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.

Movers, Shakers & Heartbreakers

Whole Foods is considering splitting the CEO and chairman positions, in an effort to justify charging $10 for hummus. It's just smushed up chick-peas!

After being kicked out, Gap's CEO Paul Pressler sailed off into the sunset on the Old Navy. The company's new strategy: Free Khakis! No, not giving away khakis, but freeing them from jail. They've been falsely accused! It's a miscarriage of justice ... and fashion.

A judge rejected the request to freeze Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli's $210 million severance made by the General Employees' Retirement System of Pontiac. I don't know what they're complaining about. All employees get the same severance when they retire. Right?

Carl Icahn is backing three nominees to the board of Cyberonics, a medical device maker. "They have the ability to genetically engineer a super-race of mutant investors based solely on my DNA."

Cablevision's stock fell this week. All part of the Dolan Family plan to make their offer look good.

Citigroup announced another management reshuffle. You know, Citigroup, MetLife has Snoopy, and they're doing just fine. Why not hire Marmaduke and see where things go?

Merrill Lynch's Stanley O'Neal got paid $46 million in 2006, plus a new supply of minions. Oh, the bidding they'll do.

Take-Two Interactive admitted that its board was complicit in backdating options and its stock rose. I guess it was better than expected, since the company didn't admit murder, prostitution, drugs, or, say, grand theft auto.

Delta's CEO denied that his company is considering a merger with Northwest. Then he denied wanting to coach Alabama Football, having relations with that woman, and the Holocaust.

AOL named an international chief who will work from India. The current chief was notified by this sound: "Ding! You got outsourced!"

Mergers, Layoffs & Payoffs

Nasdaq rebuffed the London Stock Exchange challenge to raise its bid. I'm glad it didn't fall for the "I dare you to give me more money" trick. Had the LSE double-dog dared them, well, that would've been tough.

Pfizer laid off 7,800 employees. When asked what those workers should do -- especially those addicted to work because of their reckless mortgage and college-payment lifestyles -- the company suggested they try generic jobs.

Swift, the pork producer, got an unsolicited buyout offer from a squeaky suitor identified only as "Wilbur."

Sun announced that it will use some Intel chips, striking a blow against AMD. Microprocessors waging a war over the largest object in our solar system ... just like Buck Rogers predicted.

Travelport, parent of Orbitz, is exploring an IPO. Potential investors would be able to get the stock cheaper by flying on Tuesday or stopping in Vegas.

That Tribune Company auction was about as successful as a bachelor auction at an Indigo Girls concert.

A U.S. antitrust review approved Brocade's purchase of the McData Corp because it will provide a one-stop shop for all your government data mining. Also, McData provided free Happy Meals.

Speaking of McD's, McDonald's quarterly income rose the most in two years. Wait, that's not income, that's average customer body mass and cholesterol. My bad.

The Boston Globe closed its three remaining overseas bureaus. No big deal, not like anything interesting ever happens in, say, Jerusalem. When's the last time American Idol held a tryout in "Europe"?

AT&T is eliminating the Cingular brand, even after that company put billions into building it. Similarly, after all the effort I've put into building the Jeff Kreisler brand, I'm changing my name to something more recognizable. I'm deciding between Jon Stewart, Paris Hilton, or Free Candy Pizza Love.

State Farm has finally agreed to pay 640 claims arising from Hurricane Katrina as part of a new corporate strategy to "stop looking like jerks."

Yahoo!'s outlook is optimistic, which is good. Come on, they've been around 12 years, but that's Internet years, which is like 120 human years or 17 dog years. Yahoo's just a teenage dog. Give 'em a chance.

United lost $61 million in the fourth quarter, but blamed the weather. Phew. I thought we were going to go a whole month without a new corporate scapegoat.

Xerox' profit reportedly fell. Auditors aren't sure because the filings were all smudged in the copier.

Our Tax Dollars at Rest

Several business associations have complained that new passport requirements pose a "real threat to the ability of American businesses to compete." No wait, that's Sarbanes-Oxley. No, sorry, that's Eliot Spitzer... No, that's, um, anybody doing anything that inhibits rampant illegality. So stop it, comrades.

Illinois will sell its state lottery for up to $10 billion and change the name of the state capital to Gomorrah.

President Bush pushed for a huge increase in renewable energy in his State of the Union address, and demonstrated his commitment by providing an hour of hot air.

El Presidente also provided a temporary boost for the ethanol industry. Sing with me: Corn! Uhn. Wha-at is it good for? Alternative energy. I'll say it again! Corn!!

The Energy Department said that, by 2050, we may be able to generate electricity from rocks. Similarly, the Treasury said we may be able to get gold coins by capturing magic elves and eating their horns.

Absolutely Nothing! I'll say it again!

The new law restricting personal bankruptcy has helped American Express' bottom line. Also, in other shocking news, eating pie makes you fat.

Macao has reportedly passed Vegas as the world's biggest gambling center. Sarbanes-Oxley! Damn you for slowing the loss of my life savings.

Wha-at is it good for? About three grand.

The Congressional Budget Office said the deficit could actually become a surplus by 2012 if Bush's tax cuts expire and if -- hope hope -- everyone at Treasury wins tonight's MegaMillions.

Finally, the World Economic Forum starts soon, and, once again, Funny Money's invitation was lost in the mail.
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; click here to send him an email.

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