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Funny Money: Grapes of Unlimited Prosperity

Never mind layoffs, income disparity and subprime fraud; sales are booming at Tiffany's.

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.

Hey, everything's great. There's no corporate crime, our economic outlook is strong, and the world's going to be a safe and happy place.

April Fool's!

The American income gap is the largest its been since 1928. Ah, 1928, good times. There was boundless optimism, a market that provided for everyone and no signs of despair, and John Steinback was considering law school since no one wanted to publish his book

The Grapes of Unlimited Prosperity


In related news,


reported growth that exceeded expectations. Considering every cold, heartless SOB within five miles of

Goldman Sachs

got $50 million in bonuses to spend on loveless relationships, expectations should've been through the roof.


plans to cut 12,000 jobs so it can fit all its employees under one red cartoon umbrella.

Circuit City

will cut the 8% of its staff that actually knew what they were talking about and helped customers instead of just trying to upsell them.

Pilots for

TheStreet Recommends

American Airlines

are upset that executives got huge bonuses after they'd made sacrifices to keep the carrier in the air. The pilots, newly renamed "Naive Suckers of the Sky," obviously didn't notice that the execs were the only ones given parachutes, mostly golden.

Beazer Homes

is facing fraud charges. Well, duh. It's a home builder with a "z" in its name. You wouldn't send your kids to a school named "Kidz Lern," would you?

The chair of the FDIC, Sheila Bair, introduced anti-predatory lending legislation on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the banking lobby introduced anti-Sheila Bair legislation.

Hey, subprime loans aren't fraud. They're just opening up the dream of ownership to the poor. Oh, wait, I guess I see why that's so bad.

A new study shows that heart stents perform no better than drug treatments. Why did we waste our time on that


sale a while ago? You know, the one with the faulty stents that, even if not dangerous, we now know didn't work? Why? Guidant, you owe me two months of my life.

Meanwhile, authorities began investigating the head of


, France's largest corporation. He allegedly paid bribes to win huge contracts in Iran.

Wow, bribery, profits, corporate leverage, Iran...

That is the Total package.

The former CEO of

Aspen Technologies

pleaded guilty to lying to investors. He told them investing in Aspen entitled them to use Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Vail Technologies, though there was really an extra charge.

Assets of the Russian oil company


were auctioned off this week. Potential bidders were told by the Kremlin to "Drink this tea and don't worry about the powdery substance in it." Rosneft, the state oil company, won the auction.


The only other bid came from a small company that has since relocated to the Gulag. Now Yukos is inside Rosneft, which is inside the Kremlin, which is inside Putin. Inside all of that: A tiny wooden Russian Babushka.

After a witness testified against him this week, Conrad Black choked him, using only his mind and the Dark Side of the Hollinger.

Speaking of dark,


is trying to kill me. Actually, it's creating a mobile advertising network so that I want to kill it. If I succeed, we'll all be dead, but at least we won't be a demographic anymore.


has apparently abandoned plans to open a store in New York City. Hey, don't let the


hit you on the way out.

Profits jumped at


after millions of Americans thought "green" meant "-Mart."


made a bid for

LionOre Mining

in hopes that I'd enjoy their names as much as I did




. So far, I'm not as excited.

Burger King

will buy eggs and pork from suppliers that don't keep animals in cages. They will, however, continue serving to customers who live in cages of consumerism and consumption. Seriously, a nice animal rights advance. Thanks, Pamela Andersen of PETA; that's two things you're good for. Umm, make that three.


will release a special edition Xbox console with bigger hard drive, higher-def picture, greater interface abilities, and discounts for pizza delivery, online dating services and acne medication.

The FCC approved the buyout of


after the company agreed to improve the quality of children's programming and admitted its regular programming, while immature, wasn't for children.


was cleared in another Vioxx case, bringing its record to 10-5. Of course, those were all spring training games. The regular season starts tonight.

Merck was also in the news for canceling research into an insomnia medication. They already have Vioxx, which provides the ultimate sleep. Perchance to dream. Ah, there's the rub.


continues to expand into offline advertising. They want to get more "eyes." Wait a second. Google... Eyes...

Googly eyes!

I knew it: our childhood dolls are seeking revenge!



settled with the last record company suing it for infringement related to Napster. Then it invested in YouTube.

The big three U.S. automakers asked President Bush to push for more alternative fuels but admitted that ran counter to his pro-Armageddon, pro-Rapture policies.

The head of the


promised to be tough at the union's convention, then the camera pulled back to reveal he was speaking to an empty conference room, save for a few stuffed animals on chairs.

In other auto news,


made a bid for


. In similar news, my teenage years sought to purchase my midlife crisis.

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.