WASHINGTON—Sources on Capitol Hill have confirmed that visiting Swiss banker Maximilian Krieger met privately with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders Friday, offering the U.S. government the equivalent of $87.3 billion for one night with the entire population of Indiana.
The charming billionaire's offer, which he has given the United States 72 hours to consider, would reportedly come with "no strings attached," and sources said Krieger has assured the White House the deal would be for one night, and no more.
"Let me be frank: You have something I want, and I, in turn, have something you want," said the debonair Krieger, according to an Oval Office staffer who was briefed on the meeting. "Of course, I'd be most delighted to assist you in any, how shall we say, pecuniary matters? All I ask in return is 12 hours alone with that lovely Indiana of yours."
"By all means, gentlemen, think it over—though I'm certain you'll find this offer more than agreeable to all parties," Krieger added.
The banking magnate then demonstrated the seriousness of his proposition to government leaders by opening a leather briefcase to reveal several billion Swiss francs. The heavily indebted U.S. government is widely expected to accept Krieger's offer and use the proceeds to fund critical job creation and infrastructure renewal projects. However, White House sources reported that President Obama has privately expressed conflicted emotions, admitting that the thought of Indiana with someone else was "tearing [him] up inside."
Despite speculation that his ulterior motive is to drive a wedge between Indiana and the United States and lure its population into his arms, Krieger has maintained that he has no agenda other than a desire to give the state "one magical evening it will never forget."
"When I see an object of great beauty, I must possess it," the wealthy banker said in a televised interview Saturday, explaining how Indiana's "purity and innocence" set it apart from all the other Midwestern states. "In all my travels, never have I found anything more beautiful than Indiana."
According to Krieger, limousines will be dispatched to escort every Indiana resident, all of whom will be treated to an elegant evening of dinner, dancing, and champagne. Krieger stated that he and Indiana's citizenry would then retire back to his private suite to "enjoy the pleasures of one another's company."
In an effort to woo the state into submitting to his promised night of "bliss," the dashing banker reportedly sent each citizen a key to Suite 502 at the Terre Haute Crowne Plaza and an elegant handcrafted outfit of Italian silk that he would like them to wear during their rendezvous.
By his own account, Krieger became infatuated with the Hoosier State last week after glimpsing it from the window of his private jet. The billionaire reportedly spent the ensuing days poring over photographs of the state and slowly repeating the names of each of its 92 counties, growing particularly captivated upon learning that 64 percent of the state remained wholesome, unspoiled farmland.
"Let me assure you that my intentions are honorable," said Krieger, addressing Indiana residents directly during a press conference on the Statehouse steps. "I humbly ask just one thing: Surrender to your curiosities for a single evening. I'm certain that you'll find it a most rewarding experience."
"Let me ask you, Indiana," Krieger added, "when was the last time anyone told you how beautiful you are?"
According to the latest reports, most of Indiana has agreed to Krieger's proposal, with the mayor of Fort Wayne noting that his municipality was "willing to do pretty much anything." However, a handful of communities have remained hesitant, sending politicians scrambling to convince lingering holdouts to consent to the encounter.
"I recognize that this is an uncomfortable situation, but the money will go a long way in helping our schools and police departments," Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) said in a radio address yesterday. "Please, fellow Indianans, it's only one night. And really, how bad could it be? Monsieur Krieger is an upstanding and cultured man, and he promised to keep the evening dignified and sophisticated."
"And if we just get this over with, we'll never have to speak of it again," Lugar added. "So let's go into it with an open mind, okay?"
At press time, with Krieger's deadline looming, White House aides confirmed that a regretful President Obama was racing westward in Air Force One, hoping to burst into Krieger's suite and proclaim his love for Indiana before the foreigner could consummate his liaison with the state's 6,423,113 inhabitants.