Somewhere in a Washington DC smoky backroom, where Judge Retort's secret iPod was recording...
Congressman: "This cigar's pretty good. Havana??"
Financier: "Of course. Where else? Now about that bailout..."
Congressman: "It's a lot of money. My constituents are growing restless. And those radio talk show hosts are blowing the whistle pretty loud. 750 billion..."
Financier: "Hey look, just tell 'em it's a blank check. That's easier to swallow than a trillion..."
Congressman: "A trillion now! You said 750 billion before."
(sounds of Financier slapping Congressman in the face a couple of times)
Financier: "Billion, trillion.. Who cares?! You don't want Wall Street to fold, do you??"
Financier: "As the banks go, so goes America!"
Senator: "Hrrrumph! Don't want to fold - no sir! Depending on those tax revenues!"
Financier: "Right, Senator! Our business keeps it flooding into Washington."
Congressman: "And my campaign contributions! Don't forget those! The American people need the best representation that money can buy!"
Financier: "You got it in spades, Congressman! The financial institutions that I represent are the backbone of your tax and contribution revenue stream. Don't mess with it, you guys. Don't listen to that crap about regulation. Everything has been moving faster without it. Yeah, there's a few schmucks not paying their mortgage anymore. So what?? Just squeeze that taxpayer of yours!"
(laughter all around -- then about two minutes of coughing from all the smoke)
Financier: "Look, my business is good for America, and it's good for you guys -- *really* good for you guys, right?"
Congressman: "Yeah, yeah! Yeah, yeah!" (begins panting)
Senator: "Harrumph!! Harrrrumph!!" (lights up another cigar -- passes previous one to lowly congressman)
Financier: "Good, good. Just remember, vote for that bailout! Without it, the party's over. What?! -- you think my financial institutions can rely on just our customers? We've got financial goals and objectives, you know! We need more money! We need federal tax dollars. I mean, look at all we do for you! We've given you millions of fresh new voters by stuffing millions of immigrants into home mortgages, keeping them in country so they vote for YOU! Just remember, if we go down, you guys go down, too! It's all One Big Party."
Senator: "Hrrmph - Party, yes, yes, the Party. Fapp.."
Congressman: "I'm thinking of changing parties."
(Financier and Senator burst into laughter. Senator drops cigar and burns a whole in stuffed leather chair. Financier sloshes his Chablis over it to put out the fire.)
Knock at the door.
Financier: "Ah! That's my new friend Hans from Berlin. Hey, they've got banks over there, too, you know. What?! -- you think Germany has enough tax revenue for a bailout?? Get real! The Europeans already pay 85% taxes. And the rest goes to French wine. They're so broke, they can't even afford to import Californian."
Senator: "Hrrmph. Import duty. Less excise tax revenue?? EXCISE! EXCISE!!..."
Financier to Congressman: "Calm him down while I let in Hans -- I don't want Hans spooked and going over to the Japanese -- you wouldn't believe the schmoozing I went through to get a piece of this action. I ate schnitzel and had to pretend I liked it!"
(Strange sounds from the Senator.)
Financier: "What's going on?? Give him his nitro pills quick."
Congressman: "My eyes are stinging. I can't see!"
(sounds of German Shepherds loudly scratching at the door.)
Financier: "I'm coming! I'm coming! ...Damned greedy Eurotrash..."