New York -- After more than five years of intense investigations and calculations, a panel of 27 accountants has discovered the direct cause of the ongoing collapse of the world's economy.
Its finding: A bookkeeper for a tax accounting firm headquartered in Manhattan is to blame. He made a common mathematical error that snowballed into the financial calamity from which the world has yet to recover.
"I forgot to carry the six," said Herman Pincass, a Subtraction Specialist for the accounting firm of Brown and Dunn. "That changed everything and jumpstarted the fiscal crisis."
The mistake landed Pincass' client in federal prison for tax evasion and violation of the Neatness Counts Rule, according to the report by the nonprofit think tank Brains Without Membranes.
"We're like the group Doctors without Borders, but we don't go anywhere or directly help anybody out because all we are is a bunch of accountants," a spokesman explained.
"In fact this is our first major finding: that Brown and Dunn's imprisoned client turned out to be the main number cruncher for Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve and foremost protector of the almighty dollar.
"Without his numbers guy available, Bernanke didn't have the data he needed to fight the Wall Street heavyweights at the negotiating table," said one Federal Reserve insider.
"Bailing out the big banks, huge bonuses to reward fraud and incompetence, ignoring the theft of billions of dollars. The Federal Reserve chairman had to let it all go because his numbers maven was cooling his heels in the pokey."
And what was the impact delivered by that travesty of justice? There is no shortage of opinions on that among those who frequent the financial district of New York City.
"Pincass' mistake has moved us from the Capitalistic Era into the Error of Incompetence," said one Donald Trump. "I say, that's good, that's great, because I personally thrive on incompetence."
Warren Buffett, the billionaire's billionaire, noted: "I wouldn't get all bent out of shape over the Pincass situation. If I recall correctly, I made money on it. I know because I always make money. It's almost like I have someone telling me what's going to happen ahead of time, letting me beat everyone else to the punch. You young investors out there can learn a lesson from that."
New York Mayor and on-hiatus rich guy Michael Bloomberg compared Pincass to a large sugary soda. "They both make you gassy, and that contributes to air pollution, so we are advising every New Yorker to sell their car and ride a bike path."
Bloomberg isn't the only one who's confused. Brown and Dunn, Pincass and the imprisoned client have all disappeared, leaving the financial police with long lists of unanswered questions.
"So no one was arrested, despite blatant fraud and theft worth billions if not trillions of dollars," snarled NYPD Commissioner Ray "Machine Gun" Kelly. "Good thing I took that self-help course at the Academy -- "Handling Disappointment; Who Gives a F**k?"
"So we don't solve every case. You must be mistaking us for Hawaii 5-0. Or perhaps I can interest you in a stop and frisk?"