family portrait“Our Uncle Ben, Who Art in Wyoming…

“Ahh, okay, I’m gonna level with you, Uncle B. My wife’s the one with the Lord & Taylor account, if you know what I’m saying. Never was much for that hallowed-be-thy bullcrap. So I’m just gonna talk to you straight, man to man, if that’s all right. Straight talk is what this business is all about, am I right? Well, that and a little Greco-Roman wrestling on the trading floor after the bell. Nah just messin with ya.

“Thing is, I really need you here, Unc. We’re nowhere near EOY, and my guys–the guys I work for, a really great group of guys, I love ’em, not in a may-I-cornhole-ya-after-one-too-many way but bro love, man–they won’t look me in the eye since, like, late June. I’m saying, I only got about 30% of the way through that second mortgage last year. And whatever you’ve heard about housing bubbles, that Hamptons hubba bubba ain’t popped, so I don’t even know what that thing’ll be worth in a year. We did refi what’s left on the penthouse, but One Sweet Deal Doth Not a Summer House Make, as my mentor used to say. Plus Dylan’s only starting 4th, Max is barely a pre-schooler, and that school’s tuitionĀ  makes exotic derivatives look like a Family Dollar endcap. I got bills, man, and I’m not talking about the kind you stack. We got maybe a two-year cushion of cash. With the severance, maybe another six months.

“Truth be told, there’re rumors on the Street, and I’m not just talking layoffs–the hoi polloi is whining about “insolvent banks” again. A, so what if we are, welcome to 21st-Century finance, and B, we don’t let that kind of “rumor” out the revolving door. Sure, we take care of whistleblowers: with a broken kneecap, a Gowanus dive, and a nice kettle ball coat. So I don’t know where this bullcrap is coming from, but it is threatening to bring down capitalism as we know it.

“What I’m saying is, these last two years, we worked hard for you B. You said bring those averages up, kickstart the recovery? I went out, four or five days a week, forty-six, forty-seven weeks a year I hit that buy button at 9:31 a.m. and that sell button at 4:01 p.m. Day in and day out, I personally stuck the turnkey in and wound up every bot on the floor. All that crap on the balance sheet? We cold-called the world and we kept selling it, and when they didn’t want to buy we shouted them down: ‘Why do you hate America? What do you have against a little honest business?’

“I don’t get on my knees here for just any guy Benny. Nah but seriously: I’m not some fat slob who can’t get off the couch, begging for handouts, sponging off honest taxpayers. I can’t do that, it’s not in my nature. So when you step up to that mic tomorrow, I need you to deliver. Family-style: five percent across the indexes. Or six, but hey, whatever you think is right. I know I can trust you to do right by us.

“Uh, ‘Amen’.”

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