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Funny Money: With a Side of Haggis

Market turmoil looks just as bad from Scotland. Plus, Nardelli's new digs and Murdoch's WSJ plans.

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.

Greetings from Scotland. Yes, the place with the kilts. I'm performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a few weeks, so I really have no idea what's happening in the American economy. Frankly, I doubt you'll notice the difference for the next few hundred words...

The first show I've seen here was called "Auto Auto." It was a percussion exhibition where the only instrument was a car. A


Escort. Two German musicians spent an hour using their fists, feet, sledgehammers, axes, drills, electric saws and, somehow, a tree trunk, to make music and tear apart the vehicle. It was entertaining and fun, and considering it had Germans destroying an American automotive icon, historically accurate.

Or maybe it was just revenge for the damage we've done to IKB Deutsche Industriebank and the FT ABS-Plus fund.

In a related story of market turmoil,

American Home Mortgage

filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Damn! Should've gotten that loan from them when I had the chance. I'd be in the clear. $1,000,000 at 1%, no money down, was great. Sure, there was some small print about the rate rising to 20% and repeated stabbings for missed payments, but still...

Meanwhile, many paid close attention to

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement that rates would remain unchanged. Am I the only one concerned that he's changing his name to Steinbeck and starting a blog called "Yum, Grapes, Yum"?


posted record profits in the first half of the year. Most of the art sales were pieces called "mortgage-backed securities" to a Warren J. Specter from

Bear Stearns


Ooooh, that can't be good.

In corporate news, Robert Nardelli was hired to run


, just months after leaving

Home Depot

in disgrace. I guess they figure he knows how to do things poorly, and, since that's what they do too, it's a perfect fit.

You may not know this, but when

Electronic Arts

lured Peter Moore from


, they announced it by screaming: "He's in the game!"

The head of


intends to use methods learned from running 7-Eleven to improve the video chain. Lesson 1: More slushies. Lesson 2: Less armed robberies.


TheStreet Recommends

is selling Boston Market to Sun Capital Partners. Private equity firms like Sun Capital are good at trimming the fat from companies, but if they do that here, Boston Market will lose all of its flavor.

The New York Times

is now printed on smaller pages. "Take that, Rupert Murdoch! Now there's less of us to destroy."

In a related story,

Dow Jones


News Corp.

did name members of a committee to assure that

The Wall Street Journal

retains editorial independence. The over-under on how long it lasts: One election season.


may have won an NSF contract to build the world's fastest supercomputer. One small step for IBM, one giant leap for porn.


decided to ban cigarettes in its films. Why? Save screen time for product placements that will be sold at

Burger King

and end up under your sofa cushions.


profit exceeded expectations.

You gotta problem wid dat?

The FDA rejected


smoker's lung drug, Advair, because it's kinda sorta almost an anagram for Avandia.

In company unspecific news, the major TV networks are being praised for adapting to online content and new ratings. Me? I praise them if they'd adapt to life without Howie Mandel and Tyra Banks.



enters these new contract negotiations with more retirees than active workers, causing huge health care costs. My solution? Reinstitute the military draft, but just for auto industry retirees. Two birds, one stone.



ocean liner was sold to a Dubai-owned company. Dubai, Dubai, Dubai. I guess if they can't have our ports, they'll have the big things that dock in our ports and are named after the British monarchy. Seems fair.

And finally, sleuths have discovered the identity of "Fake Steve Jobs." "Fake Jeff Kreisler," however, remains unsought-after.

The "real Jeff Kreisler", will be in Scotland for a few weeks. But since the dollar keeps dropping, the jokes I write here are worth twice as much as back home.

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.