New York Times
Op-Ed Contributor
Dialing for Derivatives
Published: January 31, 2009

THANK you for calling BadBank, otherwise known as “Slumdog Billionaire.”

This call will not be monitored for quality control.

One of our customer service representatives will be with you as soon as he is paroled.

If you are calling for a loan, a bonus, a bailout or season tickets to all home games at BadField, please stay on the line.

To have a lost Super Bowl bet bought, please call back tomorrow.

For account balances, please call GoodBank.

Please listen to the following options. If you do not understand options and would like a tutorial on options, shorts, puts, calls, spreads, hedging, derivatives, credit default swaps, collateralized-debt obligations, front-running or insider trading or would like to access a directory of interior decorators, please press 1.

If you are calling from a rotary phone, you’ve got other problems.

Due to high caller volume, the Clawback Prevention Hotline has an unusually long wait time.

If you are calling about the stimulus plan and have a better plan, say, “Better plan.”

I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that.

If you are a feeder fund looking for a soup kitchen, please hang up.

If you would like to reach Mr. Soros, please keep pressing the pound key until your fingers begin to bleed.

One moment please.

If you enjoyed that musical interlude and wish to download that selection from BadTunes, please press the star key.

If you wish to check the toxicity of your assets or require a hazardous-materials suit, please call back.

If you need help transferring offshore non-toxic assets off-planet, someone will call you back.

If you would like to be connected to MalBanque, MaloBanco, MalaBanca or VurstBanken, please press acht.

If you can keep your hairstyle when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you ...

If you would like to order alcohol, tobacco or firearms, please press 2.

If you would like to speak with someone who sounds as if he knows what he’s talking about and works all day in shirtsleeves, just like the anchors on CNBC, press 3.

If you would like to purchase a new American car, made in Ontario, with zero down, zero-percent financing, no credit check, eye test, age or driver’s license requirement, press the start button.

If you are applying for relief from a student loan, press 4 if you’re a student and 5 if you are posing as a student.

If you are calling to redeem BadPoints for accommodations at Davos 2010, forget it.

If you are an official of the S.E.C., F.B.I., Treasury or Fed and wish to order a BadBank cap or windbreaker, please press the redial button and start this call over again.

If you believe that the Ponzi scheme should be forever renamed, please text “50Large” to “American Idol.”

If you actually do anything legitimate for a living and can build, fix, weld, paint, plumb, wire, polish, lift, mold, sew, knit, cook, cobble, darn and/or knead, please check to see if you have dialed the right number.

Rick Moranis is a writer and actor.