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Funny Money: The Bernanke Snooze

Democracy in action, Wal-Mart's strategy and the Russkies' new strategy to end American capitalism.

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.

After an 88-year wait, the curse is over! The Chicago White Sox won the World Series, and Alan Greenspan's replacement has been named!

Unfortunately for the Greenspan family, Alan will soon be talking cryptically at home. "After careful deliberation, I have determined it prudent to raise the chance of passing the mashed potatoes by 0.25%"

On Monday, President Bush chose Ben Bernanke to replace Greenspan as chairman of the

Federal Reserve

. There's concern that Bernanke won't be as savvy as Greenspan. Savvy? Alan Greenspan? Sly, clever or intelligent ... sure. But savvy? He was just setting monetary policy, people. He wasn't a secret agent dodging lasers, defusing missiles and drinking shaken martinis. Or was he? They did name a new James Bond, didn't they? Could it be? Nah...

Bernanke once told the National Economists Club that the government could, but wouldn't, "print money and distribute it willy-nilly." The man used the phrase "willy-nilly" in a speech to economists! He's got my vote! (

What, we don't vote on this? When do we vote? Supreme Court? No? U.N. Ambassador? No? Secretary of State? No no no? American Idol? Yes! USA! USA!)

Full disclosure: Ben Bernanke actually taught my Econ 101 class when I was a freshman at Princeton. No joke. I wish I could offer some insight, but I don't remember freshman year. No joke. Being drunk at 10 a.m. economics lectures may be why I've gotten to this point. No joke. Really. This is my life. No. Joke.

Around the World, to the Left

In corporate news this week, 82-year old executive


chairman Sumner Redstone said that even after his company splits, he won't "take his hands off the wheel." Of course, with the octogenarian "sharing the wheel," the company will continue driving 45 mph in the fast lane with the left turn signal on.


revealed plans to save energy and health care costs. In one surprise directive, store managers were instructed to exploit workers only during daylight hours. The memo went on to say that the company could also save money by building an army of undead robot drones that would feed directly on the dreams of small-business owners.

The (no longer) secret internal document suggested that Wal-Mart only hire healthy workers, and this presents an existential conundrum: Which came first, the unhealthy American or the Wal-Mart?


has hired former Soviet weapons scientists to help design new cars. The scientists are perfect for the job, because they worked for decades to accomplish what GM has done in years: bring American capitalism to its knees.'s

earnings fell by 44% last quarter. Apparently, they neither wrote, nor could sell, the book of love.


will put nutrition facts right on its food packaging. The company says it will make it "easier to understand and read our nutrition information." Judging by the giant bold "HOT" on my coffee, it will also help prevent lawsuits.

Cisco Systems

is planning to donate $40 million toward wireless Internet access for schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Of course, the schools don't have teachers, students, books or floors... but at least they'll be able to


in the hallway. (Though they don't have halls, either.)


Banco Santander

bought Philadelphia's

Sovereign Bancorp

on Monday and immediately offered checking accounts with paella cheesesteaks.

Morton's Steakhouse

plans to file an IPO in coming days. The IPO will be really tasty at first, but if you eat too much, you'll get sick, have high blood pressure and die young.


reported a drop in third-quarter profits. Apparently, consumers haven't taken to the new line of "Chunky" beer.


named the head of its sports division to lead the news department. His first televised project: a wrestling match between Bob Schieffer and Morley Safer. Not for the anchor chair, just for fun.

He's perfect for the job. After all, the man behind broadcasting golf must surely know about boring TV.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts denied the request of

Research In Motion

to reverse a lower ruling against its Blackberry device. Roberts announced his decision by sending a note on his Treo.

In international news, the government of Dubai is part of a group that has bid to buy


. Dubai also recently invited Donald Trump to design properties there. What part of "failure" don't these people get? Does Dubai think that owning expensive but impractical symbols of American economic excess is a status symbol? Are they gonna hang out with hipster friends, and be like, "Check it out, Yemen, my dad just bought me



To which Yemen might reply: "Oh yeah? Well, look at this antique relic. It's the American auto industry."

Finally, doubts have risen about Saudi Arabia's promise to increase oil production. Gosh, why would we ever doubt Saudi Arabia? Haven't they always acted in our best interests? It's not like holding down supply would increase prices and drive up their profits, right?

At least, that's what I learned in Bernanke's Econ 101.

A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler ( 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;

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