Category Archives: Economics & Finance

Economists Confront Unexpected Downturns

Chicago University – Economists here have been an integral part of President Obama’s economic policy formulations but in the last 16 months they have had to deal with several unexpected setbacks.

Despite advising the government to extend unemployment benefits for as long as 2 years the number of workers not seeking new jobs remins unexpectedly high.

Likewise, a program to extend government funding for troubled mortgages homeowners are unable to afford has unexpectedly done nothing to curtail the number of foreclosures.

But now a number of unanticipated events have taken a more personal toll on the advisory team.

Last month macro-economist Hans Oldenburg was unexpectedly electrocuted while taking a leisurely bath when he reached up to adjust the radio set precariously on the side of his tub.

Earlier this week nearly the entire faculty staff of the economics school unexpectedly burnt their mouths on coffee that had finished brewing. Only a student lecturer, who had brought an iced latte to the meeting, escaped the scalding unharmed; although it is not clear why at this time. University administrators are currently investigating the incident further.

In another turn of events that was not expected a female staffer became pregnant after taking sabbatical in Jamaica. Although she is not entirely certain as to the exact details, alcohol–and a local soccer–team may have been involved.

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BREAKING: Obama Goes to Copenhagen

Can’t even get a stupid t-shirt.

In Other National News

Unemployment Creeps Past 9.8%

Economists fault lack of stimulus spending in t-shirt sales as the leading cause of entrenched joblessness.

Despite Lobby by Obama, Chicago Loses Bid to Host Numerous Special Events

Among this weeks disappointments:

  • The US Special Olympics committee withdrew its offer to hold its 2016 games citing the fact that, despite his bowling scores, president Obama had taken all of their best athletes to Washington DC with him.
  • The International Adult Film Industry pulled out at the last moment citing concerns that holding their annual convention in Chicago may tarnish their image.
  • A week-long seminar for used car salesmen, accident compensation attorneys and military recruiters was cancelled because of concerns over Chicago’s on-going ethics issues.

However, it wasn’t all bad news for the Windy City. On Friday a major developer announced plans to build an industrial sized seal fur harvesting farm to be staffed exclusively by lepers and is powered by irradiated dirty coal but only because president Obama had begged, “pretty please with sugar, a cherry and sprinkles on top? I need this!”

Mayor Daley was overheard to say, “We’ll take it.”

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White House Trumpets New Environmental Compliance

Washington DC – After a series of fits and starts the White House today announced it has come into full compliance the tough new environmental standards set forth by congress this year.

ObamaHalo

Before and after: No longer the brightest bulb.

President Obama, once known for the brilliant, angelic radiance that accompanied him wherever he campaigned, has converted his beaming glow into a more energy-friendly Compact Flourescent Halo or CFH.

The more energy intensive incandescent halo was justified as an unpleasant necessity of the campaign trail but since entering the oval office White House staffers have been eager to point out how the president has reduced his output.

“I think we as Americans should be proud of the president’s leadership in this area,” said Eric DuBoise from the Office of Presidential Luminance. “If you look at all his work you can really tell he’s turned down the wattage in everything he does whether it’s the economy, healthcare or the war in Afghanistan.” 

However, many White House observers wonder if the president shouldn’t be exempt from the new regulations. “I understand the desire to lead by example,” said one member of the press corps, “but let’s face facts; the new CFH is kind of dim and it gives some folks a headache.”

In Other National News

Sen. Dodd Faces Tough Questions on Mortgage

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D – CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee which oversees the nation’s lending institutions has long been criticized for relaxing the regulations for lending practices that allowed the housing market to suffer a near catastrophic collapse has himself come under intense scrutiny concerning recently acquired mortgages.

At issue are a number of properties the senator appears to have been acquired on terms far more favorable than would be available to the average American.

“I can’t say anything specific happened,” said a senatorial staffer on conditions of anonymity, “but all I know is that after he bought St. James Place I got up to get a soda and when I came back he looked like he had a lot more money on his pile than when I left.

“And I think he bumped the little dog over to ‘Free Parking’ too.”

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Government Stimulus Program Goes Tragically Awry

Abbotsford, WI – This sleepy midwestern town had been the scene of much fanfare in recent months. Struggling under the burden of a lingering economic recession the population of 2,000 residents were expecting relief from an adminsitration many here had campaigned for as the panacea to the nation’s financial woes.

Plucked from obscurity by White House economic policy staffers eager to demonstrate the efficacy of Obama’s stimulus programs, Abbotsford was do to receive its first major installment under the provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act until a confluence of innocuous events conspired to unleash tragedy.

The face of the resurgent Democrat party.

The face of the resurgent Democrat party.

The epicenter of Abbotsford’s misfortunes centered on mass layoffs at the local glue factory which has left the town straining under an unemployment rate almost double the national average but that didn’t mean their plight was unheard of or unaddressed by a fresh-faced adminstration eager to come to the aid of this troubled community or the hundreds just like it around the country.

“We really listened to our supporters,” said Megan Cartwright of the White House’s stimulus oversight office. “We conducted numerous polls and focus groups and we feel like what our base is looking are free ponies and that’s what we wanted to give them.” And with that in mind 200 snowy white colts were dispatched to the struggling citizens of Abbotsford.

Yet, despite the high hopes a simple clerical error saw the ponies delivered to the glue factory instead.

“We were devastated,” said the town’s mayor, Agnus Dalrymple. “When I heard the news that the ponies were coming I was elated but then I saw the manifest and I thought to myself, something’s not right. I shook it off because this was Obama, right? They have to know what they were doing.”

Small children from the town and the rest of the county had gathered with their parents along the main thoroughfare to await the arrival of the ponies in their caravan of sleek, silvery trailers. But joy soon turned to horror as the caravan drove past the cheering throngs straight up to the smoke-belching factory that overlooks the town.

“The children were wailing,” recalls Mayor Dalrymple. “And no sooner had we begun to quiet them than we heard the whinying cries off in the distance and the tears began all over again.”

When news of the misfortune reached Washington, White House staffers sprang into action releasing a statement blasting FOX News for rushing to publish the story.

“Those ponies were to open new frontiers in the president’s economic vision for America and all they can do find fault,” said Ms. Cartwright. “This wasn’t just about the ponies but the spin-off industries of livery stables, feed lots and faux leather saddles and its an environmentally sound direction designed to ower the nation’s carbon footprint.”

Conservative critics assailed the policy claiming it was based on little more than ongoing evidence that the president is beholden to the blacksmith’s union. Their green solution leaves brown problems, read bumperstickers springing-up around the country.

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Domestic Agenda Collides with Economic Reality

Washington D.C. – August has not been the kindest of months for president Obama. With the recession putting the brakes on federal revenue streams and major agenda items feeling the pressure from an electorate increasingly nervous over deficits the fledgling administration is scrambling to ease the concerns that its domestic policies will bankrupt the nation are mere opposition rhetoric and not a genuine threat.

Nowhere is this pressure more pronounced than the president’s ambitions for a federally-based healthcare system. On the campaign trail then-candidate Obama pledged that the program would be “revenue neutral” with any additional cost offset by savings. Yet, with budget deficit projections recently revised from $7 trillion to $9 trillion over the next 10 years even with the president’s presumed savings measures in place many Americans—and members congress from within the president’s own party—are in a quasi-state of political rebellion.

The encroaching debt burden also threatens another Obama campaign promise: that only those Americans making over $250,000 would see their taxes rise.

“Even if you took every last dime they [the rich] owned you could only cover about 40% of the proposed new cost outlays,” explained noted economist Harold Fredericks.

The fact has not been lost on the president’s economic policy team.

“We know what we’re up against,” said Rosemary Hicks, said the chief of Obama’s Revenue Appropriations, Projections and Enhancement Department (RAPED) as she took a moment from finishing her bachelor’s degree in Siberian dung beetle insemination. “We admit we had ideas on how to pay for these programs before we assumed the reigns but when we inherited this economy from the previous administration we discovered that certain realities had been—shall we say—concealed from us.”

Ms. Hicks describes the problem in the frankest terms. “We took a number of very rich Americans and no matter how many we cut open there weren’t any golden eggs to be found,” she told us between text messages with that totally cute guy she met at the “Free Tibet” rally and would so go out with him even though he’s a total jock. “We must have repeated the process at least a thousand times but we never found a single egg.”

Other avenues have proven equally fruitless such as wishing everything the president touches would turn to gold. “Some people said it could have bad repercussions with the president’s family so the idea never made its way out of committee.”

The revelation has left Ms. Hicks and her colleagues searching for other ways to fund the president’s agenda. “I don’t think we’re totally without options though. I heard about this little short dude that can spin straw into gold.”

If the reports prove true Ms. Hicks says a new czar could be in the offing.

“What have we got to lose?”

Geithner's last, best hope.

Geithner's last, best hope.

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As Recession Deepens Monetary Clichés Hardest Hit

Washington D.C. – Today in response to a growing outcry from members of congress Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced the formation of an intergovernmental panel to study the effects of the recession on monetary clichés.

“We are in danger of seeing some of our most beloved linguistic treasures devalued to the point of worthlessness,” said Kimberly Neidermeyer, Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Currency-Based Memes.

To underscore the severity of the crisis the Treasure Department released figures today that showed cost and inflation-adjusted figures for feeling “like a million bucks” was now reduced to levels not seen since the late 1970’s. As the dollar continued to lose value Evil has announced it will be indexing to the Euro as its root currency. Also affecting foreign currency markets, those who are in for a penny are now in for £5.68.

Futures in Money Talks have been losing ground steadily against futures of its chief competitor, Ambulatory Male Bovine Excrescence. Meanwhile, Wall Street’s three biggest financial rating services have reduced the credit worthiness of the “Your Money or Your Life” to junk bond status citing severity of its over-leveraged condition.

Stopgap proposals have been so drastic as to suggest that as a cost-cutting measure the federal mint cease production of pennies used for the purchase of thoughts. “We just can’t afford the price of minting all those pennies. Thinking just isn’t a policy priority for the president and congress right now,” said one financial analyst.

One upswing from the volatility is the price of wooden nickels appears to be gaining in value but this has left congress vowing to hold committee hearings to determine if hedge fund operators with more than two nickels to rub together have been unfairly influencing the market.

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