It’s no secret that Hollywood loves sequels. Without them, Sylvester Stallone, Chevy Chase and Rob Schneider would have to get real jobs. Sequels are guaranteed to make at least half as much as the original with only one-tenth the effort in writing and shooting — a record Detroit would love to have. With the 2008 economic crisis gripping the nation, you can expect to see sequels to many popular movies about business. Here’s ten business movie sequels currently in development in Hollywood:

Jerry Maguire At The Olympics

Tom Cruise goes to Beijing and spends 2 hours trying to say “Show me the money!” in Mandarin while attempting to sign Chinese female gymnasts to endorsement contracts for juice boxes, Pampers and really flexible Barbie dolls.

Lost in Transylvania

Bill Murray shoots a whisky commercial in Transylvania, meets a vampire who looks like Scarlett Johansson and starts a business selling SPF 1000 sunblock to Dracula’s descendants who want to walk around in the daytime.

Planes, Planes and Planes

Steve Martin goes broke paying extra bag fees while trying to fly home for Thanksgiving.

Trading Placekickers

Dan Ackroyd plays an NFL owner who switches roles with con man Eddie Murphy in an attempt to win a championship by cornering the market on kickers and punters.

Working Alien Girl

In a merger of multiple sequels, Melanie Griffith’s body is taken over by an alien who attempts to take over Wall Street, only to be thwarted by Sigourney Weaver in her underwear and Harrison Ford in his Millennium Falcon.

Glengarry Glen Loss

Real estate agents with nothing to sell due to foreclosures sit around the office listening to Alec Baldwin tell stories about hosting Saturday Night Live and trying to have sex with Tina Fey.

Blogger Kane

John Goodman plays Orson Welles playing Charles Foster Kane who is really William Randolph Hearst trying to save his newspaper business by blogging under the name FakeRosebud.

It’s A Wonderful Bank

George Bailey gets a tip from an angel and negotiates a huge bailout for the Bailey Building & Loan Association which he uses to take over Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Having Any Products

The MySpace story.

Return of the Undead Salesman

A zombie Willy Loman ransacks New York City while hunting down Biff, Happy and the high school guidance counselor who convinced him to go into sales instead of computer science.

President-Elect Barack Obama is filling the top positions of his economic team with financial industry heavyweights, such as former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker as head of the new President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary and Lawrence Summers as director of the National Economic Council. The lesser known jobs, while not getting as much publicity, are being filled by some big names from outside of banking and Wall Street. Here’s the appointees we’ve been able to uncover so far:

LeBron James: Secretary of Presidential Product Endorsements

USC football coach Pete Carroll: Director of Playoff Series to Pick Next Fed Chairman

Tina Fey: Undersecretary for Selling Alaska Back To Russia

Howie Mandell: Manager of Banker Relations

Oprah Winfrey: Secretary of Getting Americans Excited About Getting American Cars

Bruce Springsteen: Director of Training CEOs to Act Like Bosses Again

David Blaine: Manager of Making Bush Tax Cuts Disappear

George Steinbrenner: Supersecretary of Trade Deals

Michael Douglas: Head of Wall Street Cheerleading Committee

Homer Simpson: Director of American beer industry revival

Miley Cyrus: Secretary of Teen Allowance Guidelines

Daniel Craig: Economic Policy Enforcer

Shoebox, your admninistrative assistance

For anyone who loathe doing the paperwork, Shoeboxed is the perfect companion.

MOGADISHU, Somalia—Survivors of a recent pirate attack near the horn of Africa reported the experience much more of a horrifying ordeal than a rollicking adventure.

The Somali pirates seized an Ukrainian cargo ship by approaching on three small speed boats. Crew members were surprised to see the pirates armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades, rather than the cutlasses, flintlock pistols, and hook-hands commonly associated with marauders on the high seas.

“I’d expected piracy to be a little more…I don’t know. Adventurous, I guess,” said crew member Yuri Dimitriov, lamenting the general lack of swordplay, swashbuckling and debonair wit exhibited by the pirates. “Mostly they just yelled and cursed. Occasionally they’d beat one of us. If I hadn’t urinated myself fearing for my life, I would’ve thought the whole experience was pretty disappointing.”

Some crew members were more realistic about the encounter. “We weren’t on a sailboat, so they couldn’t do that thing where they launch themselves at our mast, plunge a dagger into the sheet, and descend gracefully to the poop deck,” First Mate Gustaw Kovalevsky said. “And they were holding us for ransom, so making us walk the plank wouldn’t be practical, either.”

“It is what it is,” he added with a wistful sigh.

Economic experts anticipate the rise in piracy to increase costs for everything from oil to everyday goods as shipping companies plot longer routes avoiding pirate-patrolled waters. That doesn’t count the hefty ransoms paid to the pirates—ransoms which authorities can no longer be sure are being stashed on remote desert islands accessible only by following cryptic, circuitous maps.

Despite not having an eye patch or peg leg among them, these pirates performed efficiently, securing their ransom in fewer than 48 hours, leaving the Ukrainian ship as quickly as they’d come. But does such efficiency come at the expense of artistry?

“One crewmember, they shot in the stomach and let him moan there for three hours without once threatening to send him to Davy Jones’ locker,” Dimitriov said. “They had no concept of what piracy is. No style at all.”

Thanksgiving Day marks the traditional first appearance of Santa Claus in malls and parades and on street corners ringing bells. However, the crisis on Wall Street in 2008 forced Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to make a 3 AM call to St. Nick to ask the jolly old elf to show up a little early to spread some cheer among the depressed brokers and bankers.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy day.
I needed a break. Market’s down, Bush had a press conference and one of my elves got caught with Elliot Spitzer’s hooker.

Would you call this a bad day?
Are you kidding? On the Black Monday scale, this is off-white.

Being a Wall Street Santa, do you get a lot of crying kids?
No. All that balling you hear is unemployed Lehman Brothers workers.

I guess there’s no wet diapers.
You’ve obviously never told a 64-year-old senior partner there won’t be 20 million in his stocking this year.

What’s the most popular request this year?
Bailouts. You’d think the North Pole was made of government bonds.

What’s the least popular gift?
Barbie’s Dream house and Monopoly games. Nobody wants anything where there might be a mortgage involved.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve heard?
Timmy Geithner, the new Treasury Secretary. He asked me for an airtight alibi.

Are you visiting any Christmas parties this season?
Just one … AIG’s. I open for Miley Cyrus.

Where are your reindeer?
Back at the North Pole. They quit flying after hearing Sarah Palin talk about hunting in a helicopter.

How will you get around on Christmas Eve?
Corporate jet. I got a great deal on three of them from Detroit. One for me, one for the gifts and one for my bodyguards.

Why do you need bodyguards?
Have you ever slid down the chimney and surprised folks expecting the repo man?

Do you have any message you’d like to give to give to Wall Street to help it survive the 12 Days of Christmas this year?
Yeah, eat all the birds, fire all the musicians, take the gold rings and do whatever Warren Buffet tells you to.

cramergency: stock panic caused by wild-eyed business pundit.

bailouch: headache from watching federal aid go to bankers responsible for causing the mortgage crisis.

bailouse: banker who received federal aid for causing the mortgage crisis.

profitears: what’s running down the face of investors.

chevrong: prediction that oil would now be $200 a barrel.

drillapalooza: gathering of Republican energy advisors.

s’mortgage: a home loan that’s worth less than marshmallows

citigrope: groin massage applied to Congress in return for $300 million

drepression: the point at which the economy is so bad that rappers are unemployed.

reekonomics: odor left behind after your financial advisor leaves.

shrinkedin: looking up former fellow employees in an attempt to figure out why you’re so screwed up now.

AIJesus: short prayer for a bailout.

whybrid: car being designed by company that’s going to go bankrupt anyway

cryPhone: anything you get your child that’s not an iPhone.

berblankie: warm feeling you get while holding your bailout (usually accompanied by thumb-sucking)

In the wake of Circuit City’s bankruptcy, some book publishing industry leaders think consumers will instead flock to bookstores this holiday season.

“Now that people won’t be buying Hi-Def TVs, DVDs and Video Games this Christmas, we’re confident they’ll naturally go back to reading books,” a spokesman for Random House said. “No laptops? No problem! A book fits great in your lap. If the Man upstairs wanted laps to be used for computers, he would have put an outlet in your navel.”

The bankruptcy has influenced publishers and retailers to launch efforts to reach Circuit City’s tech-minded market, including marketing extra-wide books to would-be big screen television buyers, iPod-sized graphic novels with non-functioning earbuds just for looks, and puzzle books with pop-up Wii controllers to hold in one hand for comfort while getting used to using a pencil again.

“Maybe now consumers will finally see that the Kindle is an iPod for books that will pay for itself in five years … 20 if you buy paperbacks at flea markets,” a wild-eyed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said during an interview on The Today Show. Bezos spent the rest of the ten-minute segment helping host Ann Curry turn a page.

Small non-chain bookstores are also trying to woo former Circuit City customers. “We’ve recreated the whole Circuit City shopping experience,” said Fritz Menzel, owner of the “Books, Bagels and Brewskies,” a Milwaukee bar, bakery and book shop. “My clerks are hard-to-find, unfriendly and know nothing about books. Come on down!”

In honor of the announcement that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will suspend housing foreclosures until January 9, 2009, the Money Curmudgeon is announcing that he will suspend jokes about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae until January 10, 2009.

That’s right. No more “Fannie Mae is so fat, Hank Paulson calls her Fannie Mae Fall Through The Floor” jokes. It’s a temporary ban on gags like “How many Freddie Mac bankers does it take to screw in a light bulb? None, the bulb got sold when the house was foreclosed.” The moratorium also applies to comparing either of them to other flailing entities, including the Detroit Lions, the Republican Party and Amy Winehouse.

The Money Curmudgeon is hoping that this joke reprieve will convince other banks, financial institutions, government agencies and companies responsible for the current economic collapse to be nice guys for a while in return for a few weeks off of his comedy dartboard. That list includes, but is not limited to: AIG, General Motors, George W. Bush, Jim Cramer, American Express, The Federal Reserve Bank and the NFL referees who keep screwing up the betting lines.

Anyone wishing to move temporarily off of the Money Curmudgeon’s punch-lineup must announce their apology, vote recount, layoff freeze, company-wide raise, cancellation of CEO bonuses, forgiveness of debt or refund of purchase price for tickets to “The American Idol Tour” on a major television network other than the Fox News Channel. In lieu of any of these, a joke suspension can also be purchased for $100,000 in small bills left in a paper bag in the Money Curmudgeon’s mailbox.

WASHINGTON – In what appears to be yet another directional shift in the planned spending of the 700 billion dollar bailout, Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson announced today that it is their intention to purchase the entire government and administration copies of the semi-popular PC game “SimCity”.

“After playing the game for the past twelve hours, we have concluded that there is no better way to spend the bailout” said Bernanke during a congressional hearing on Friday. “The whole situation is pretty much fucked. At least if we get SimCity out to our Senators, Governors, Administration and pretty much everyone else, we won’t fuck up as much next time” Bernanke added.

Representatives from all facets of government were immediately critical of the plan but were quickly assured by Paulson of the merits of the SimCity Plan. “The game teaches you real life shit. Like where to build your houses and how to handle disasters and stuff” he said with supreme confidence. “Or like when you call the army to help you because the alien-robot is blowing up your industrial zones” added Bernanke before turning to Paulson and giving him a high-five.

The entire hearing lasted only several hours with most of Congress admitting that they had absolutely no idea how to handle most of the situations SimCity puts its players in. Congress quickly conceded that SimCity could in fact teach them how to govern the United States with the competence of middle-school students.

As the hearing drew to a close Bernanke launched in a theatrical explanation as to why SimCity is “So wicked awesome” explaining that “You get to build stuff all over and there’s like Power Plants and Schools and stuff but you gotta’ keep the people happy.”

Bernanke’s enthusiasm was met by Paulson, who rounded out the hearing by giving a heartfelt speech detailing the many merits of how SimCity teaches government officials about real life situations like running a city and assuring congress that if they allowed him to buy it he would do chores around the country to pay them back.

Paulson and Bernanke both made it a point to comment that while the game was fun and educational, the fictional advisors that you encounter in the game who give you sound financial, logistics and social advice in relation to your city are, “Total D-Bags” and “We ignore them and just do whatever the fuck we want, like spending all of the city’s money on a new Mayor’s House.”

With Congress onboard it appears that this new direction for the bailout will certainly be gaining speed in the next week and we could see eager politicians playing SimCity as soon as next month.

HOLLYWOOD, CA — Suri Cruise, the 2-year-old daughter of Tom “Remember Me?” Cruise and Katie “Not The Australian Wife” Holmes, was named the World’s Most Powerful Tot Under Age Five by Forbes.com and immediately used her new-found influence to bail out economically-stricken toy retailer Toys “R” Us. “Suri like toys!” the beaming Miss Cruise told business reporters as she jumped up-and-down on the couch in the CNBC studio.

Details of the bailout are sketchy at the moment. An unnamed Toys “R” Us executive would only say that the $10 billion payment was delivered in a coin-filled ceramic F-14 fighter jet similar to the one used in one of her daddy’s films, “Top Gun.” “Maverick money!” said Miss Cruise as she spun herself around in the chairman’s booster chair she will occupy during Toys “R” Us board meetings.

Proud papa Tom Cruise says the company will use a portion of the money to stock store shelves with some of Suri’s favorite toys and games. A company spokesperson said this does not include “Mission Impossible” action figures and “Lions For Lambs” stuffed lambs since most stores haven’t sold any of them in years.

Other famous Hollywood offspring on the Most Powerful Tots list are Shiloh, Zahara and Pax Jolie-Pitt, and Sean Preston Federline, son of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, whom Suri kept calling “Doo-doo Head Sean” until mommy Katie threatened to make her watch “Eyes Wide Shut” with her eyes wide open.

Forbes.com speculates that Suri will continue to throw her tiny weight around. One rumor is that she offered to sponsor Bob Seger’s next world tour if he lets her dance on stage in her Pampers to “Old Time Rock and Roll” and sings some songs by the Wiggles.

leeproudfootFlickr NEW YORK, NY – In response to the continuing downturn in the economy Chanel, Hermes, and Gucci are all racing to market with upscale coupon holders for frugal fashionistas. Facing a steep decline in the sales of high-end handbags, the companies are struggling to offer a practical replacement.

“We’re responding to a change in the needs of our core customer,” said Miranda Rialto, Vice President of Marketing at Chanel. “Just because our clientele have been reduced to shopping at Target, doesn’t mean they don’t want to look good doing it.”

Other products in development include bowler hats and shoes that come with a ten-year supply of pre-cut newspaper patches – just in case. Fashion insiders are also seeing pseudo-moth-eaten woolen leggings, paper-clip earrings and sturdy denim thongs. They predict that by early 2009 the runways will be covered with this new ‘Depression Chic.’

Human rights leaders are weighing in with mixed reviews. While the manufacturing will no longer be performed in third world countries by cheap child labor, rumors abound that the fashion industry may target unemployed finance professionals for the minimum wage jobs. A representative from Amnesty International said, "What goes around, comes … I mean, that would be tantamount to torture!”

Because acceptance of any new fashion accessory is contingent upon acceptance by celebrity A-Listers, Gucci is said to be working with Paris Hilton and a top research university. Together they will create a nano-breed of dog that fits inside the diminutive coupon clutch.

Image Credit: leeproudfoot, Flickr

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