MERCHANT bank Goldman Sachs has not been using magic beans to generate its multi-billion dollar profits, it was claimed last night.
For years investors believed that fund managers at the Wall Street institution have been climbing a massive plant in the back garden and stealing supernatural geese from a cumbersome giant.
But now regulators in New York are investigating claims that the bank is not able to harness the power of magic and has instead been using the traditional investment methods of manipulation and bullshit.
Roy Hobbs, deputy chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said: "When an investment company makes billions and billions and billions of dollars regardless of the prevailing market conditions, it is only natural to assume that it has something to do with beans and geese.
"But last August I was walking past the Goldman Sachs headquarters and was struck by the absence of an enormous green trunk disappearing into the clouds.
"After thinking about it really hard for a few months we then raided their offices and recovered a grand total of one goose which was not magical in any way and seems to have been installed in the men's room to provide a twisted form of executive relief."
Millionaire property developer Charlie Reeves, who has invested his fortune with Goldman Sachs since the mid-1980s, said: "The money just kept coming and coming so I naturally assumed the company was really owned by the Count of Monte Cristo.
"But after a few years I noticed they were not overwhelmed by an obsessive desire for revenge and so like everyone else I believed it was probably just a run-of-the-mill, bean-based enterprise staffed by particularly talented goose thieves."
But retail tycoon, Nathan Muir, added: "I never believed for a second that it was beans. I always though it was a magical cooking pot that never ran out and so they were able to guarantee an unending revenue stream by selling bowls of porridge to hungry villagers without having to contend with the unpredictability of fluctuating oat prices.
"Or that it was something to do with unicorns."