A SOLIPSIST EXCLUSIVE--German investors revealed that they are in negotiations to purchase the venerable New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, American stock traders, financial management professionals, bankers, and others finally admitted that they have absolutely no idea what any of this means.
"I can't tell you how many times I've been asked to explain the stock market in 'layman's terms,'" Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said. "I usually just start throwing around words like 'supply' and 'demand' and then I draw some graphs on envelopes. Awhile back, some folks started to suspect that I was just making things up--that's when we came up with the expression 'back-of-the-envelope' calculation to make what I was doing sound better."
When asked to comment on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange's proposed purchase of the NYSE, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, "What?"
He continued, "Wait, how does someone buy a stock exchange? I mean, it's not, like, a thing. It's a place, right? I mean, it's not a place. . . you could buy a place. . . but. . . ." Mr. Geithner then patted his pants pocket and claimed that he had to "take this call. Seriously, it's on vibrate!It could be the President." He then ran out of the room.
Dr. Percy Duffman, Professor of Finance at MIT, explained that the entire concept of "stocks" was originally "a joke made up by a group of itinerant pipe salesmen who used to gather under a blueberry tree on what would later become Wall Street. They made up all kinds of words: 'stocks,' 'bonds,' 'debentures,' 'throodles,' 'ortivestules'--of course, not all of these words caught on. The fact is, they were really just putting letters together and making up definitions to go with them.
"One day, the local constabulary came to roust them, and they convinced him that if he bought some of their 'stocks,' they could guarantee him a good return on his. . . . Well, that was when one of them coined the word 'investment,' and the rest is history."
Details on the proposed purchase have yet to be revealed, but it is rumored that Frankfurt Stock Exchange executives are offering in excess of 18 billion throodles for the NYSE.