New York - The international financial industry now controls Heaven as well as Hell. After years of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and back room deals, Wall Street officially became a major religion of the world this morning.
With a hierarchy mirroring that of the Catholic Church, Worship Wall Street now fully rules over the financial district, which has been deemed as its sovereign territory.
In a secret ceremony in which bond receipts were burned in a "bondfire of the vanities," Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs, was elected Pope.
"This will teach those OWS punks to mess with us," His Holiness said. "Occupy Wall Street is just a movement. Worship Wall Street is a religion with direct connections to the Almighty as well as to the almighty dollar."
Cardinal Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that if anyone as much as raises his voice in the financial district, he will be charged with religious persecution and jailed until the Second Coming, "whatever that is."
"It won't be easy doing the Lord's work while running the City of New York into the ground," Bloomberg whined. "But they gave us these swell red dresses and crazy red hats to wear, so I couldn't resist. Everybody knows that red is my color."
The entire staff of the Wall Street Journal has been hired to write the Worship Wall Street Bible. The holy book is expected to contain the first understandable explanation of the 2008 Too Big to Fail Bailout.
"That, brothers and sisters, was a true Act of God," Pope Lloyd said. "Imagine Republicans and Democrats joining together and passing history making legislation in less than a week's time. We are going to call it The Miracle of the Campaign Contribution."
Pope Blackfein the First went on to describe some of the other advantages of turning the financial industry into a religion.
"Now no one will be going to jail for destroying the American economy through fraudulent activity and illegal actions," he said. "They don't investigate a church for such things. It's not as if we diddled our altar girls, who by the way are the former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders."
But Blankfein saved the best for last: "As a religion, we are completely exempt from taxes -- Federal, state, city, and sales. Say hallelujah, America."