Funny Money: Dark Days

With ours assets going overseas and the economy failing, what are we to do? Oh yeah: video games.
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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.

So I'll be leaving

at the end of this month. My final column will run Feb. 3 -- a.k.a. Super Bowl Sunday, a.k.a. Pats' redemption. I'm off to work on many other projects, from my comedy tour to a book to business humor elsewhere. You can keep in touch and keep track of me at


Since these are my last few columns for

, I'll try to slip in more of my own opinions than usual. If the editor doesn't like it, what's he gonna do,

fire me?

With the economy teetering, some stimulus packages include more tax cuts. You know, trickle down economics, which is when the rich go to the bathroom on the poor.

The presidential candidates proposed economic plans of their own. Despite nuanced differences, they all boiled down to one basic idea: Elect me, and I'll spend billions on a really bitchin' inaugural party.

Saudi Arabia and China have all our stuff now, don't they? Good. Relieves us of the burden of decision-making. Now we can just work and work and work and YouTube and MasterCard and work and work and work and never worry about how to spend the money we don't have. Hooray!

The Zagat family is selling its guide business. I went to high school with Ted Zagat. Hey Ted, remember when me and Fraze hazed you, faked those phone calls from your mom, threatened to make you go boom?

Ummm, just kidding. Didn't know you had money. Love me?

In Wesley Snipes' tax evasion trial, the actor said he's not required to pay taxes. Besides, he's been to the future and he knows Bush's tax cuts eventually do become permanent and complete. Which is why he became a half-human, half-vampire vigilante in the first place.


Steve Jobs introduced a new laptop and iTunes services at Jonestown, er, I mean MacWorld Expo. Then, after everyone drank iKoolAid, he disappeared in a cloud of sulfur.

General Motors

invested in a company that will produce ethanol from "standard municipal waste," or what you and I call "local politicians."

This Will Require a Good Antacid


lost a lot of money, saying, "Um... Whoops?"

Aw, the little banks are suffering. Ooh, poor things.

Well, maybe you shouldn't have eaten so much of those subprimes without reading the ingredients. That's why you get a little tummy ache. You just gobble up so much without thinking.

Meanwhile, back in Money Town,

New York Times

exposed the growing number of loopholes that allow hedge funds and large investors to avoid reporting certain stock purchases. See, America, all it takes is a careful reading of the fine print of everything. Too bad we're not teaching you to read.


had a large profit,


profits fell, and I wondered what other companies I thought no longer existed would appear.

The video game industry is developing a political action committee. Hey, why shouldn't the makers of violence, lies and sex get paid from the makers of pretend violence, lies and sex?

Seriously, video games and Congress? They're the chocolate and peanut butter of human control.

Besides, an election is really just a video game, right



Virgin Atlantic will fly a jet using biofuel. Shortly thereafter, Virgin will be bought by OPEC and have an "unfortunate" accident.

New York Times

headline (yeah, I'm reading it a lot.): "Interest Fades in the Once-Mighty V-8." Prompting auto-buyers everywhere to slap their foreheads and say, "I should have had a hybrid."

Yeah, I also remember commercials from the 1980s. Waddaya gonna do about it?

How Much for Your Soul?

The Supreme Court limited the ability of shareholders to bring lawsuits. Why not? Corporate greed and lack of due diligence and the exploitation of those with less information has never had society-wide impact, so why should we check unbridled power? Same question I have about the Supreme Court itself.

Yeah, I know it's more complex than that, but this Supreme Court makes Ayn Rand look like a beatnik socialist.

So, Citigroup loses almost $10 billion and also states that the housing market has not yet bottomed? out? Geez, if you can't trust the forecasting opinion of someone who lost billions based upon poor forecasting, who can you trust?

A private equity firm, Founders Equity, purchased the check-cashing chain, Pay-O-Matic. Sure, cut out the middle men who bundled those screwy subprimes and just exploit the poor directly.


reported revenue of $10.71 billion, a 10.5% increase over last year, but still saw its stock fall. Really? Is it any wonder that the financial industry is unpredictable? Makes the entertainment industry looked refined and rational. Good luck with that.



Pays $1 Billion For MySQL." When I first read that headline, I thought it said "Sun Pays $1 Billion For My Soul." I really didn't think it was worth that much. Well, that's inflation for you.



BEA Systems

, just as the oracle predicted. Er, the board of Oracle, I guess. Man, I'm gonna miss Oracle jokes. Was finally using my mythology classes.

Robert Zoellick is facing turmoil at the World Bank. Understandable. Since he comes from the U.S. auto industry, he's not used to handling money.

The EU raided drugmakers accused of conspiring to keep cheap generic products from the market. But hey, the free market will regulate itself. No need to accuse me of being a socialist again. Just imagine me doing all this in a jester's outfit and you'll see why it's funny.

OK, so the former CEO of

Brocade Communications

gets 21 months in prison for orchestrating the company's backdated stock options, and he says, "I'm sorry. There is much that I regret, and if I could turn back the clock, I would."


That's what got you into this situation in the first place!

Ugh. Well, at least he wins the prize for the world's least effective mea culpa ever. Except when Jack the Ripper said, "I'm sorry. I wish I could just slash all my mistakes with a knife."

Sigh. These are the people running our economy. Good luck with that.

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 writes for Comedy Central's Indecision2008, won the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, is in the cast of "Shoot The Messenger," a new show from the creator of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," stars in the "Comedy Against Evil" tour, and is writing "Get Rich Cheating," a parody of corporate crime. 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.