In the end, “Robocop” was too kind.
Forgive your loyal, unpaid servant, but not only was I trying to send out a hastily assembled marketing book for one of the finest companies I’ve ever had the privilege of introducing s, but I also had a long scheduled string of appointments in Michigan this week as well. Nothing like starting in beautiful, well capitalized, conservative Western Michigan on Monday and then working one’s way across the state, only to end up in moribund, corrupt and ultimately failing Detroit in Eastern Michigan. It’s not overly exaggerating to compare the two sides of the state to West and East Germany… they are that different in their economic viability.
Detroit is a wreck, and it’s a damn shame. There are hundreds of thousands of very smart people populating that Southeast Michigan region– engineers, technicians, deeply skilled manufacturing personnel, etc., etc. What hope have they, however, arrayed against the institutional, long embedded machine politics-corruption that destroys the rule of law and therefore any hope that a level playing field might be established for investment capital? Let’s face it, you’d have to be nuts to try to start a business in Detroit. There’s more atmosphere on the moon.
That said, I had a great time meeting the private equity personnel operating in that region. And the Tigers game was fun too. But nothing was as important– or moving– as my meeting with the esteemed, venerable Detroit Patriarch, Mr. Cain Thaler. It took a number of phone calls with his “people” to arrange a meeting, but let me tell you it was worth it. It’s not often you get to meet one of the guys who hung with Edsel Ford and the Dodge Brothers “back in the day.”
I had to wait outside the Marriott Motor Access area for half an hour as Cain’s preliminary security ran through their checks. They were nice guys, but pretty obviously ex-Special Forces, so I kept the chat to a minimum. When Mr. Thaler himself rolled up in his stretch Cadillac (of course) limousine, I was on pins and needles. When the door was opened by his personal bodyguard (a flat-faced Mongolian giant, six-ten, and about half that wide), rich, sweet and thick Havana-based smoke billowed from the back seat for what seemed like ten minutes but was probably more like 30 seconds. Finally, a gnarled, liver-spotted hand clutching an ivory headed cane (hint hint?) pushed out from the back seat. It was the man himself, the Legend.
Our discussion will remain between us, but let me tell you that he imparted generational value to me… business advice that I will cherish and pass to my own children, God willing. Thanks you sir, for your good will and your patience. I wish I could impart some of your wisdom to this crowd, but I will hold off, affording you the discretion you’ve earned.
I look forward to the next time we might share some bourbon whiskey, and some tales of the good days, when Detroit was America’s engine. My best to you.
I actually bought a farkakta load of SLV Leaps today. 2014′s and 15′s. A humbug schitload. I think silver is going to go berserk here, but the ride will be violent. SLW, EXK, AG and maybe SVM if you’re bold, SIL if you are not. God bless we are in trouble, but I take heart that there are still men like Cain Thaler — who remember that commie asshat Roosevelt — to help guide us back to the righteous path.
Best to you all.