Bob Schwartz

“This is the business we’ve chosen.”

I watched a news panel discussing reports that Michael Cohen is distraught for his family and realizes that his business and professional life is over—not to mention the possibility of years in prison.

Some panelists expressed compassion for someone in his position. But another was less sympathetic, saying that this was the life he had chosen.

I can’t be sure, but this may have been meant to echo one of the many famous lines from the Godfather movies. In Godfather II, the dying Hyman Roth explains his attitude towards the killing of Moe Green, the man who invented modern Las Vegas. Roth knows that the Corleone family executed Green, but Roth explains to Michael Corleone why he set that fact aside:

HYMAN ROTH: There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good, we made the most of it. During Prohibition, we ran molasses into Canada… made a fortune, your father, too. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI’s on the way to the West Coast. That kid’s name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him in that town! Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn’t angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we’ve chosen; I didn’t ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!

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“Defense Stocks Rally As U.S. Exit From Iran Deal Adds To Mideast Tension”

“Defense Stocks Rally As U.S. Exit From Iran Deal Adds To Mideast Tension”

There are so many messages in today’s headline from Investor’s Business Daily. None of them good.

1. No matter how enlightened and high-minded—or unenlightened and low-minded—the proponents of war are, there are always going to be those who profit from it. The promise of profiting from war is one way to convince influential people and enterprises to support a war footing. That is not cynicism; it is history.

2. The list of Mideast wars, past and present, is too long to list here. Also long is the list of thoughtful people who think the regional situation right now is more tense than it has been in a very long time, and think that the Trump/Bolton position, popular mostly among the extreme and the extremely nationalistic and uninformed, only adds fuel to the flames.

3. Jared Kushner is officially in charge of peace in the Mideast. So we can all rest easy. Unfortunately, among other poor decisions, he invested in money-losing buildings instead of profitable defense stocks, so he is not sleeping all that well. Wherever he is hiding.