Funny Money: Old Dog, Same Tricks

Tyco goes back to the restatement well. Plus, M&A mania, Merck vs. Amgen and much more.
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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.

Merger mania infested Wall Street again this week. There is no cure. And with fees at 7%, investment bankers vow to kill any scientist who isolates the M&A gene.

Among the biggest deals:

US Airways

offered to buy bankrupt

Delta Air Lines

. US Airways has twice gone through bankruptcy since 2002, thus demonstrating its intimate knowledge of the modern aviation industry.

Two bankruptcies in four years? Maybe if you didn't go around spending $8 billion on profitless companies, you wouldn't have this problem. Perhaps the FAA should take away your credit card.

The $8 billion deal would be $2 billion in cash, $2 billion in stock, and $4 billion in headphone rentals.

Unfortunately, the money will have to be rerouted through Atlanta and thus will be delayed.

And in other airline jokes,

Apple

will join with several U.S. airlines to make airplane seats iPod-capable. Sure, why worry about safety and efficiency when you just can distract people with shiny toys?

Meanwhile,

Clear Channel

is getting purchased by a consortium led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. The giant evil conglomerate that controlled media outlets and live performance venues is going to be

even more

unaccountable? Great. Guess I should polish up my non-opinionated juggling act.

In other M&A news,

Eddie Bauer

agreed to be purchased by a company that agreed to stop convincing women to dress me like a dork on a mountain cabin golf outing. I hope.

Rupert Murdoch is close to buying back

Liberty Media

. Sure, now that the Democrats are in power Fox News' chief is going liberal. Front runner!

GE

and Hitachi will merge their nuclear power units in order to build a flat-screen television that makes instant burgers, does laundry, and gives your children webbed feet.

Pier 1 Imports

was rumored to be receiving a buyout offer. If Pier 1 is bought, where will Old Navy dock?

Tribune's

stock rose early in the week on reports that there was increased interest in the company. The reports were published in the ... uh ...

Chicago Tribune.

Hmmm.

Tonight on Jeff Kreisler Reports: Giving Jeff Kreisler money can save your life.

In other media news, lots of changes at

GE's

NBC unit under the new initiative "NBC 2.0," which apparently stands for the total number of the network's viewers.

NBC's Randy Falco is expected to leave to run AOL's Internet programming. Video online? It'll never work.

Hey! Don't forget to check out the Funny Money online video! It's awesome.

Speaking of 'awesome,'

Nymex's

blockbuster IPO is expected to generate huge returns for buyout firm General Atlantic, which will then have to battle Admiral Pacific's armada in a typhoon around the Arctic Circle.

Halliburton

subsidiary

KBR

(a.k.a. Kellogg Brown & Root, a.k.a. KGB) had its IPO this week. The offering generated almost $475 million, $468 million of which was excessive overhead charges.

In a completely unrelated development, the Bush administration is downplaying the defeat of a bill to normalize trade with Vietnam, calling it "a police action." Or was that the Korean trade bill?

Huh. Vietnam an embarrassment to the President. O.J. in the news again. Democrats in power. The Internet booming on the backs of companies that have no profit.

The times, they are a repeatin'...

Speaking of recidivism,

Tyco

is gonna restate earnings. And you thought you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks. Or are these the same old tricks?

Meanwhile,

Wal-Mart's

third-quarter profits rose 11% to $2.65 billion or 63 cents a share, or 1.2 souls per demon.

Tyson Foods

reported a third-straight quarterly loss, but promised to rebound. Said its imaginary CEO: "Who does a guy have to kill around here to make a killing?" I'd start with the chickens.

Ford

predicts it will turn things around and earn hundreds of millions in profit by 2009. Must be nice to just predict success. Of course, that all hinges on Ford selling just one of its new $1 billion super car.

Frankly, Ford is screwed once Steve Jobs introduces the iCar.

In a related story,

Microsoft's

"iPod slayer" Zune has at least as much chance of success as the "video game slayer": the hula hoop.

TiVo

will soon allow viewers to stream content from the Internet. Hooray! Nothing looks better on plasma TV than bad video of someone's cat dancing to "Beat It." Bad video, people. Online.

Hey! Don't forget to check out the Funny Money online video! It's awesome.

In other awesome news,

Consumer Reports

is launching a campaign to steer people away from extended warranties. So, you're saying, my mom was right about something?

Who would've thunk it

. The report comes with no guarantee. Unless you buy an extended subscription.

A Delaware court approved a settlement against

Hollinger International

. Then the sky darkened, a lone bolt of lightning crackled through the air, and a 200-foot Conrad Black rumbled towards downtown Tokyo.

The former head of sales at

Computer Associates

was sentenced to 7 years in jail because he misinterpreted those ads for the movie "Let's Go To Prison."

In other movie-related news, The Weinstein Company announced that

Blockbuster

will have exclusive rights to its movies. Blockbuster notoriously edits movies. The

Fahrenheit 9-11

available at Blockbuster will be three minutes long.

Oh Jeff, that's so last election.

Finally,

Merck

won another Vioxx verdict. Merck's record now stands at 6 wins and 4 losses, putting it in good shape for the Wild Card. But the company has a big divisional game at

Amgen

next Sunday, so we'll see.

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

JeffKreisler.com

) 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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