Monday, 14 July 2014

Why a Castle? and other questions

Retaliation is a done dog. I know you both rate it highly – right up there with Exodus/UK and Separation – but I say only Separation Two is worse (and Separation Two should have been the subject of a Marketplace probe).

C'mon, you know I'm right – just look over your comments, consider your queries. I'll answer four:

1) Why are they in a castle?

During his meeting at Table 23, James tells Harris that BankAmerica has seventy thousand shareholders, adding “it’s a management-run castle we’ll be storming.” Harris replies, “Just like my own castle, the CIBC – or the TD or the Royal or Montreal…”

You see, it’s how you look at it. CIBC's offices aren't in a bland office building, but Commerce Tower. A tower, dammit! And TD Centre is a castle designed by Mies van der Rohe.

James rents Castle Berghof – not to be confused with Hitler’s Bavarian home – to make things more exciting. Sure, it’s too big and he's got to rewire half the Alps in order to communicate with other “computer machines”, but look at that drawbridge!

Man, two people trying to pull off a multi-billion dollar scheme, alone in a castle with no security, operating the most world's advanced computers without the aid of technical staff. Imagine the possibilities. What if the winch to that drawbridge jams?

Rohmer missed an opportunity there.

Just the same, it all comes down to derring-do, which is why Ross Harris fairly creams himself at Winston's when talking about hiring the Black Brigade.

Consider this exchange from page 26, in which our heroes imagine American reaction to their plan.
     Harris laughed. “In fact, they’d probably send in the troops.”
     James chortled “I tell you, if we pull this off, what with all the other things […] the Americans will be mad as hell.”
2) Why do the Canadian banks want to buy the American banks?
Candidly, I think it’s a hell of an idea. It’s one of the most novel, challenging concepts I’ve run across in a long time. I think most of us in the banking industry need a good, stimulating kick in the butt like this once in a while.
– Don Franklin, Vice-Chairman and President, CIBC
Marry that with the quotes of James and Harris. The answer is not "Because", but "Because you can." Imagine walking into Philby X. Carter's office and announcing that we're taking over Citicorp. Imagine!

3 & 4) What happens when the dollar goes down to 60 cents? How do you explain that to the TD and CIBC shareholders?

Who cares. God, you should've seen the look on Philby X. Carter's face! It was priceless!

You have your questions, I have mine:

Why is FIRA invariably referred to as “Fira”?

How is it that at 8000 feet parachutists can see the Sterling's "lines of pipes, the catwalk and other equipment", but at 4000 feet "just barely make out the letter H" on the ship's landing pad?

Why does the vengeful Mafia give up on the Black Brigade?

Why doesn't the vengeful Mafia go after Paul James, Franz Huber and his ugly daughter?

If the Prime Minister recognizes that the Americans may consider the take-over of BankAmerica and Citicorp the final straw, why does he do nothing to stop it?

Why doesn't Harris regret bringing his bank to the brink of collapse?

Might selling interests in BankAmerica and Citicorp save Canadian banks from collapse?

Most of all, how are the Berghofs going to react when they see that the floor of their 12th-century castle has been tiled, its stone walls whitewashed, and its wooden ceiling painted?

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