Greetings! I hope this letter finds you well.
Gentlemen, I was very pleased indeed to read this morning that the US government will announce plans today to deliver us (and by "us", I refer to the entire universe) from the evils caused by subprime mortgage borrowing (which is, after all, the center of the universe these days) and the concomitant loss of money.
After all, the broadest, most accurate measure of house prices in the United States, the OFHEO price index, registered a mere 0.1% gain in the second quarter of the year. As this is below the 0.8% quarterly gain guaranteed by the Constitution, it is pleasing to see such a rapid response from key policymakers. Mr. Chairman, I look forward to your Jackson Hole speech today, and am especially pleased that you have decided to deliver it while taking a helicopter ride over the mountains.
Your courageous rescue of a national treasure like Bill Gross will not be forgotten, and I humbly submit that you will go down in history as a true American hero.
But life does not begin and end with flippers of condos, liars of income, or indeed holders of mortgage-backed securities. No, I now wish to draw your attention to another disenfranchised class, a sector of the population that has lost tens of billions of dollars around the globe for many, many years. This is a group that almost always loses money despite being promised the chance of untold riches.
I refer, of course, to the purchasers and holders of lottery tickets.
Now, I feel as if I am in a privileged position to draw this crisis to your attention. I suspect that I am the most successful lottery player in recorded history; every day, I receive e-mail notification that I've won at least a dozen lotteries that I never even entered! So believe me, no one is a bigger believer in the "lottery ticket model" than your humble correspondent.
But I beg you: think of the millions and millions of people who have a dream and purchase a ticket, only to see their hopes shattered by the unlucky bounce of a ping-pong ball or two. How many children have gone hungry because the Powerball was 19 rather than 6? How many Ferraris have been left to rust, unpurchased on dealer lots, because the numbers came up with the wrong offspring's birthday? And worst of all, how many $10 payouts have been left unclaimed because of the cruel, cruel hand of fate, which forced a hapless winner to leave his ticket in his trouser pocket before it went into the wash?
It is a fact, and I invite anyone in the known universe to dispute this, that purchasers of lottery tickets lose money on a consistent and systemic basis. As you well know, this is in violation of the second Kellogg-Briand Pact, signed under the auspices of the United Nations last year, which has outlawed the loss of money in financial transactions.
Gentlemen, it seems clear that you are doing your duty with respect to mortgages, but I beg you: Do not forget the disenfranchised holders of losing lottery tickets!
A grateful nation, world, and universe awaits your response.