Funny Money: Secrets, Lies & Conspiracies

Revealed: A secret Nike-Apple-Starbucks-Verizon plan. Plus, Enron's Royal Fannie.
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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.

Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling: guilty. The former

Enron

honchos should've skipped the Scooby-Doo "Rrrrrrrr-I didn't know" defense for the "I did not have fraud with that company" and then pointed to

Fannie Mae

, which got a spanking too this week.

A report from Fannie's regulator said the company's financials were "illusions" created by execs in a $11 billion scheme. Oddly enough, "Illusions" is also the name of the summer tour starring Fannie Mae, her cousin Daisy Duke and her sister/aunt/nanny Britney Spears.

In other scandalous developments, executives in charge of retailer

Royal Ahold

were convicted of fraud this week, when a Dutch jury found them to be "A couple of Royal pains in the Ahold."

Amid accusations that it reacted slowly to evidence that its ReNu contact lens solution caused an eye fungus,

Bausch & Lomb

claimed it was protecting profits since

only

human eyes were at stake, and people have two of those, adding, "Did I say that out loud?"

Psst

... some guy in Central Park told me this is a conspiracy to give everyone cornea replacements so that

They

have a database for retinal scans that

They

will sell to

Verizon

, the NSA, and, oddly enough,

Starbucks

, who will know just when you need more caffeine to go shopping in "The Buy Zone.")

Not coincidentally, Verizon announced plans for significant job cuts, noting that it no longer needs the group hired to hide sales of your information to the NSA.

In a related story, the U.S. State Department will keep personal computers made by

Lenovo

of China, despite possible security risks, noting: "Hey, they already got our veterans info anyway, so what else can go wrong."

Speaking of things going wrong, Ben Bernanke apologized for discussing policy with a

CNBC

anchor, noting "I'd be even more embarrassed if I weren't planning on raising rates to 6% next month. ...

Oops! Did I say that out loud?

"

Elsewhere in the federal government, an FTC study concluded there's been no oil price gouging, and that the study's authors would like to be bribed in

Exxon Mobil

stock. They added, "No, seriously, did I say that out loud?"

Dinosaur Buys Tar Pit

In corporate news this week,

Vonage's

stock fell 15% in the first day of its IPO.

Shocking.

An Internet company whose founder had been banned from Wall Street for abusive trading tactics and that's losing money on an already available product that's easily copied. ... Seems like a wise investment, if you're objective is to horde red flags.

On the flip side,

Mastercard

raised $2.4 billion in an IPO this week. Wait, $2.2 billion of that was just from arbitrarily raising interest rates and charging unjustified late fees.

New

Nike

shoes will work with your

Apple

iPod, doubling your chance of a subway mugging. Nike and iPod, now covering you, literally, head to toe. Just drink Starbucks and your whole body can be controlled from a bunker somewhere between Seattle and Portland.

Sweet! No more decision making!

Not to be outdone,

Microsoft's

Windows Vista will include socks that tell your pacemaker how you smell.

Dell

will open mall stores this year, in an attempt to reach those customers who identify with their former spokesman.

Should'a gone to the Orange Julius, dude.

Nelsen Peltz unsuccessfully tried to shake up

Heinz

because you don't shake a ketchup company, you pound it from the bottom. He claimed the company could save millions for the soon-to-fail 2008 Kerry Presidential campaign if it would just stop selling purple mustard.

ABC News

named Charles Gibson anchor, and exactly seven people under the age of 60 cared.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

was bought by a group of investors including the founder of

Toll Brothers

and, in a totally unrelated coincidence, the

Inquirer

will run a seven-part front-page series, "Giving Money to Toll Brothers Keeps Your Family Safe."

In somewhat related news,

Tribune Company

purchased a real estate website, ForSaleByOwner.com. How cute. It's like a dinosaur buying a tar pit.

Wal-Mart

has agreed to sell its South Korean stores, not because they couldn't adapt to consumers there (which is what

They

want you to believe) but because -- I got this from another reliable guy I met in Central Park -- South Korea refused to battle the equal inside-outside Dwayne Wade - Shaq-like threat of Wal-Mart and North Korea.

GM

asked a bankruptcy judge for an extension for its negotiations with Delphi. Executives at the two companies hope additional time will allow them to travel to an island without an extradition treaty.

GM also announced plans to hire temporary workers to replace those who accepted early retirement. Might I suggest buying a

Ford?

I've been a temp, and if they're like me, they're probably more interested in stealing office supplies than properly installing air bags.

XM Satellite Radio

announced it will miss year-end revenue goals, the latest bad news for the company who earlier had a director resign, an FTC probe, a music lawsuit, and a dog run away... to become

Sirius Satellite's

mascot.

Sara Lee

is spinning off its apparel units, or, more specifically, Sara Lee's food made people so fat that they can't fit into Hanes, Playtex, or Wonderbras anymore.

Finally,

NYSE Group

made a bid for the European stock market, Euronext. A little background: These exchanges only make money five ways:

Fees to list stocks;

Fees to make trades;

Packaging data to banks;

Selling the DNA of celebrities who ring the opening bell, and;

Licensing giant foam "number one" hands.

The combined market would have 22 hours of trading a day, which is great news for those invested in Colombian cocaine and for insiders, who will finally have a one-stop shop for all their cheating needs.

You think companies that incorporate in Delaware and bank in the Cayman's are sketchy? That'll seem like Bocce Ball at Eliot Spitzer's house when "Portuguese" companies start trading on the Mont Saint Michel Stock Exchange.

On the plus side, I'd be able to reach more suckers, er, investors for my company, Jeff's Super Awesome Money Making Scheme, Inc.

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;

click here

to send him an email.