Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Quote of the day: business development, by Mario Puzo

Sollozzo came to the point immediately. The business was narcotics. Everything was set up. Certain poppy fields in Turkey had pledged him certain amounts every year. He had a protected plant in France to convert into morphine. He had an absolutely secure plant in Sicily to process into heroin. Smuggling into both countries was as positively safe as such matters could be. Entry into the United States would entail about five percent losses since the FBI itself was incorruptible, as they both knew. But the profits would be enormous, the risk nonexistent.  
"Then why do you come to me?" the Don asked politely. "How have I deserved your generosity?" 
Sollozzi's dark face remained impassive, "I need two million dollars cash," he said. "Equally important, I need a man who has powerful friends in the important places. Some of my couriers will be caught over the years. That is inevitable. They will all have clean records, that I promise. So it will be logical for judges to give light sentences. I need a friend who can guarantee that when my people get in trouble they won't spend more than a year or two in jail. Then they won't talk. But if they get ten and twenty years, who knows? In this world there are many weak individuals. They may talk, they may jeopardize more important people. Legal protection is a must. I hear, Don Corleone, that you have as many judges in your pocket as a bootblack has pieces of silver."  
Don Corleone didn't bother to acknowledge the compliment. "What percentage for my Family?" he asked.  
Sollozzo's eyes gleamed. "Fifty percent." He paused and then said in a voice that was almost a caress, "In the first year your share would be three or four million dollars. Then it would go up." 
I would have asked for Sollozzo's market projections.  


  1. Substitute Mark Cuban for Don Corleone, and cheap electronics from China for narcotics in Turkey, and you have a scene from "Shark Tank".

  2. "Your proposal is acceptable. However, there is still the problem of competition with the Mexican organizations. I've already convinced people we need a wall along the border to keep them safe. The money for it will come from taxes. We'll rig the bidding so that our construction firms get the contracts. That way everybody wins."

    - Don Trump's response to Sollozzo's proposal

    1. P.S. We will sell our used construction equipment to your tunneling companies to preserve value. When the tunnels are discovered we will propose extending the wall below ground to be paid by the same taxpayers.

      Opportunities are endless...

    2. There is actually a wonderful portion of the novel where it is revealed the Corleones' olive oil trucks were heavy and did not pay the taxes to use the roads, but that they also owned the road repair business. "Business generating business" was how Puzo described it.