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.First of all, farewell and a big thanks to my editor, Aaron Task, who's moving on to Yahoo! Finance. Aaron approached me in 2005 and said, "Ever think about writing business comedy?" I replied, "Sounds like a terrible idea." Two and half years later, "Funny Money" goes on. It's led to columns, syndication, video, a book deal and much more. I, for one, wish him nothing but the best. Now, on to the lazy way to fill a column: Part 2 of the Funny Money 2007 Year in Review. See Part 1
The Fed cut the interest rate another quarter point, but hinted that it won't do so again. "We promise not to cater to Wall Street any more. No more catering. Now, have some champagne, stuffed mushrooms, pigs in a blanket, and no taxes on hedge funds?" A United Nations conference warned that ski resorts may soon be without snow. Glad the UN isn't wasting its time with minor issues like say, oh, genocide. Oil toyed with $100 a barrel. How many monkeys could fit into those barrels, and would they be fun enough to justify the costs? I think all the monkeys who thought invading the Middle East and deregulating everything would help the economy should be in the first few barrels. That'd be fun. Supermodel Gisele apparently didn't want to be paid in dollars anymore. She only accepts euros and, on Sundays, Bradys. Headline in the Times business section: "Cellphone Straightjacket Is Inspiring A Rebellion." Actual straightjackets, electrocuted genitals, and waterboarding? Not so much. Porsche's profit tripled this year. No matter the economic climate, Porsche remains, in my world, "What you like before you like girls." Or after you can do anything about it. Aramanth, the $6 billion collapsed hedge fund, is suing JP Morgan Chase for taking advantage of the firm. "You got your fraud in my incompetent greed!" "You got your greed all over my fraud." The case will be heard by chocolately Judge Reese's.
On Thanksgiving, turkey futures fell on a surplus of gobble gobble, but Friday the market rallied behind the Dark Meat and Cranberry index before settling into a postmeal slowdown in front of the TV. Of course, the TV shows were produced by studios that don't give writers a fair wage, the meal was in a house under foreclosure, and the toys bought that day had lead from China, but still ... it was a good time. Medtronic's profits beat estimates after Medtronic itself beat Optimus Prime and Megatron in a Transformers battle royale. The government is investigating whether a quit-smoking drug from Pfizer increases suicidal thoughts, or if that's just a result of people removing the nicotine blinders and seeing that life is confusing, unfair and finite. Nah, probably just the drug. The city of New Rochelle is counting on a new Trump development to revitalize its downtown. Um, unless your major industry is in the shipping and reselling of hot air, don't count on Trump. Best business page holiday quote: James W. Paulsen of Wells Capital: "This week it's been all about fear overtaking greed." Merry Joy and Love everyone!
ABC News and Facebook have joined forces to make sure the next generation is just as misinformed as this one. Verizon will allow consumers more choice, saying, "Fine, go ahead and leave. For what do I need you? Loyalty? Love? Dedication? Bah. I spent my life working for you, and all I ask is two years! Two years of a contract you could give me!? Ah, just go. I'll be fine here, in the cold, in the dark, with my pains." What's hot? Games like MTV's Rock Band and Guitar Hero III. Do musicians play Gainfully Employed for fun? Actually, yes. It's called "temping." (Paper clips and Post-it notes are worth extra points.) Personally, I think these simulation games are a secret government plot to recruit more rock stars. President Bush announced a limited plan to freeze mortgage rates, mistakenly believing lower payments would allow himcontinuing ownership of the White House. Florida's investment problems are threatening many school districts. Well, if we wipe out the entire public education system then, in fact, no single child will be left behind. Victory! VeriFone said accounting errors wiped out four-fifths of its pre-tax profits for the first nine months of 2007, adding "Whoops." The U.S. Senate approved a trade agreement with Peru. Wait... We still have a Peru? Companies will begin building nuclear reactors in the U.S. under new procedures to eliminate cost over-runs and delays. Yes! Here come lower energy prices and more web-footed babies! Bristol-Myers Squibb will cut 43,000 jobs, but provide laid-off employees with a pill that will make them feel like they're working. Ironically, sales of the pill will force the company to rehire the employees, reducing demand for the pill, which will create more layoffs and lead me to repeat this imaginary cycle forever. Just as our Founding Fathers intended. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologized for a feature on the site just before Andy Warhol told him he only had two of his 15 minutes left. Central banks around the world are infusing capital into the banking system to pump it up. The infusion has been through a needle in Roger Clemens' buttocks. The Fed cut interest rates a quarter point, then said they'd do more, then admitted that no one has any idea what's happening, because economics is not a real "science" and that textbooks should come with warning labels. "Economics is just one theory of the origin of wealth. There are others that students should discuss." Conrad Black got a 6.5 year prison sentence, forcing Bernie Ebbers to yell "Dagnabit!" Come on, Bernie. Black's from Canada, and with the plummeting dollar, fraud just isn't worth what it used to be. Airlines are offering better food options on many flights. Good idea. Bad idea: calling them "last meals." Exxon Mobil will build a gas terminal 20 miles off of New Jersey because, if there is a toxic accident, who could tell? Seriously, have you been the Jersey shore in July? Lotta mutants. Penthouse Media Group is investing in a social networking site. Gee, wonder how they'll attract eyeballs? Paramount will offer the next Jackass movie directly online. But the studios claim they can't figure out any way to use or profit from interactive content? Riiiiight. Never have producers so earned the name of a movie. Rayovac batteries signed a partnership with Disney, bringing us that much closer to the final battle for worldwide supremacy between Mickey Mouse and the Energizer Bunny. Finally, Oracle's results beat the Wall Street expectations because analysts misread the entrails and their sacrifice wasn't really a virgin. It was a Spears.