Friday, August 18, 2017

Quote of the day: the calming influence of money

For some reason, this passage from Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" has always stuck with me, especially when dealing with customers: 
Hagen knew his manners. He did not speak, he did not smile. He waited on his boss, Don Corleone, with all the respect of a favorite earl waiting on his kind; bringing him a cold drink, lighting his cigar, positioning his ashtray; with respect but no obsequiousness.  
Hagen was the only one in that room who knew the identity of the portraits hanging on the dark paneled walls. They were mostly portraits of fabulous financial figures done in rich oils. One was of Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton. Hagen could not help thinking that Hamilton might have approved of his peace meeeting being held in a banking institution. Nothing was more calming, more conducive to pure reason, than the atmosphere of money.
I kinda think Hagen was kinda wrong, but it helps me a little during a teleconference... 


  1. Three thoughts.

    Money isn't always calming. E.g., POTUS.

    From various posts and comments on this blog, no matter how much chemists emulate Tom Hagen, their bosses treat them like Fredo.

    "The Godfather" satisfies the male fantasy of amoral power.

    1. "the male fantasy of amoral power"

      Great phrase, and an accurate diagnosis.

    2. Apparently, the comment box is eating comments, for which I apologize.

      From the inbox:

      ""the male fantasy of amoral power"
      Great phrase, but I disagree. The Dons' moral code is corrupt, but very real, and very simple. Everything revolves around the Don; all tribute and respect flow according to proximity to the Don. That's about it. Confusion enters when people try to layer their own morality over the mafia's; leave that out, and everything makes sense."

  2. "Worship money, worship nothing."

    "Our hope is to know righteous places and righteous times, even though we live to die."

    Be righteous And remember that there is a skinny puppy quote to soothe any distress.

  3. Well, people with divergent interests understand what they are talking about when they are discussing money. Conversations about what’s right or wrong, for example, can become very abstract and expose differences in viewpoints. But cash is cash, and everyone wants a share. The only questions revolve around who gets how much, and what are the consequences?