Skip to main content

Funny Money: Clash of the Titanic Eggheads

Greenspan vs. Bernanke vs. Paulson. Plus, groovy CEOs, Intel's tech savvy, Coke's new pitch and more.

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.



Chief Alan Greenspan said there's a "one-third probability" of a U.S. recession. Current Fed Chief Ben Bernanke responded: "


, go a-way! I can do it. You're just making it worse.



I do think we should put Greenspan, Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson on an island to see who's really in charge. Give Bernake a net, Greenspan a conch, and Paulson the smell of blood.

Moving on to executive compensation...


top execs were once again paid a nominal $1 salary in 2006. Who needs money when you can make yourself appear at the top of every search for "Sweetest dude ever"?

On the other hand,


CEO also got $1 in salary, but that's because it's all that company can afford.

(Yes, I know there were stocks involved. I'm just pretending to be as bright as they must think people are. "Wow, just one dollar! What great guys.")

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

J.C. Penney

actually gave its CEO a $2.67 million bonus for 2006, or, as it officially reported, 267 million... um... uh... Penneys. Really. No, really. Not "really, they did that," but "really, I wrote that."

In other executive developments, James Balsillie will lose the title of chairman at BlackBerry maker

Research in Motion

, because it hurt his thumbs to type out his full title on those tiny little keyboards.

Shareholders of


are planning a coup. First they'll have a proxy vote, then they'll run over the CEO with a stolen Cadillac and kidnap a hooker.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Ron Burkle made $200 million in the last month selling two supermarket chains. Of course, the earnings were only paper profits, and Burkle did ask for plastic.


Blackstone Group

purchased the owner of Madame Tussauds' wax museum from Dubai International Capital. Wait... Dubai owned


wax museums?? Where's the outrage? Where's the congressional hearing?? How could we have let some country with ties to terrorists control our tributes to Whoopi Goldberg? What would've been next, Iran producing all our plastic pink flamingos? The horror.

Blackstone, by the way, now owns amusement parks and entertainment groups like Merlin, Legoland and Gardaland. "Excellent," said Blackstone CEO Willy Wonka.

Meanwhile, the

Carlyle Group

will invest $100 million in properties on Long Island. I'm sorry, $100 million on Long Island? Make that invest in "property" singular.

In corporate news this week,


says it may have lost emails it was to turn over in an antitrust lawsuit. Sure. I mean, come on, how can Intel be expected to keep track of every email. It's not like they're tech-savvy or something.

Exxon Mobil

will reinvest much of its record profits. The rest? Sardinia, parties, all-year-round.

The barriers to the break up of


have forced this writer with the phonetically identical last name to say, "It's not you, it's me." No, wait, it's you.


improperly taped conversations between the company's PR people and

The New York Times

. That employee apologized, saying, "I thought they were union organizers" then got a promotion. Okay, that's not true, but did you know the name of that conversation-taping Wal-Mart employee is Patricia Dunn? Did you? I wondered where she ended up.


pushed use of the drug Actimmune, even though it apparently doesn't work. Duh. That's what people do. FYI, reading Funny Money makes you taller! I swear! Do it. Gimme a dollar.

Patients taking Actimmune actually had a higher


rate than those on the placebo. Which is never good. Especially when the drug was only designed to clear up acne.

Hey Mel, my keyboard just clicked. Isn't that part of the "audio-entertainment market" too, Mr. Karmazin?

Speaking of which, several radio owners agreed to pay a $12.5 million fine for the recent payola scandal. Great, but the problem isn't bribes for airtime, the problem is that pop music is, by definition, "popular," and popular is, by definition, "bland and soulless." The lowest common denominator never reaches a high standard.

In a related development,


launched a campaign encouraging people to assert individuality with their sunglasses. Nothing says "unique and independent" like buying something you'll lose in a week because advertising says everyone's doing it.




are insisting their new healthy drinks not be called "soda," but "sparkling beverages." Why? Because you are not "being lied to," you're being "misled." They don't think you're "dumb," just "easily fooled."

Finally: a $370 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot this week. The winner restates his earnings to "eat my shorts."

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

) is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer and person. He's the winner of the 2006 Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, stars in the "Comedy Against Evil" tour, and is writing "Get Rich Cheating," a parody of corporate crime, for Prentice Hall Press. Jeff performs at clubs and colleges all over the known galaxy and has been featured at the Edinburgh Fringe, Freedom Cinema, and San Francisco Comedy Festivals. He 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, and played college football. After extended stops in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and D.C., Jeff now lives in New York City from whence he is available for birthdays, circumcisions and bachelorette parties. Kreisler appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email.