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Friday, 13 August 2010

Breach of Trust


File:Lehman Brothers Times Square by David Shankbone.jpg

Lehman Brothers, Rockefeller Center: photo by David Shankbone, 2007

Your present situation I will not suffer myself to dwell upon -- when misfortunes are so real we are glad enough to escape them, and the thought of them. I cannot help thinking Mr Audubon a dishonest man -- Why did he make you believe that he was a Man of Property? How is it his circumstances have altered so suddenly? In truth I do not believe you fit to deal with the world; or at least the american worrld -- But good God -- who can avoid these chances --

John Keats to George Keats, September 1819

File:Vegas desert.jpg

Shopping cart abandoned in desert near Las Vegas, Nevada: photo by Rien Post, 2001


TC said...

John Keats' brother George emigrated with his bride to America, where he was bilked out of his slim inheritance by the naturalist John James Audobon. A handshake deal, transfer of title on a steamboat from the swindler Audobon to the unfortunate innocent George. Steamboat proves to be leakier than a sieve, sinks to the bottom, and Audobon is nowhere to be found. And this is what made America great, never give a sucker an even break, it's the American Way.

A reverse scenario for the original Lehman Brothers, sons of a wealthy cattle merchant. They emigrated with sufficient capital, built on it shrewdly, and were soon themselves bilking and swindling their way to a vast fortune, never mind your leaky boats. And this is what made them Great Americans, and this is why the company they built became one of our Great Institutions, and was Protected, yay even as the rest of us lined up to board the express to the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

As this blog has evidently become a condensed version of American History 101 (without the spitballs), a class to be avoided religiously, otherwise ignored or endured with winces and grimaces, that will be all for today. In fact I believe the bell has just sounded, unless someone has just set off the fire alarm again.

Curtis Roberts said...

Thank you for answering (in the first paragraph) the question I was meaning to ask. By the way, I am about to start reading Junkets on a Sad Planet.

TC said...

Thanks, Curtis. Yes, interesting about Audobon. Those wonderful bird drawings, a lasting contribution. But as a business man... well, not someone to get into a deal with. Especially if you're from out of town.

Elmo St. Rose said...

easy money
sleasy money
honey money
bird money
wiemar money

"usura stayeth
the young man's
Ezra Pound

lehman bonds...they were
here friday and gone
monday...the broker told
the widow woman's

I be for birds
I be for Audobon
in principle

the common man
always pays
for someone
ill gotten
noblese oblige

there is of course
gates, etc who so
transform the world
it still seems to
move forward

or we could proceed
with a gallows laugh
and a country song
"trust in luck
and pick up trucks"