TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM — You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
AN AMERICAN CORPORATION — You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead.
FRENCH CORPORATION — You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION — You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon(tm) and market them world-wide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION — You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
A BRITISH CORPORATION — You have two cows. Both are mad.
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION — You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You break for lunch.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION — You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION — You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.
A HINDU CORPORATION — You have two cows. You worship them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION — You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.
AN ARKANSAS CORPORATION — You have two cows. That one on the left is kinda cute.
ENRON CORPORATION — You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
ARTHUR ANDERSON, LLC — You have 2 cows. You shred all documents that Enron has any cows, take 2 cows from Enron for payment for consulting the cows, and attest that Enron has 9 cows.
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