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Funny Money: Lies, Lies, Lies (Ye-ah!)

Learning not to trust Bank of America, Fannie Mae and others. Plus, Cisco's shrewd negotiations.

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.





merger faces a major FCC hurdle because of the potential antitrust ramifications. The companies didn't help their cause by naming the new venture "Standard Oil."

The companies argue that their market doesn't include only satellite radio, but also regular radio, iPods, the Internet, blogs, 20 Questions, I Spy, the license plate game, "So help me, if I have to stop this car..." and other forms of free entertainment. Unfortunately, that argument made all 14 million subscribers ask, "Wait, why am I paying for this again?"

One interesting tidbit: There's a $175 million breakup fee if either company's shareholders reject the deal. I was going to suggest the same thing to my wife, but her mom seemed a little too eager to pony up the cash.

In other news, I'm not wearing pants.

In other M&A news,


will acquire


, then make the retailer wear a loud blazer with felt question marks and scream at everyone that he can provide a list of ways to get money from the government!

Ask Lesco!

Vulcan Materials

will acquire

Florida Rock Industries

. Spock, an analyst with Enterprise Investments, called Vulcan's move "logical." Then he gave Sulu the death grip.

Warner Music

made its fourth takeover bid for the

EMI Group

. The music industry, always remixing old songs as covers that aren't any better than the original.

Whole Foods

will buy rival

Wild Oats

then sell that stores' product at twice what it costs at Safeway, but everyone will go to Whole Foods because it seems hip and "earthy."


might buy


to form your one-stop shop for decrepit bankrupt companies of the past. Come on, no one needs to buy a car now that we're all getting around on



Hey GM, you want a significantly cheaper but only slightly less functional acquisition that sounds just like "Chrysler." Try me, Jeff Kreisler. I'll build imaginary cars out of your broken dreams.

In other auto news,


is offering buyouts to employees at two Tennessee plants. "Dear Successful and Efficient Foreign Company Investing in America's Workforce: It's not you, it's me."

OK, sweatpants. But still, it's one in the afternoon, and no real pants yet.

Our Fearless Corporate Leaders



, you jerk. Canceling a quarter of your flights wasn't your worst crime. All your seatback televisions were stuck on a loop of

Grey's Anatomy


American Idol



was cruel.

BT Group

TheStreet Recommends

named a new chairman, Michael Rake, current chair of KPMG International. Rake will take over as soon as he emerges from a complex offshore tax shelter he built for KPMG clients.

US Airways

CEO Doug Parker pleaded guilty to DUI: Delta Unaccepting Interest.

Fannie Mae

will withhold $44 million in pay to current and former execs who... Wait! The company just restated


, and now those execs get $200 million... Wait! Another restatement, and, yup, Fannie Mae declared itself incompetent.


is close to naming a new CEO. Let me just say two words: Bumble. Bee.

Management at


is making employees switch cubicles in an effort to promote loyalty to Skype phones and avoid substantive change to increasing obsolete technology.

Lou Pearlman

, who launched acts like the Backstreet Boys, was accused of running pump-and-dump schemes in the 90s. Foisting worthless products onto the unsuspecting and vulnerable? Sounds like boy bands to me.

Conrad Black

is suing a British author for libel. Uh, Mr. Black, um ... you're very handsome and talented and, uh, please don't hurt me.

Oh, Conrad, those pants look really good on you.

Bank of America

will phase out it's "Higher Standards" slogan because it's tired of the lies, lies, lies! It can't even look at me anymore, it doesn't even know who I am. New slogan: "Give Us Your Money Already ... You'll Get Most of It Back."


fourth-quarter profits jumped 26%. Looks like my private investigators were right.

Home Depot's

fourth-quarter profits fell 28%! Looks like some CEO's in line for a big bonus! And bigger pants.

In other earnings news,

Abercrombie & Fitch's

profit rose after the company discovered a hidden cache of underage master race models.


announced a 26% fourth-quarter profit drop, but said the outlook was bright because it's been stalking a herd of gazelles all morning.

Elizabeth Arden's

perfume sales may be hurt by Britney Spears recent tabloid exploits.

No, not the celebrity perfume industry!

What will I do if my otherwise pleasant mornings aren't interrupted by the rancid stench of teenagers trying too hard? Come on, Britney. For my olfactory senses, if not your own.

Speaking of funny smells, the Supreme Court overturned a $79.5 million jury award in a cigarette case, then adjourned for lunch in the Philip Morris cafeteria.

RJR Reynolds

will promote its new Camel cigarettes for women with "smoking spas" at city bars. Women can sit back and smoke, all while getting a manicure, blow-dry, breath mints, and a CAT scan.



will stop promoting its cervical cancer vaccine for young girls because it "simply has too much money to care anymore."

On the other hand, some employers are now offering preventative care like free drugs in order to save health costs in the long run. Um, saving on sick workers? Don't employers realize that's what India and Mexico are for?





"settled" their trademark dispute over "iPhone." Well, they agreed to stop any legal action. Nice work, Cisco. You wanted something and got nothing. I haven't seen that type of negotiating prowess since the Democrats agreed not to filibuster. And the end result -- competing with Apple -- very similar to BetaMax's deal with VHS. See you around, kid.

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;

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