CNBC Blogs Funny Business with Jane Wells


  Monday, 16 Jul 2007 | 8:42 AM ET

David Beckham: How He Scored A Real PR Goal

Posted By: Jane Wells
I was given the assignment of covering David Beckham’s official introduction to the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Major League Soccer team that has invested millions in him. His base salary is $5.5 million a year, about 50 times the norm. But that salary could balloon to as much as $50 million a year, based on performance bonuses, new sponsorships, and revenue sharing. Galaxy ticket sales have already soared $20 million since announcing Beckham would join the team. »Read more
  Thursday, 12 Jul 2007 | 1:13 PM ET

Bull Market Story: Are Those Cows Really Steers?

Posted By: Jane Wells
Today I am reporting on how beef and dairy prices are being affected by the drought, the heat, the price of gas, the price of corn (thanks, ethanol), the global markets, the alignment of Jupiter, the itch under my right foot, blah blah blah. Mostly I wanted an excuse to get out of the office and go meet some real people on the farm. Most of you probably don't realize that California is farm country--it leads the nation in just about every crop. For this story I went up to the Central Valley (think "Grapes of Wrath") to talk to some ranchers. »Read more
  Wednesday, 11 Jul 2007 | 9:01 AM ET

Outsourcing To America: How Should I Respond? You Tell Me

Posted By: Jane Wells
OMG! After writing my previous blog, I received the following email. No lie! (ok, I've edited it down because it runs on...) So, please email me with suggested responses at's the email: "Dear Sir/Madam! Would you like to work online from home/temporarily and get paid weekly? We are glad to offer you a job position in our company, Prisma Desiran Sdn. Bhd. »Read more
  Wednesday, 11 Jul 2007 | 8:50 AM ET

Spam Scams: A "Boisterously Thine" Response

Posted By: Jane Wells

Have you been the lucky recipient of one of those overseas emails seeking "help" in locating some missing millions or "advice" in investing a bazillion dollar windfall? The writer is always looking for a nice, honest American--like me. They clog my inbox at work no matter how many filters I put up. Now someone is writing back. Tony Phillips is doing via email what some of us used to do on the phone in the pre-"do not call" days--talk a telemarketer to death in a fiendishly circular conversation.

Phillips blogs in San Diego, where he posted an email he recently received. He followed it with a copy of his reply, written in the same strangled English. Here's the first email:

From: Mr.Steven Sono
United kingdom

Hello Dear,

I am Mr.Steven Sono from sierra leone but residing in U.k London . It is my desire to contact you on honesty and sincerity to assist me in transferring the sum of $8,000,000(Eight Million United States Dollars) inherited from my father late Mr. Williams Sono to your country for investment. I am motivated in contacting you and hope to gradually build trust, relationship and confidence in you as I get to know you better.

So please I want to know if you will be of assistance but first I want to get to know you better. I am willing to offer you $1,600,000(One Million Six Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for your effort input after the successful transfer of this money and investment. Indicate your interest towards assisting me by sending your phone and address so that I can communicate with you at any time. I will be waiting for your response.

Thanks for your understanding,

Best regards,

Mr.Steven Sono

Phillips responded with this email:

From: Gustaf, Carl XVI
13 ????enplœ? Platz
The Arctic
Very Dearest Sono of Stevenwilliamson,

For long and winding road have I gallivanted penniless to pursuing of such diversions of interestses as are a man's to find with cunning linguistics but for to be being of now middle life ages and wishing of receipt of $One and 6 hundred Thousand of Dollars $United States$ ($1.6 million US).

Blackened am I of heart from learning for pain of the passaging of your sire, Mr. Late Sono, and reminding in reversage also of the wonder of Steven for whom there is a ribbon in the sky and by whose blessing you are the sunshine of my life.

I am first of not original origin States United American. I am coming of most directly Russias and of natality, from vaginal birth of Sverige. Speaking am I in tongues of gluttons quite comfortably also am still I as are you for to write with me of correspondence and in most elegant syntax.

To me is your current positionings well learnt for in London art there not the growls of leopards, nor yet the scourge of pandemic and lopping off of hands.

Please with duest haste and leaping of duodenum redact in backward me this missive for sharing of what other matters might dearest friends and swindlers confide for forming of more perfect union, to ordain and establish this schoolhouse rock for the United States of America and to transferring of pillage yours to clutch purse mine imaginary fundings.

Boisterously thine,

Carl XVI Gustaf

Phillips says he will wait for a reply, and if he gets one, he will reply back, and keep this up as long as possible. I'll keep you posted.

Meantime, Phillips is also capitalizing on a voter base of 12 million that is being TOTALLY ignored by the big money politicians: World of Warcraft, the world's most popular online videogame, made by Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment. Phillips has created a character from the Horde (the bad guys in the game), named him Theodoric, and started a campaign.

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  Tuesday, 10 Jul 2007 | 11:08 AM ET

Top "Deko": Does This Headline Push The Envelope?

Posted By: Jane Wells
Do you ever notice those clever "banners" which flash on screen during stories? How can you not? They're omnipresent, even oppressive. You know, "Hilton's Check-Out Time" when Paris leaves jail, or "iMania!" for the iPhone buildup. Often the banners end with question marks, which is a feeble attempt to push the envelope: "Is Bill Gates Evil?" "Steve Jobs a Jerk?" (translation: we think so, but we have to be "objective" so let's just pose the question). »Read more
  Monday, 9 Jul 2007 | 8:27 AM ET

Cadbury Cooks Up BBQ Recipe: Dr. Pepper Sauce Anyone?

Posted By: Jane Wells
Someone at Cadbury Schweppes has been into the sauce. The beverage giant is teaming up with Vita Food Products this week to introduce three new BBQ sauces and marinades at the Fancy Food Show. The sauces are based on--get ready--Dr. Pepper, A&W Root Beer, and 7UP (7UP on ribs? Not right). »Read more
  Tuesday, 3 Jul 2007 | 12:27 PM ET

Ratatouille Prompts Study: Rats Nicer Than People?

Posted By: Jane Wells
In a scientific tie-in to the new Picture film "Ratatouille" (do scientists do this on purpose?) lab humans observing lab rats have determined that rats who've been helped in the past "pay it forward." This is, they claim, the first proof of "indirect reciprocity" in non-humans. In other words, rats that were helped in the past are more likely to help a stranger in the future. The report was published in Los Biology, an online open access journal (the same place I found the stuff about fruitflies having free will--what a gold mine that site is). »Read more
  Tuesday, 3 Jul 2007 | 11:54 AM ET

Apple's iPhone: The aNti-iPhone Caller

Posted By: Jane Wells
Hard to believe, but not everyone is buying an iPhone. In fact, 290 million Americans are probably going to take a pass. People like, well, you? Certainly people like LA commodities trader Ed Frank, who jokes, "What's an iPhone?" Frank's own cell phone gets stares, not because it's new, but because it's OLD. Really old. It's a Motorola StarTAC, which he bought nine years ago! In the last century. »Read more
  Thursday, 28 Jun 2007 | 12:30 PM ET

Apple iPhone: i'Ve hAd iT wIth iFrenzy!!

Posted By: Jane Wells
Thankfully, sometime in the next couple of days, the first Apple iPhone will be sold and the 290 million Americans not buying one can go back to their normal, boring lives. Look, the thing looks absolutely iFabulous, but can it clean my bathrooms? No. Next! A firm called M:Metrics says it's been trying to gauge actual, honest-to-goodness-minus-the-media-hype interest in the device, and has found.. »Read more
  Wednesday, 27 Jun 2007 | 12:17 PM ET

Canada Gets Tough (Eh!),"  And Dyson "Sucks" Water

Posted By: Jane Wells
You have to admit, Canada is the best neighbor on the planet. But now Canada wants Americans to know she will no longer be taken for granted as the girl next door! The Canadian Tourism Council says Canada is "tired of hearing that it's too nice, too pretty, too pristine and too safe." Gee, I bet Iraqis would love to have that rep. WE'D love that rep. But the Canucks are touting the country's "new personality and make-over," like some sort of silicone implant, with a new slogan "Keep Exploring." »Read more

About Funny Business with Jane Wells

  • If it was up to Jane Wells, she’d spend her entire day combing Mother Earth for stories and observations just for this blog. She has more fun writing Funny Business than anything else she does... professionally, that is. Funny business is whatever Jane considers hilarious, strange, fishy, or ridiculous, which pretty much covers everything on Wall Street. It is her hope this blog makes you smile, even when the news is grim. After all, it's only money.


  • Jane Wells

    Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for