...
A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler (www.JeffKreisler.com) is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer and person. In the past year, Jeff has worked with Dick Gregory, on Air America and Sirius Radio, and in the 'Comedy Against Evil' tour. He's hosted a dating show, worked on a cooking program, and developed comedies for MTV Networks. Jeff's a regular on Satire for Sanity, and was featured at the Edinburgh Fringe, Freedom Cinema, and San Francisco Comedy Festivals. He lives in New York City with his pet microphone, plays blues saxophone, speaks French and Russian, was a sports broadcaster, taught English in Russia, helped start a non-profit dedicated to at-risk youth, played college football, and is available for birthdays, circumcisions and bachelorette parties. Kreisler appreciates your feedback;
to send him an email.