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February 10, 2008


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ms. jolie will eat applesauce out your navel if you frame it right.

Jeff Trexler

Steak and caviar? That's nothing compared to the everlastin' movable feast that is the academy. Next time you're in NYC drop by my office--I'll hook you up with cookies and bottled water, maybe coffee if the machine's working.

. . .

Uhhh, what bank was that again?


What happens in Wealth Bondage, Jeff, stays in Wealth Bondage. Confidentiality is the code of wealth management. If you want to be the Consigliere of a top family, you had better observe the code of silence. Even a good Butler knows that much. We are talking about my livelihood here. Besides, it could just as well have been another bank, or a trust firm, or an IPO firm, or an investment advisory company, or a family office network, or a law firm, or an accounting firm. Philanthropy is big business. Meaning is hot. Helping clients find meaning. Who better than us, we who have learned the liberal arts, and work cheap, and have no qualms? You could do it too, Jeff. That law degree, plus the Divinity PhD, would open doors. You could become a Svengali like me.


Jeff, watch my back and I will watch yours. If anyone gives me grief about Tutor about Tutor being "grossly inappropriate," I am counting on you to give them a lecture on Mennipean satire, Erasmus, Thomas Brown, Ramus, and Marshall Mcluhan. The medium is the massage parlor. If we are going to make visible the Massage Parlor element of Private Wealth Client Services, we must use a style that holds the mirror up to nature. The plain style of the candid and genteel insider is a dodge. We are not going to turn the world upside down while writing in a style that is conspicuously socialized to the intolerable.

Jeff Trexler

"What happens in Wealth Bondage, Jeff, stays in Wealth Bondage. "

Naturally! Mine was just a rhetorical question--y'know, like "quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

Not that that has any application to our chosen field, of course.

JJ Commoner

Banks have lots of accountants and financial analysts .. they all know how FIFO works.



Via Wikepedia: "Plato's answer to this is that "They will guard themselves against themselves. We must tell the guardians a noble lie. The noble lie will inform them that they are better than those they serve and it is therefore their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves. We will instill in them a distaste for power or privilege, they will rule because they believe it right, not because they desire it." We call this noblesse oblige. But today the guardians see through all that. It is every man for himself and the women too.


As the wise old criminal mastermind says in The Godfather, "I did not ask who gave the order. I said to myself. 'This is the business we have chosen.' I did not ask who gave the order, because that had nothing to do with business."


The noble lie will inform them that they are better than those they serve and it is therefore their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves.

In a way a noble lie like this isn't really a lie, it is instead something that is true to the extent the people believe and act as if it were true. If they are not better, then they do not deserve the privilege that goes with the responsibility.

Leadership is earned by those who truly deserve it, as well as by the community who insist that it is earned and deserved. Anything else is tyranny. The tyrant will deserve his fall when it comes, and the people will suffer for their poor judgment in allowing him to take power.

FIFO is always a sign of compromised leadership. The in crowd has to guard against anyone in their number realizing that they are the beneficiaries of a rigged game. When the Hero Warrior finds out his victories are in a rigged game, he looks for a bigger game. Defending those less powerful is honorable, and defending power and privilege for its own sake is not. To the extent that they have people who would succeed in a meritocracy in their ranks, they have to kick them out or marginalize them if they wake up, and to the extent that they don't they are only capable of wielding power in its most crude and blunt ways.


The Sicilians say it more succinctly: "The fish rots from the head down."

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