Skip to main content

Funny Money: The Horror

Between the volatility, hedge fund collapses and toy recalls, it's better to be a poor American in Scotland.

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.

It's all falling apart! Market volatility, dangerous toys, hedge fund collapses and the bagpipes, those wretched, evil bagpipes... And the wind, the wind that whips up their kilts...

The horror, the horror.

Hello, again, from Scotland! Still doing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, loading up on fried food, comedy shows, and broken dreams. ("Broken dreams" is what I call a weak dollar that makes everything twice as expensive over here. Four bucks for a Coke? You betchya!)

Speaking of not-rich people, thank goodness we've restricted personal bankruptcy so that all these subprime mortgage defaults can generate a robust system of economic slavery. People had felt in control of their lives for far too long.


Goldman Sachs

bailed out one of their hedge funds with $3 billion (an amount which will just about cover a hamburger at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh). Part of the fund's problem was the massive and swift movement of computerized investment vehicles that operate on similar algorithms. So, have we already entered the financial


, or is it more

War Games

? Or perhaps something in the middle, like

Terminator 2


In a related horror show, The Sentinel fund was hit hard by withdrawal requests as the credit drama continues to unfold. I don't see these rippling events as a domino effect, but more like the different Russian grandmothers of a giant Babushka doll. In the center: a tiny little Alan Greenspan.

Many analysts feel these hedge funds have become too large. To counter their destabilizing effects, they all agree you should invest in The Jeff Kreisler Fund. Simply give Jeff money, and it won't affect the market in the slightest. You might see a spike in jazz club and whiskey futures, but that's it.

There's a big hooha over here (they call brouhahas 'hoohas' in the U.K.) about the Dutch company

Akzo Nobel's

efforts to purchase

ICI Dulux

. Ultimately, despite nationalistic uproars, when it comes to the paint industry, the key color is green. (Or whatever color Dutch money is. Let's agree to say it's green, OK? Before the bagpipers return.)

In other corporate news,


quarterly profit tripled due to a worldwide oversupply of dark sorcery.

Thank you, Harry Potter.

Lloyds TSB

agreed to pay out $12.5 million for its part in Moshe Leichner's Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme, as we've covered before, is not the same as a Fonzi scheme, but is similar to a Chachi situation and a Mr. C scenario.

You're welcome.


won an early legal battle to gain access to the wireless spectrum.


Soon we won't get into trouble for using the phrase "Google it" because "Google" will apply to everything humans do.

Speaking of the Googs, they've apparently lined up TV stars to support their YouTube/


infringement defense. Yeah, like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert get more hits than the 14 or so over at


Priorities, Googster. Priorities.


had a fantastic IPO. Apparently the company sells economic uncertainty.


had to recall jillions of handset batteries because, as a valuable brand, they wanted to get in on this trend of screwing things up.

Aer Lingus'

pilots are planning a strike, or, maybe just a "sick out," especially if they eat enough Aer Lingus.


announced lower earnings forecasts. Hedge funds, discount retailers, toys... Wall Street, Main Street, Sesame Street... There is no street on which to hide. Save us, Backstreet Boys.

Many analysts suggest riding out the market volatility by looking for underpriced opportunities. That's a lot of advice from people who need to get paid as advice-givers. I'm just saying, maybe you should take tips from someone who's doing well enough to keep quiet, instead of someone with a cardboard sign "Will build your portfolio for food."

Speaking of which, Greenspan is going to join Deutsche Bank as a consultant because the German bank has a shortage of Gollum-like creatures that spew cryptic gibberish that rattles the financial world.

Good one, D.B.

Anyhoo, let's move a little farther east, to China, where a key figure in the recent tainting scandal hanged himself. Wow.

Didn't even wait for the show trial, just skipped right to the end.

So that's two Chinese executives who've died in recent weeks for bringing shame to their companies. Methinks new Chrysler chief Robert Nardelli isn't going to relocate behind the Great Wall any time soon.

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.