Job cuts continue to wrack the nation. Dionne Warwick has lost her gig headlining tonight's American Music Ball in Washington, D.C. — one of several inaugural balls which may not take place.

Did avaricious promoters overinflate the Barack Obama inaugural bubble? Incredibly, the ball's website is still selling $450 tickets. But the Washington Post reports that it and other events, including one featuring Ludacris, have been cancelled.

The existence of these unofficial balls is a sign that, despite Obama's calls today for service and selflessness, greed is alive and well. But Obama himself may have helped pop this bubble: He never promised he'd attend any of the events, rendering each just another overpriced party. Like subprime mortgages packaged up and resold as AAA bonds, the promoters were hoping they could transform their ball scams, through some alchemy, into Obama gold. We may feel bad for Warwick — but not for the fool who hired her.