Like most people I’m concerned about the stock market volatility, seeing my bank account dwindle, and that long black hair dangling from my Aunt Audrey’s left nostril.
I tried to grasp the complexity of the financial mess. After several months of intensive research and interviews with three people who just happen to be related to me, I came to the conclusion that someone screwed up! Actually, a lot of people screwed up. And we’re not talking about a minor screw up. It wasn’t an “Oops, I forgot to flush the toilet.” To be precise, it was a super, duper, monster screw up.
So, what did some CEOs do after their company fell apart? Of course they came to the good old US Government for money. Subsequently, everyone wanted a bailout. Heck, I heard about some guy who got in so much trouble with his ice cream business he was looking for Uncle Sam to spot him $17.50. What nerve! His 1982 Schwinn 3-Speed was recently paid off so the only debt he had was his ice cream inventory. Rumor had it he was over leveraged due to an excess inventory of fudge pops. Apparently he never performed a true market analysis. It’s that type of poor planning which has caused the taxpayers to suffer.
A good friend of mine who happened to be a financial guru and Tupperware salesman loaned me a very sophisticated computer program. It used a complex algorithm to help analyze any financial situation. After spending several days entering lots of information it spit out the following:
Fannie and Freddie ran up Capitol Hill
To fetch a government bailout
Then Lehman fell down
Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns were no longer around
And AIG came tumbling after
Even with such poignant analysis I felt some of the best financial advice I ever received was bestowed upon me by my Grandma who only had an 8th grade education. She told me to never get involved with derivatives, stay out of debt and drink a glass of prune juice once a week.
In contrast, my neighbor Fred was jobless and in debt up to his ears. He had spent a small fortune and an inordinate amount of time working on his Mr. Potato Head toy. I heard he recently acquired the rest of the Potato Head family and was distraught that he wouldn’t have enough money to send Baby Potato Head to Spud State College someday.
My fifty-two year old cousin Andy lost his job as a potato chip taster about ten years ago and never found another full time job. He told me no other type of employment filled him with the saturated fats he enjoyed from the chip job. He became so desperate for cash that he sold all his gold to a local pawn shop. At first I thought it was a fine idea until I realized the only gold Andy owned was in his mouth. With all his gold crowns missing he was down to only two decent teeth so he was required to eat almost everything with a straw. Unfortunately his favorite food was meatballs. Yuck!
Things took a turn for the worse when I ran out of quarters for the laundry and resorted to washing my clothes in a nearby lake. It worked well until an officer walking past yelled at me. I got scared and ran away leaving most of my clothes on the grassy shore. Days later, I found a homeless man wearing a pair of my underwear over his pants. The underwear was blue with the word “Wednesday” printed in yellow letters on the front. I didn’t have the heart to tell the guy it was Friday.
I searched everywhere for an answer to the financial meltdown. I used my friend’s program once more. After fifteen exhausting hours of entering data about the banks and brokerages that failed, inputting information about the derivatives which were setup, and the type of undergarments each CEO wore, the computer offered the following response:
Each naughty CEO’s salary should be invested in a fund to partially reimburse the employees of the failed companies and buy them a new set of dishes. The dish pattern is not important.
The executives should be made to consume laxatives, wear purple leisure suits, and be forced to participate in the local cable access show called “101 fun things to do with oatmeal.”
Who said justice can’t be fun?