FED PRESCRIBES 'CONTROLLED BURN' OF DOT.COMS
WASHINGTON, D.C. (SatireWire.com) — Comparing the Internet to an uncontrolled and overcrowded forest, the Federal Reserve today authorized a "prescribed burn" to incinerate the vast majority of Internet companies, a move the Fed hopes will thwart inflation by depriving the blazing U.S. economy of fuel.
According to Fed officials, burning up most Internet companies will not only deter growth, but will also increase the nation's "uncomfortably low" unemployment rate. That, in turn, will relieve inflationary wage pressures.
The program immediately found support among the handful of dot.coms slated to avoid the flames, including AOL, Amazon, and eBay. But several thousand Internet companies tagged as 'scrub brush' were outraged.
"I'll tell you right now, if the Feds come in here and try to set our building on fire, our 200 employees will fight with everything they have," said Stephan Paternot, co-CEO of potential conflagree TheGlobe.com.
In response, Fed spokesman Kevin Keegan suggested Globe employees try covering their building in their stock options, which, he noted, "have been under water for so long they'll never catch fire."
But other companies on the burn list were concerned about more than just the loss of their buildings.
"I, for one, don't want to die," said Buy.com CEO Greg Hawkins, "nor do I want to flee into the streets to save my life."
Keegan, however, stressed that buildings, not individuals, are being targeted, which is why the program will be administered by the National Parks Service. As for being forced into the streets, Keegan explained the Fed will first confiscate all properties via 'imminent domain,' and only then will buildings be set alight.
"So it's not like these fires will actually force people and businesses out into the street," he said. "We'll have forced them out at least a day earlier."
EBay CEO Meg Whitman, meanwhile, pleaded for calm by citing a Forrester Research report projecting that most dot.coms will go out of business by the end of 2001, and that only three major players will be left in each category.
"So you see, the fire is coming and it will consume almost everyone," she said. "The Fed solution will simply make the inevitable more orderly."
No less importantly, added Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, the remains of former competitors will provide nourishment to those left behind.
"After a forest fire, mineral-rich ashes from plants are distributed into the soil by rains, thereby feeding the remaining flora," Bezos said. "In the same way, employees of incinerated Internet firms will be soaked up by the survivors, thereby providing nutrients to maintain a healthy econosystem."
But to Candace Carpenter, CEO of women's portal and torch-list member iVillage, the whole idea of burning companies to the ground is "preposterous. You simply cannot compare the Internet economy to a forest," she said.
Bezos, however, disagreed.
"It's easy," he noted. "You just call the big Net companies 'healthy trees,' and the smaller companies 'scrub brush' or 'weeds,' and there, you've done it."
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