Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scene 15

The corporate advance of the Sucke Brothers, the mysterious fax men, is well underway. They start in a selected fifteen or so cities, and then, like blots of ink leaching on paper, they spread out from there. Buying things up. The whole thing is financed with small amounts of cash and stacks of fancy notes. It works like this. A lawyer shows up with a proposal. You get a certain amount up front, and piles of stock to go with it. The stock is backed by the giant corporate enterprise that is Sucke Brothers Enterprises, Ltd. Except there’s a catch. You’re not really getting SBE stock, your thing--which is your ice cream stand, your bank, your auto repair shop, whatever--your thing is placed into its own fund, a local fund, along with the enterprises that your neighbors sold. The diabolical Suckes then hook up a vaccuum tube to the local fund of Winnetka, or wherever, legally hoover it out, then leave it there like a dessicated sac. Aside from the modest bit of cash he receives at the beginning, the seller gets nothing. The Suckes, then, are sort of like business vampires. The liquidation of O P & Q, for example, produces some nice short term bloodflow to SBE, Ltd. But then old Mr. Q. wakes up one day in Naples and finds that the SBE Sub e) Bullet 9) Line 4) Supercapitalized Holding Company--the corporate vessel into which his life’s work has been placed--cannot issue him dividends. His shares can’t even be sold for the cost of the transaction.

Q gets an empty bag.

A handful of properties from every inkblot on the map do get handled differently. Because they keep paying forever. So SBE, Ltd., holds onto the utilities, the energy outlets, and the communication organs. The owners of the TV stations are in on the deal. Enough people do well to keep the whole thing from exploding into a giant scandal.

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