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We Must Save Our Billionaires
I still do not know if Teacher Tom, a former financial executive with one of the energy companies, was serious about our conversation that morning, or it was just a quick statement full of shock value aimed at setting up the flavor of the morning discussion.
In any case, those jewels he dispenses at the beginning of almost every session are full of wisdom and reflect the workings of an alert and experienced mind.
“Just what do you mean about saving our billionaires?” I asked.
“Just what it means. Do not try to read in between the lines; there are no lines. Saving our billionaires embodies a purpose similar to saving the buffalo, the bald eagle and the US Dollar! We can not allow that our billionaires, a natural resource and a shining example of American ingenuity to the rest of the world, be exposed at this time of crisis to unnecessary inquisitions and embarrassing queries”
In a serious tone, Teacher Tom answered:
“Just think of a cactus. It has an exceptional capacity to absorb water in the driest soil and least attractive climate. It grows quickly and in the process develops its self defenses in the form of needles that keep him safe from predators and stray cowboys. It knows how to extract the smallest drop from nowhere; it manages to keep it and allows it to attract more with not the slightest concern for other life forms that could use some of the magic element. A cactus, like a billionaire, enhances the view and provides a feeling of envy in many. You know, if he can make it, so can I!’
"That is a strange analogy, Teach!”
“Nothing simple about cactus or billionaires, my friend!” He laughed out loud and then added:
“We are the only rich country in the world that can create billionaires at the drop of an uninsured short term triple reverse debenture and in the process protect the American dream. That is, nothing like an American billionaire to proclaim the opportunities, justice and fairness of our system. You see, our billionaires spread wealth and goodwill among many countries abroad by buying choice estates in the Med, the Caribbean islands, expensive jewelry in Paris and Geneva, custom-made 24-seat business jets in Manchester, 100 foot Swedish yachts, Austrian skis and those 3 thousand dollar shoes you find in Rue de Rivoli or Regent Street!”
“I get it, but how can they manage to accumulate such wealth that is obviously obtained at the expense of other less fortunate and less mentally awake competitors, bureaucrats and little old ladies in peaceful suburbs?”
Teacher Tom looked at me as if I had just broken out of the shell. He observed:
“My friend, there are more than one thousand billionaires in the world today. Not all of them have attained their privileged status by robbing little old ladies, playing the stock market and selling How To books! The two valid reasons that justify their billionaire status are simply opportunity and blood equalization. Their success comes from those admirable conditions/”
“Blood equalization? What the hell is that?’
“In simple terms, it is the blood lines in wealthy families that allow a member to join their billionaire ranks. For instance, if you are born into the ruling Saudi Royal family, the Malaspina family in the Bronx or the Terushenko Oil family in Moscow, your billionaire status is assured. But the other facet of blood equalization is the subtle manner in which a bond is created with those who control the many government rulings and mandates and also those who quietly open the door of the vaults for you. A link as strong as a blood link is created and is conveniently supported by discreet contributions that enable you to continue your ascent into the billionaire status. Blood is thicker than. . . you know what!”
I must admit that I felt a bit dizzy from the peculiar descriptions made by Teacher Tom. I could understand that the billionaire’s maneuvers and deceitful plans of all those on the stairways to billions would attract large quantities of money from seduced investment management companies and their inevitable ‘dark pools’, and their shady deals behind the backs of consultants, auditors, comptrollers and the Federal Deposit Insurance. As they all crashed, the billionaires managed to save the major portion of their billions in strange nests and doubtful corporations abroad; then we, the taxpayers, thanks to a magnanimous government had to cover the deficits of practically the entire banking and financial structure of the country in ways that were simple appropriations. I marveled about where the government was going to get all that money, keeping in mind that tax revenues were not the answer. I thought about those 800 billion in tax reductions granted those billionaires. I asked the Teacher about it:
“Who is going to pay for this debacle, Teach?”
“Probably China, Japan, India and a few other suckers!”
“How are we going to pay that back? The country has a financial hole of more than 70 trillions!”
He laughed and answered:
“Easy, we just do not pay it. In time it will go as a bad debt in the books of those countries!”
I could not believe my ears. But had to agree that there was reason behind the Teacher’s observation. I was also puzzled to his money-making reference of ‘How To’ books as a source of immense wealth. I asked:
“You mentioned a How To book. What is it?”
He reached into the bookcase next to him and pulled an imitation leather-covered book, beautifully engraved, also containing a CD. He smiled and said:
“This my latest E-book ‘How to Become a Billionaire in Six Easy Lessons” He handed it to me with these words:
“This is a numbered issue. The chance of a lifetime. Now, write me a check for 995.99 dollars and you will be on your way to untold riches!