Wednesday, October 12, 2011

VOR’s Turn: Fortunately, the U.S. Is Not Just About Money. Sometimes, It Is About Unsurpassed Excellence.

Visualization by Squared Design LabPaul Erdman has long been one of my favorite authors. Sadly, he died in 2007. He wrote financial thrillers with great wit and clarity. He could make complex financial instruments and maneuvering seem almost comprehensible.

Just as well he had a sense of humor. The Swiss put him in jail after the bank he ran in Basel, Switzerland, collapsed after speculating in cocoa futures (something I know a little about from a previous life).  He was released on bail, fled, and was convicted in absentia.

While imprisoned he wrote his first novel THE BILLION DOLLAR SURE THING. His second novel, THE SILVER BEARS, was made into a 1978 movie starring Michael Caine.

Erdman made a memorable observation about America.

"The entire essence of America is the hope to first make money--then make money with money--then make lots of money with lots of money." -Paul Erdman

The thought that life here is just about money – though it contains a great deal of truth - is depressing. Fortunately, this extraordinary country redeems itself in surprising ways. Last night I watched a Nova documentary which illustrated one of them. It was about the World Trade Center Memorial and was absolutely riveting.

People at their best are extraordinary.

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