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.eBay announced a 40% quarterly rise in net income. I actually was going to predict that, but at the last minute, some jerk from Utica swept in and outbid me. Motorola had better-than-expected third-quarter profits, but industry analysts are worried about long-term prospects, because, in about five years, we'll all just be plugged into the giant iPod in the sky. Coming in 2010: iPod vs. Predator! Wachovia announced a 32% rise in third-quarter profits, largely based upon its new, totally reasonable, $1 million ATM fee. Kraft Foods had low third-quarter profit because of price cuts on cheese and coffee. Cheese and coffee? Sounds like collusion between Green Bay Packer fans and the city of Seattle. Saks reported huge losses this week at its Saks Fifth Avenue division. The dinosaur is caught in the tar pits of progress. Saks shareholders have made a stink about the disconnect between poor performance and rising executive pay, to which the rest of everybody, everywhere replied: "Yeah, duh." In a related story, Delphi's chairman announced that his salary would be reduced to only $1. His $3 million signing bonus ... not so much.
In other news likely to remind investors of corporate malfeasance, Maurice Greenberg, the former CEO of AIG, argued in a lawsuit that nearly $20 billion in stock belongs to him, not AIG. His attorneys are using the legal theory of, "That's mine, I want it, Give it to me now!" The retirement funds of New York City public employees will collect about $79 million from a settlement with WorldCom. This just confirms the Rolling Stones edict, "You can't always get what you want, but sometimes, you just might find, you get Bernie Ebbers." Speaking of evil, Serono Labs settled claims with the U.S. government that it used shady definitions and tests to increase the demand for its AIDS drug. The settlement was announced by Serono CEO Darth Vader. The CEO of the Swiss drugmaker Roche said the world was going mad in its clamor for flu vaccine. Then, while tripping over a big pile of money, he released several sniffling chickens into the cold night without jackets or scarves. They'll catch the flu. Get it? (If you get it, try some chicken soup. Wait a second, is this some sort of flu-based Ponzi scheme?)
Coming in 2015: Google vs. China for the World Championship! Nortel Networks named a new leader, Mike Zafirovski. Thanks to his unique qualifications, Zafirovski will be president, CEO, and captain of the company Scrabble team. In other corporate and legal news, a federal judge refused to order Delta to make an October pension plan contribution. Delta's in bankruptcy, the federal government is in debt... I wonder how the judge will feel when his employer can't make his pension payment. Goose, meet Gander. Gander, Goose. Calpine hired a high-profile restructuring legal team. I'm not saying the company is considering bankruptcy, but I get a lot of hate mail whenever I mention Calpine, and it's usually quite amusing. Please email me, Professor Spellcheck. Johnson & Johnson is seeking a lower price on the $25.4 billion it bid for Guidant. Johnson representatives claim: "No no no, I didn't say '25 billion,' I said country-fried bullion! It's an old family saying that means 'buyer's remorse.'" Finally, McDonald's will offer free access to wireless Nintendo games in order to ensure that our children remain fat *and* stupid. At least we'll know where to find them.