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December 12, 2002

Investigative Reporting


You’ll be thrilled to hear that 2blowhards has a new investigative reporting scoop! According to a highly placed source in the custodial department of the SEC, an investigation is being launched into the accounting for Vivendi Universal’s modern art collection. Tipped off by a report in the New York Times--which you can read here--that the evil Franco-American conglomerate (oops, I guess that’s a bit redundant) plans to auction off the collection housed in the Seagram’s building, the watchdog agency has some tough questions to ask.

According to our source, the whole deal smells fishy. “This whole deal smells fishy,” says this highly placed but anonymous official, leaning on his broom. “I mean, according to my dictionary, a corporation is not a person! What the heck does it need with an art collection, anyway?”

Another anonymous sources with no particular axe to grind—you can trust us on that—speculated wildly that the art collection was a cleverly disguised accounting reserve that could be used to bolster Vivendi Universal’s corporate earnings in case of, as he put it: “a rainy day.” This extremely anonymous but fair-minded source cackled with delight: “And have you gotten a look at Vivendi’s finances lately? Let me tell you, we’re going to see Noah come paddling through here any minute now!”

Yet other sources, who do nothing all day but check up obsessively on the Enron corporate scandal, have noticed a sinister link between Vivendi’s activities and a failed attempt by the evil Texas conglomerate (darn, more redundancy) to set up an art futures trading desk. Although described in the business press as an innovative attempt to create liquidity in an inefficient commodity market, according to our eyeball-rolling source, “it was really an attempt to completely corner the market in conceptual art! They were either going to force prices up by 500% or pull the plug on Soho.”

When asked for comment, a corporate spokesperson said, “Since I have no idea what Vivendi Universal actually does to make money, I can only assume that this transaction is a well-thought out, strategic move by our firm. As I understand it, our next move will be to auction our underwear on eBay.”

Of course, I'm paraphrasing here.



posted by Friedrich at December 12, 2002


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