For Love or Money

Yesterday afternoon, Charlie Dumbkoff was terminated as CEO of Citibank after a billion dollars disappeared.

From time to time, stories had circulated concerning Citibank’s involvement in money laundering, murder and excessively high interest rates on credit cards.

On several occasions, bank officers had been linked to scandals that involved Las Vegas showgirls and, in one case, donkeys.

Citibank’s board of directors ignored these infractions, however, they made it clear they would not tolerate the loss of capital. Several of the board members are attempting to have Mr. Dumbkoff transferred to China where the penalty for fiduciary failings is public execution.

Up until yesterday, Citibank employees, caught in scandal, were dismissed and business continued without a murmur. Mr. Dumbkoff was the first president of Citibank to be jailed.

The development came as a crushing blow to Wall Street, where Mr. Dumbkoff was regarded as one of the world’s most innovative banking leaders. Within minutes of his departure, Citibank stock fell 30 percent and a run on the bank appeared imminent. Disaster was averted when Alan Greenspan dispatched a convey of armored cars to shore up the Citibank branch offices.

Under Mr. Dumbkoff’s leadership, Citibank earned a reputation as the safest bank in the world, especially when it came to protecting its clients’ assets in an age of electronic money transfers and on-line banking.

Speaking from his jail cell, Mr. Dumbkoff said he had done everything humanly possible to protect Citibank from fraud or any kind of misappropriation of funds. “Look at my record,” he said. “We more or less got rid of currency. We instigated credit cards and debit cards. We developed the most sophisticated encryption programs known to man.”

Mr. Dumbkoff said that electronic transfer of funds at Citibank was guarded by three different encryption safeguards. “To break one of the codes would take 50 hackers at least a year. We changed the codes every 15 minutes.”

“In addition, Citibank developed state-of-the-art alarm systems. Our tellers were protected by six inches of bulletproof glass. Our lobbies could withstand a rocket attack. There was only one way you could rip us off.”

Mr. Dumbkoff confided that Citibank’s only Achilles’ heel would have been a dishonest employee. To that end, the former CEO of Citibank said he issued a single directive:  hire tellers who are ugly and nasty.

“It was self-evident,” he said. “The only way anyone could have possibly cracked our system would have been to work with an inside person. Our tellers were so nasty and so ugly that no person would have considered dealing with them for any reason.”

“Besides security, this policy encouraged our customers to use our ATMs. This was a very good thing because an ATM replaces a dozen tellers for one-tenth their salary and we never have to worry about paying ATMs overtime, pension or health benefits.”

Mr. Dumbkoff said that if any employee became too nice or paid too much attention to personal grooming, they were terminated. “Ugly and revolting employees guaranteed no outsider would penetrate our defenses,” he said. “If you visited any one of our of banks in the last year you would agree we have the nastiest and ugliest tellers minimum wage can buy. In many cases, our clients won’t even enter our lobby. “

However, Mr. Dumbkoff, his head buried in his hands, said that something went very amiss at Citibank when their ugliest male employee and their meanest female employee fell in love.

“We should have seen it coming,” said Mr. Dumbkoff. “Where else could two such ugly and mean tellers meet, except at Citibank? They absconded with over a billion dollars.”

It is believed that the newlyweds were headed for Argentina, the world’s capital for plastic surgery.


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