Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Other People's Money

In case you don't actually know me...I should mention...I'm only slightly more persistent than satan. Seriously. It is part of the reason that Emily often compares me to Satan I am sure. Some of my respondents are obviously not aware of this fact and have decided to test me. They shall regret this. What I will eventually make them understand is that they can spend hours of time avoiding me, or a few minutes and give me what I want. Of course if everyone gave me what I wanted right away (women asside) then what would I do with my workday?

In other news, Other People's Money was on today in the evening. I caught the end and was able to see Larry the Liquidator give one of the great speeches to be delivered in a mainstream movie. Before I post an excert from that speech though, I'd like to steal a couple of other lines from the movie for my loyal fans.

Larry has just been offered a million dollars to basically do nothing and walk away from buying out this company and liquidating it. His response: I don't take money from orphans and widows. I make money for orphans and widows.

Shortly after this the woman who made the offer leaves and Larry turns to his secretary and says: Why do I always bring out the best in people?

Okay...now the speech can be found here, but here is the excerpt from the middle of the speech that I like most: (Bear in mind he is speaking to the stockholders of a company trying to gain control so he can liquidate the plant which he is villified for because the company has "a duty to its employees." Of course what Larry points out is that the real duty is to the stockholders who enabled the jobs to exist in the first place.)

"This company is dead. I didn't kill it. Don't blame me. It was dead when I got here. It's too late for prayers. For even if the prayers were answered, and a miracle occurred, and the yen did this, and the dollar did that, and the infrastructure did the other thing, we would still be dead. You know why? Fiber optics. New technologies. Obsolescence. We're dead alright. We're just not broke. And you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure. "

"You know, at one time there must've been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I'll bet the last company around was the one that made the best g--damn buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company? You invested in a business and this business is dead. Let's have the intelligence, let's have the DECENCY to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future. "

"Ah, but we can't," goes the prayer. "We can't because we have responsibility, a responsibility to our employees, to our community. What will happen to them?" I got two words for that: Who cares? Care about them? Why? They didn't care about you. They sucked you dry. You have no responsibility to them. For the last ten years this company bled your money. Did this community ever say, "We know times are tough. We'll lower taxes, reduce water and sewer." Check it out: You're paying twice what you did ten years ago. And our devoted employees, who have taken no increases for the past three years, are still making twice what they made ten years ago; and our stock, one-sixth of what it was ten years ago. "

He concludes: "Take the money. Invest it somewhere else. Maybe, maybe you'll get lucky and it'll be used productively. And if it is, you'll create new jobs and provide a service for the economy and, God forbid, even make a few bucks for yourselves. And if anybody asks, tell 'em ya gave at the plant. "

Danny DeVito is great in that role and delivers the speech terrifically.

Okay...I have a long way to go tomorrow and miles to go before I sleep so hopefully we can chat more later.


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