Mike Milken edged his way up to Santa Claus and climbed onto his lap.

"Have you been a good boy?" Santa Claus asked.

"It depends on whom you talk to. The prosecutor said that I was a bad boy, and my lawyer maintained that I was as good as gold."

"Whom do you expect me to believe?"

Milken replied, "It doesn't make any difference. If I snitch on my friends, the judge will cut my time."

"Well then, I think that you should snitch. They would do the same to you. What do you want for Christmas?"

"I'd like you to sell kids securities instead of toys. You could have them gift-wrapped and called 'Junk Bonds R Us.' "

"That sounds very wild. I don't think that kids want Christmas junk bonds."

"They would if they knew that they pay 16 percent interest."

"Are these bonds one of the reasons the prosecutor called you a bad boy?"

"No, he was talking about the ones I sold on the Fourth of July. The Fourth of July Bonds are still a very good investment if all the S&Ls that bought them ever rise from the ashes."

"Michael, I'm not sure that I want to pass along a recommendation for securities from someone who has been convicted of so much fraud."

"Okay, if that's the way you feel, we'll pay 18 percent."

Santa said, "I'm just uncomfortable with the idea of children investing in Christmas junk bonds."

"That's because you've been so busy listening to other people's stories that you don't have time to play the market."

"Michael, everyone is getting impatient. Why don't you pull my beard once and get the hell out of here?"

"All right, what about a merger?"

"Who am I going to merge with?"

"The Easter Bunny. Between the two of you, we could drive Walt Disney's stock into the ground."

"Michael, you're getting heavy. I don't usually hold business conversations with people sitting on my lap. The boys and girls waiting in line have thoughts of sugarplums in their heads -- they don't yearn for junk bonds and leveraged buyouts. Their dreams are all about Nintendo games and Barbie dolls."

"I could provide all the capital they need to take over the Lionel Train Company," Michael told Santa Claus.

"Michael, I have nothing against someone who is motivated by greed, but you cannot convince children that money is everything. They don't learn that until they grow up and watch Donald Trump on television."

"You say that now, but what happens to you when the Matsushita company buys this department store and they send in a Japanese Santa Claus from Tokyo?"

"Is there anything else you're here for, Michael?"

"I was hoping that you might put in a few good words for me with the court."

"What for?"

"After the judge handed down my sentence, my lawyers told me, 'The only one who can save us now is Santa Claus.' "