Friday, March 20, 2009

Bailout on the Orient Express

As the Orient Express rumbled through Eastern Europe between Istanbul and Paris, an American taxpayer was found dead in his sleeping cabin with a knife plunged into his back. Fortunately, Interpol Inspector Obama happened to be on board riding along in the engine compartment. After examining the body and determining that the victim had been dead for approximately 6 hours, he immediately launched an investigation.

The first thing Inspector Obama did was setup his TelePrompter, gather all the other passengers together in one car and express his shock and outrage. He then went around the room and asked each passenger where he or she had been the night before.

"I was right here on this train, of course", answered Barney Frank.

"Could you be a little more specific?", replied Obama.

"I was in the locomotive making sure the train was running smoothly.", answered Frank.

"Do you own a knife, Mr Frank?"

"Who me?" answered Frank. "I would never cut anything, you know that."

Inspector Obama then turned to the youngest on the train, Tim Geithner, who appeared too young to kill anybody.

"Mr Geithner, when did you last see the taxpayer alive?"

"Sometime last night", answered Tiny Tim. "I saw him about 10 o'clock with Mr Dodd. I remember because it was just before the porter tucked me into bed."

"That's a lie", shouted passenger Chris Dodd. The guy was just giving me change for a 5 dollar bill. In fact, I saw the taxpayer with Geithner around 11."

At this point, Inspector Obama asked Mr Dodd to empty his pockets. Reluctantly, Dodd stood up and turned out his pockets. Over $100,000 fell out onto the table.

"Where did this come from, Sir?" asked Obama?

"I won it playing cards with Barney last night", answered Dodd.

"Is that right, Mr Frank?" asked the inspector.

"Yeah, yeah, that's right", replied Frank.

"That's a lie," shouted another passenger. "They weren't playing cards last night. That money must belong to the taxpayer!"

At this point, Dodd and Frank looked at each other, shrugged and Dodd said, "Well, ok. There was no card game. We got the money from Freddie and Fannie. You can ask them. They're right here."

"What about it?" Obama asked the two passengers in the corner who hadn't muttered a sound up to this point.

"Yes, that's true," said Ms Mae.

"Mr Mac looked at his shoes and said, "Yeah, we gave 'em the money."

Obama then turned to passenger Maxine Waters.

"Ms. Waters, when did you last see the victim?"

Waters, replied, "I saw him about 5 hours ago. He was in perfect health."

"But I determined that he has been dead for 6 hours, how can that be?"

Waters looked back defiantly at Obama for a long moment then blurted out, "you can ask Franklin Raines. He was with me when I saw him. He can back up my story."

"Where is Mr Raines"? asked Obama.

"Why, we don't know", answered everyone in a chorus. "He must have gotten off the train in Budapest."

"He was an OUTSTANDING passenger," added Waters. "a good friend of my husband."

"Very confusing", mused Inspector Obama. He then turned to his partner, Vice-Inspector Joe Biden, and asked, "What do you think, Joe?"

"It was probably some Indian guy. We got any Indians on board?"


(Wrong train, Joe)

"Then beats the hell outta me," said Biden.

At this, a porter walked up to Inspector Obama and whispered in his ear, "Mr Leno is waiting for you in the club bar."

"OK, tell him I'll be right there. OK everybody, we'll meet back here in an hour."

"This is a tough nut to crack, eh Jay?"

An hour later, the group reassembled in the same location.

Obama began the session by informing the group that he had concluded that the taxpayer had been killed for his insurance money.

"I find it very strange that everybody on this train has the same insurance company including the taxpayer-AIG."

(A little suspense music, Maestro)

At this point, everybody began to squirm and look at each other.

Obama rose from his seat and slowly walked back and forth the length of the car-carrying his TelePrompter in front of him.

"That's right, AIG. Interesting also that we have both the past and current CEOs of AIG on board this train, isn't that right, Mr Greenberg? Isn't that right Mr Liddy?"

Hank Greenberg looked away and stated, "Hey, don't blame me. I ain't even CEO any more. I'm clean."

At which point, Edward Liddy jumped out of his seat and shouted, "you can't pin this rap on me. I just became CEO three hours ago. The taxpayer was dead before I even got the job."

Inspector Obama stooped pacing and patted Liddy on the arm, now talking smoothly, "I'm not blaming you, Ed, relax."

Obama then turned to Dodd, who was now sweating profusely. After what seemed an eternity of silence, Obama asked, "Mr Dodd, did you do it?"

Dodd was now crying silent tears as he looked down at the floor....

"They made me do it, he sobbed."

"Who made you do it?.............."

Just as Dodd was about to answer, the train ran off a cliff.

And suddenly, it didn't matter anymore.

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