Thursday, April 14, 2011

Are You in the Mob?

Listening to a bit of HBO fluff about the career of Jerry Weintraub, the producer/agent, I heard him tell about his father, the gem merchant, and father's response when father figured out that son was rich.

"Are you in the mob?" papa asked.  Nah, papa, said Jerry, I'm not in the mob.

"Where's your inventory?"

Say again?  Does papa think that if you are rich without inventory, you must be in the mob?  Doesn't he understand that inventory is a burden, a fardel on your neck?  Sure, if you've got inventory you can sell it, but if you can't sell it--you've still got inventory and you probably still owe the bank.  Or the mob.

In away it is the opposite of the bank equity rule: the value of a bank is the market's estimate of what the bank can command as capital--and once the market decides you can't command any capital, you're toast.

Not really a propos but somehow it brings to mind the story I heard years ago about Ed Bronfman of the Seagrams family who bought United Artists.  Apparently Bronfman's father--a conservative old codger--was irritable and out of sorts.

Finally it dawned on junior.  "Oh, you think I'm buying a studio so I can get laid?"  Well, yes.  "Papa, we own a liquor company.  I don't need a studio in order to get laid."   No word on whether he was in the mob.   

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