Tuesday, January 19, 2010


NYLJ 5/11/07


1. The thing that hits you is that this is a married couple, so you have to assume that, at some point of other in time there were all the exchanges of ardor, agreement and acceptance of mutual goals, desires, etc. then you see the Italian names and all the stereotypes come flooding in: Mafia, criminal, clannish, overemotional, and worse. At the end, you start counting the ill-gotten gain, seeing that greater profits went to the dealers and traders and brokers than the actual tipsters and you have to consider the haul in the whole: What was it all for? They weren't Corelones, or even Sopranos. Get past Michael in "Mean Streets"--who couldn't tell German lenses from Jap adapters--and you're shaving points for a comparison.

In the process, though, your cultural prejudices get the final nail, when the tag line details that their co-conspirators are, as well, Chinese man-&-wife attorneys, doing the exact same thing. Makes you wonder if it is something endemic to the breed, like Sickle Cell Anemia? Then, the Seven Year Itch might be closer.

These are not people who marry for love or passion or any of the commonly-accepted reasons in romance. (It might actually make one think of the arrangement between Bill and Hill, even.) Theirs is a commercial agreement; a bond of holy matri-money. The upside is that, in the event of a subpoena to testify, the ring exchange also precludes offering evidence against the other partner. It is a joint venture in greed—better to file as an LLC, if they intend to put $$ into a Florida condo to keep it safe from seizure under that State’s Homestead Act.

Then, was it larceny at first sight? Or if love was present, what kind was it? Would it be recognized by Eros, or Ares? Or Midas—who is not a god, only as a symbolic one. Which came first, the ring or the rope? The compliance officer position which made temptation impossible to ignore?—or the attitude of “Hey, everybody does it…so?” Did it matter that her spouse worked at a labor & employment firm and saw the daily dose of capital practices…and badly wanted a piece of the action his old school pals were getting? Why didn’t he simply go into that himself?

Useless questions all—as much as the one: Why didn’t he go into securities operations in the first place? It sure wasn't wedding vows that got in the way.

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