The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, January 28, 2009. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's blog at The Huffington Post website.
Government-Media-Corporate Mantra: Only the Little People Worry About Money
Jack Strong, former CEO of El Dorado Investing, has been fighting off criticisms that he was extravagant when he bought another plane -- an Airbus -- in addition to the corporate jet and helicopter he already had parked in his private hangar.
Strong was questioned by star financial reporter, Lisa Livewell.
Livewell: Why did you need an Airbus in addition to your other planes?
Strong: Lisa, I'm surprised by your question. We needed it for the corporate air bashes El Dorado hosted following every million dollars we earned! You can't fit 200 guests, strippers, a four-star kitchen, and a ten-foot-high ice sculpture on a helicopter.
Livewell: Yes, but the plane cost $65 million -- so you would have to have 65 such parties before simply recouping the costs of the plane. And each party cost a half million plus - what with flying guests in from around the world - so it would take more than a year to make enough money to pay for the plane and the parties.
Strong: What, did you take economics in grad school? You're getting caught up in the numbers. I'm thinking customer relations -- you have to look prosperous to give investors the faith to invest with you! We call it "faith-based investing."
Livewell: But isn't it a problem that El Dorado has required an infusion of $100 billion in taxpayer bailout funds?
Strong: What's wrong with that? Taxpayers can appreciate the high life. Just because they don't have the time and resources to fly around with strippers and ice sculptures, they have dreams too!
Livewell: Yes, but you were fired after irate stockholders rioted because of the poor performance of El Dorado during your watch.
Strong: Lisa, Lisa. You obviously don't understand business and government! I'm planning on entering the Obama administration as a corporate subsidy and cost cutting specialist -- like when that check forger in Catch Me If You Can became a corporate security consultant.
Livewell: Didn't the president sign an order that no government appointees can have benefited from government bailouts themselves?
Strong: Oh, that. I've got a badge that says "Government Regs Are BS -- GRAB." I had the badge made up myself at a Halloween costume store.
Livewell: Oh, that sounds like you got it made inexpensively.
Strong: Yes, I'm glad you appreciate my frugality! And it would have been really cheap, except that the badge is solid gold and they used 24-carat diamonds for the lettering. Want to heft it?
Livewell: (After she finishes caressing the badge) When do you start your new job in government?
Strong: Well, first I have to redecorate my office. Say, Lisa, I like your silk scarf -- can you give me the address of your couture designer? I'd like to have them make drapes for my office -- once they blast out new windows and lay an antique wood floor.
Livewell: Oooh, that will be luscious. Say, Jack, do you think you'll be having any parties there soon -- (flirtatiously) I'd like to be on the invitation list. (Blinking furiously) And while we're at it, how about a ride on your Airbus?
Interview ends abruptly.