Hasbro has announced that the company is updating the rules for Monopoly in order to reflect the current economic situation. "This game is supposed to teach youngsters about financial realities," a company spokesman noted. "We realized that the old rules just don't apply any more, and it's time to change them. How else can we show kids the way finance and real estate really work these days?"
Some proposed changes:
You can buy hotels and houses without paying a dime. Just agree to make a balloon payment five moves later.
Are you the player who runs the bank? Tough luck — it has no money. The balloon payment mortgage agreements need to be securitized and sold to other players to raise capital.
New face behind the bars on the Jail square: Bernie Madoff.
New card for Chance: "You have just been named junior Senator from Illinois: Pay $1 million."
Sorry, you can’t buy Reading Railroad. It just got nationalized.
When you pass Go, you won’t get $200 any more. But you will get a security backed by the final tranche of Bear Stearns underwritten collateralized mortgage obligations scheduled for maturity in 2019.
Board layout has been changed. St. James Place now has a Bridge to Nowhere leading nowhere.
New card for Community Chest: "You just had octuplets. Collect $300,000 for your appearance on NBC."
Go to Jail square now offers an exemption if you wear an ankle bracelet and hand in your passport.
Free Parking is no longer free: $50 surcharge except for hybrid vehicles.
New law passed: Owner of Boardwalk and Park Place pays annual tax surcharge to subsidize the unpaid mortgage on Baltic Avenue and Mediterranean Avenue.
In addition to building hotels and houses on your properties, you can put in cheap condos, provided you flip them within 6 months.
Small print added to the Get Out of Jail Free card: ". . . but don't assault and rob a sports memorabilia dealer in Las Vegas ten years later."
New card for Community Chest: “You just got a stimulus check; collect $8 this week."
No more Short Line Railroad . . . even games need to reduce their carbon footprint.
I have some good news: Luxury Tax is not going up. But there will be a surcharge on movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars, digital downloads, video rentals, candy bars, trips to the hairdresser, etc. etc. etc. . . .