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.We here at Funny Money believe that, in order to understand where we're going, we must know where we've been. To that end, it's time for our quarterly review. Here then, once again, are some of the important business events from the second quarter of 2006.
Microsoft announced a venture to create original entertainment programming for the web. Here's an idea: Mild-mannered innovator becomes megalomaniac bent on ruling the world through technology; Suave comedian saves the day, gets the girl(s), takes a nap. Teck Cominco's offer for Inco clouded Inco's bid to acquire Falconbridge and made me wonder if there were enough super-accountants left at the Hall of Justice to battle all these villainous names! Actuarial Man, we need you!! Apple won its battle with The Beatles by convincing a London court that iTunes is not a music label, but merely a data-transmission service. Ah, yes, kids today, dancing to their data-transmissions, covering their bodies with ink-infusions and metallic-insertions. Why, just the other day my wife and I were making love to some Barry White data-transmission, when I ... oh, never mind. I'm not married. Yet. Delta folded its discount carrier Song back into the main airline, which is a tough blow for the seven people who ever flew Song. GM fired its Chief Accounting Officer, Peter Bible. So much for faith-based accounting. Newsflash: Bush's tax cuts will be paid for by selling your phone records to Mexico. Lincare Holdings settled a case in which the company was accused of paying doctors to recommend its home oxygen system. Selling something free and available like oxygen, eh? That explains my new prescription for Pfizer's "Stop hitting yourself! Why are you hitting yourself?" GM also announced plans to hire temporary workers to replace those who accepted early retirement. Might I suggest buying a Ford? I've been a temp, and if they're like me, they're probably more interested in stealing office supplies than properly installing air bags.
I'm just excited that we can finally reunite Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke. Bald Wonder Twin Powers Activate! Shape of monetary policy, form of interest rates. GM, along with Ford, also began offering buyers gas rebates, in order to take the rest of the world down with them. Really, who needs air, land, and potable water? Stupid mortals. Vodaphone posted a 21.9 billion-pound loss, just enough to excite investors. Corporations: Making Money by Losing Money Since 1910. I don't understand how companies -- and countries -- get to be so fiscally irresponsible, but I steal one blind old lady's handbag, and suddenly I'm a 'bad guy." CA announced that it would restate its earnings, noting, "Um, so, uh, those Enron guys could go to jail for manipulating earnings, eh? Hmm. We'll get right back to you." Inco, Flaconbridge, Xstrata, Teck Cominco... Oh my! The battle for space supremacy continues... Costco's quarterly profit rose 12% because, really, who doesn't need a barrel of mayonnaise? Verizon will pay almost $49 million to settle discrimination suits after asking, "Can you feel me now?" Austrian bank Bawag agreed to a $675 million settlement for its involvement in the Refco scandal. Refco was a pyramid scheme, and inside that pyramid, Bawag was the toilet paper wrapped around the mummified remains of investors' dreams. Google introduced an online spreadsheet to compete with Microsoft Excel. In response, Microsoft stomped its feet and made angry little fists. The FDA approved the use of the MS drug Tysabri, despite the risk of fatal brain disease, because life is full of difficult choices, and who are we to decide how the afflicted might pursue hope of salvation. Oh wait, I mean, because the FDA, like totally, sucks, man. At the GM shareholders meeting, the company tried to put a positive spin on recent events with a presentation entitled, "Hey, we barely grazed that iceberg. All is well."
Pfizer is selling its consumer products division to focus on its most profitable business, creating disease to sell cures, err, I mean, prescription drugs. If only Listerine caused high cholesterol... and Lipitor caused bad breath... they could package a Listerine-Lipitor Double L cycle of doom. Actually, Pfizer was served with papers in two lawsuits involving Lipitor. Apparently one of the side-effects from the drug is litigiousness. Donald Trump is planning a casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, because if there's anything the hurricane ravaged region needs right now, it's more hot air. Couldn't he just let them use his toupee to rebuild the levees? Investors in Enron -- or, should I say, past investors in the company formerly know as Enron -- are now filing court papers against the company's law firm, Vinson & Elkins. First, they come for the accountants, then the executives, the lawyers and then... for YOU. Bwahahahahahaaa! Enron executive Kevin Howard claims jurors in his trial swapped votes, which would explain why there were 9 votes for guilty, 1 for not-guilty, and 2 for Ralph Nader. Best Buy reported HUGE profits, mostly on sales of flat-panel televisions, because everyone is destined to own a large TV. That was first decreed in the Magna Carta. Or was that the Kama Sutra? I get those confused.