– George Santayana 
Cannibals in White Shoes recounts an unrelenting series of ruthless fraud-based assaults driven by unbridled avarice. These reprehensible acts have perversely rewarded and heretofore protected not merely the unworthy, but some of the most pernicious parasites of society, and these facinorous rapscallions simply MUST be exposed and held accountable.
Notably, certain characters and events during the early stages of this scandal bear remarkable resemblance with the storyline of William Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest and are correspondingly reviewed in this chapter. The underlying scandal, aptly coined MorganStanleyGate, should NEVER occur in America, nor in ANY country for that matter – for it represents a full-frontal assault on human rights, and the social fabric and economic foundation of what we’ve come to expect from a democracy. The transgressions described herein represent a blasphemy of the American dream, mock the notion of rewarding productive achievement and fully undermine the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. This must not be tolerated.
And what became eminently clear throughout the manifested trials and tribulations was that it is in fact an important cautionary tale with echoes of:
“If this could happen to him, surely it could happen to anyone.”
Moreover, since the momentous events of this travesty played out on American soil, across many states, primarily on the east coast from North to South (extending from New York to North Carolina and then onto Florida), and secondarily stretching from East to West (from Washington D.C. to Kansas to California), we must begin with a shocking, but nevertheless veracious revelation concerning . . .
This Chapter’s Title
Before recounting the genesis of this scandal and delving into the nightmare that ensued, an explanation of this chapter’s title is in order. And while it may be an aphorism familiar to most, practitioners of bardolatry will recognize it from William Shakespeare‘s The Tempest, circa 1611.
“What’s Past is Prologue” was selected as the title for this important first chapter because there are many parallels between the characters and story-line of this classic 17th century play, and the actual events that played out and impacted many victims of MorganStanleyGate during the 21st century, which some may find to be an incredulous unsettling account of worst-case scenarios and horrific events likely not thought possible to occur in America.
Importantly, the flummoxing events of that fateful Fall day in 2002 was, unbeknownst to me and my loved ones, only the prologue to what was to follow.
About “The Tempest”
The Tempest is the story of Prospero‘s (the deposed Duke of Milan’s) efforts to regain his dominion by installing his daughter (Miranda) to her rightful place through use of powerful magical abilities he developed during his time in exile. Interestingly, Prospero’s sorcerous abilities were derived from the knowledge gleaned from a vast library of books, which he studied over the twelve years he and his daughter were set adrift at sea and eventually left stranded on a remote island.
Those familiar with this story know Prospero had been diabolically deposed by the conspired efforts of a jealous brother (Antonio) and the rival King of Naples (Alonso). Moreover, the vast knowledge cultivated during his exile, had transformed Prospero into a force to be reckoned with, in that it mystically armed him with powerful and bewitching abilities to conjure up supernatural forces at his whim. Importantly, this knowledge was secretly bestowed upon him by a most unlikely sympathetic turncoat, Gonzalo, who had been serving as the trusted counselor to Prospero’s nemesis, the King of Naples.
Through these impressive newly developed sorcerous abilities, Prospero conjured up a raging storm at sea in order to divine the ship carrying his treacherous enemies to run aground on the very island he and Miranda had been long inhabiting.
In Act II, Scene I of the play, it is Antonio who utters the often-quoted phrase “what’s past is prologue“, thus suggesting history provides valuable context for a natural and explainable evolution toward the current state of affairs and further influences or otherwise portends what the future may bring. And perhaps it was with this notion in mind, that 19th century American philosopher George Santayana derived his famous cautionary forewarning that begins this chapter.
After an unfolding of many sub-plots of aggression and conflict in The Tempest, we fast-forward to the end, where contrition and forgiveness win the day, leading to an about-to-commence return trip by all, along the lines of restitution and reinstatement of rightful positions of dominion for Prospero, Miranda and her new love, Ferdinand. Simply put, everyone lived happily ever after.
Similar to The Tempest, in the true story that is Cannibals in White Shoes, there were two colleague antagonists at Morgan Stanley who were chiefly responsible for plotting, derailing and effectively deposing this humble author from his long established and distinguished career in banking and finance, resulting in his eventually being effectively exiled from New York, where he had, up until that time, spent his entire life.
It is hoped the knowledge gained from the ensuing deeply shocking life experiences that then played out and documented in this Trilogy, will provoke readers with many “aha” moments and perhaps some with responses such as “yes, that happened to me too”. And in the event this Trilogy is received as being cogently presented, an ideal result would ultimately be the conjuring of activism oriented “storms” of peaceful unrest to instigate much needed and long overdue action-based initiatives instigated by the anecdotal retelling of events in Cannibals in White Shoes: The MorganStanleyGate Exposé.
In other words, the express intent of this book is to remind victimized others that they are not alone, to give them a voice and to encourage them shake off the shackles of fear and undertake meaningful action that will make a difference by playing a role (no matter how large or small that may be) in changing their world for the better – particularly those fed up with enslaving instances of banking abuse (e.g., foreclosure fraud), repressive judicial corruption that has made a mockery of the Bill of Rights, the now epidemic levels of police brutality, and so much more.
Notwithstanding, this exposé is NOT intended to be anti-banking nor anti-American nor anarchistic, but it is hoped this will serve to expose those who have long-abused their positions of influence, and have gotten away with oppressing unwitting defenseless others without consequence. This is merely a vicious form of bullying despotism that only transmogrifies with each offense, as the perversely exhilarating feeling of “getting away with it” serves as a megalomaniacal fix to the deeply disturbed psyche of the narcissistic sociopaths who engage in such repugnant behavior.
Accordingly, those able to comprehend the clear and present danger that thrives below the surface of American consciousness and accept the seemingly incredulous confluence of events for what they are (i.e., today’s well-hidden reality, or otherwise simply known as “the truth”), will want to take action. For it is they who will realize the imperative necessity to ferret these societal earwigs of enmity that thrive within the environs of the fraudulently rigged “systems” and unfair “procedures” they have surreptitiously constructed to the detriment of most others. And it will be those willing to help shine the antiseptic sunshine of truth on the darkness of these sociological leeches, and feel the all-encompassing sense of satisfaction in exposing such hectoring ruffians for what they are. In so doing, they will arrest the antics that have been wreaking havoc on others for their own personal benefit, and the self-appointed elite others with whom they conspire.
Importantly, as was the case in The Tempest, it is hoped the revelations in this Trilogy will cause the practitioners of fraud (such as bank foreclosure fraud), corruption (notably within our judiciary) and brutality (particularly police-based) to finally run aground, from publicly revealed circumstances that will force each to admit their transgressions, and acquiesce to the restitution of those they have wronged. Thereafter, they would be compelled to fulfill a role in support of meaningful, legitimate and lasting banking reform, independent judicial oversight, and/or the demilitarization of local police forces throughout America, with ongoing accountability to “We the People”.
Moreover, in The Tempest, Prospero had been exiled on a remote island for twelve years, robbed of his wealth through the fraudulent and deceitful ways of conspiring others. Nevertheless, through unwavering persistence and assistance from unlikely others, he gained vast knowledge that translated into powerful abilities leading to his regaining what was so wrongfully taken from him – evidencing how “knowledge is power”.
As Cannibals in White Shoes is being published roughly twelve years after the full extent of the initial assault was realized (that being the career destruction plot, which was confirmed two years after the initial employment fraud), its ultimate success in inciting meaningful positive change from which others may benefit, would portend a similar comeback story as Prospero’s. This author certainly hopes so.
Lastly, there is yet another, albeit somewhat obscure, reason why the notion of “What’s past is prologue” is relevant to a trilogy of books bearing the eclectic banner title of “Cannibals in White Shoes: The MorganStanleyGate Exposé“. In Shakespeare’s play, an important speech is given by Gonzalo in Act II, Scene I, which had been derived from an historical essay by an influential writer of the French Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne, and was titled “Of the Cannibals“.
This essay was written circa 1577, and constituted ruminations from his meetings with members of the Tupinambá people of South America, who ceremoniously ate the bodies of their vanquished enemies as a matter of honor. This happenstance crossing of paths with cannibals brought to France was made possible by French explorer Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon, who regularly brought captive South American natives back with him from his voyages, presumably as slaves.
Before moving on, I would like to present a summarizing “Table of Analogies” reflecting the association between certain persons, places and things in Shakespeare’s The Tempest with those associated with the scandal MorganStanleyGate, the full understanding of which will not be gained until all three volumes of Cannibals in White Shoes and The Tempest are read. And this is not a ploy to get you to buy and read all three volumes – it’s just that it would be impossible to otherwise explain, particularly at this early juncture, as we have only just begun our “journey”.
Nevertheless, should you be so inclined, I would recommend bookmarking this for future reference – as the parallels are remarkable.
Table of Analogies
The Tempest vis-à-vis MorganStanleyGate
|Miranda||Author’s Accomplishments & Plan to Help Others|
|Island of Exile||North Carolina & Florida|
|Vast Knowledge||Trilogy Content|
|Storm||Public Response to Trilogy|
What should become clear from reading this Trilogy is that the scope, magnitude and duration of MorganStanleyGate is beyond incredulous, and the fact that something like this could ever occur in the United States of America (USA) gives credence to the disturbing reality that the . . .
The USA is an Impaired Democracy
In my empirically-based, rigorously tested and long-ruminated opinion, predicated on more than a decade of horrific first-hand ordeals many would deem mind-boggling, it is clear that the USA is not a true democracy, but rather an amalgam of many notably alarming “cracy”s, and “archy”s.
These include: (1) “plutocracy”, where wealth, not facts, nor operative law determine judicial outcomes; (2) “corporatocracy”, where elected officials represent and protect the profit-motivated interests of corporations, and do so to the detriment of the majority of the people who elected them; (3) “kleptocracy”, where government officials abuse their authority by operating as brazen thieves deceivingly cloaked under the “color of law”, thus enabling them to rob defenseless others for their own personal gain; (4) “kritarchy”, where checks and balances of judges and attorneys are entirely self-regulated and thus effectively non-existent, resulting in the proliferation of outrageously unethical and criminal behavior by those who are supposed to practice and uphold the law, and whose actions suggest a belief that they themselves are above the law and immune from prosecution; (5) “hyperarchy”, where government actions are so unreasonable, excessive, and influenced by corrupt influence, that individual rights are utterly disregarded, thus converting wayward public officials inebriated with misguided power into dangerous domestic terrorists and innocent American citizens into sheepish defenseless victims who have been too riddled with fear to challenge the status quo, irrespective of how contrary the transgressions are to their morals; (6) “chirocracy”, where police are militarized to the point of abject absurdity, so the excessive and unjustified use of force becomes commonplace and is employed to instill fear and intimidation, leading to oppressive police brutality that is in turn condoned by stifling corruption, and thus becomes standard operating procedure; and (7) “kakistocracy”, which allows the aforementioned odious others to flourish, thus resulting in a dystopian society where perverse governance and an antithetical meritocracy become the norm and maintained by increasingly restrictive laws, diabolically administered for the most part by the very worst humanity has to offer.
Regrettably, the interfusion of these seven forms of government represent the status quo of governance throughout much of the United States of America today and this disturbing reality is deductively proven through the recounting of events in this Trilogy.
Now let’s take a look at prior studies that have evaluated how the United States of America stacks up as a democracy relative to other sovereign nations; however, with the understanding that such studies certainly do NOT reflect the dastardly elements of MorganStanleyGate.
According to the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State there are 195 sovereign states in the world today. Of these, 167 countries have been evaluated for their level of democracy practiced, and quantifiably measured using a variety of parameters, to yield a Democracy Index. And while the notion of a “perfect democracy” might be conceptual only and forever elusive due to mankind’s inherent weaknesses, an effort has been made to gauge the levels of democracy for the majority of countries.
Although historically perceived as the beacon of liberty, protector of human rights and paradigm for democracy upon which all others are based, the United States is currently ranked 19th and stands only 0.11 units (out of 10.00) away from designation as a “Flawed Democracy”.
The events that ooze from the pages of this exposé materialized as if chronically festering sores brought on by a surreptitious plague (i.e., MorganStanleyGate), a malady that has proven heretofore impossible to inoculate against, and it has been a stealthy and especially harmful strain of virus, the effects of which have been impossible to see coming until it is simply too late. Accordingly, the transgressions that have been sponsored in MorganStanleyGate are documented with fastidious attention to detail (and why the Appendices in this Trilogy are especially voluminous) – for otherwise, the allegations may simply appear too far-fetched.
Sadly, the anecdotes sowed throughout all three volumes of Cannibals in White Shoes are replete with a demonstratively egregious disregard for individual rights (Constitutional, civil, property, inalienable, etc.), and are a byproduct of a deliberate and decidedly malicious assault. Ergo, I submit the noted Democracy Index may be what is most flawed, in its ranking the United States has high as it has.
Read on and decide for yourself.
The Day It All Began
It’s Wednesday, November 20, 2002 – the alarm clock blares at 4:15 am.
No need to hit the snooze button – bounding from bed is effortless. Despite a “down year” on Wall Street, I’m decidedly upbeat – had a career year myself; my three sons, “Michael” (age 16), and twin 14-year-olds (“Kevin” & “Ryan”) are developing into fine young men; my marriage of 19 years to “Maria” is strong, and I’ve got a large, supportive and interestingly diverse circle of friends. For the past five years, my income has been comfortably in the seven figures, diversified in investment banking earnings, commercial real estate income and securities investments, with substantial upside over the foreseeable horizon.
Our residence is on the “Gold Coast” of Long Island in the quaint and idyllic Village of Munsey Park, and was recently featured in HOME magazine, a domain accentuated by the presence of a frisky black-nosed cotton ball scurrying its hallways – “Casey”, our four-legged “daughter” is a bichon frise with the fierce protective disposition of a canine ten times her weight.
The Official NBA hoop in the driveway hosts intensely competitive and occasionally blood-evincing two-on-two contests with my three sons, while the backyard is adorned by an oft-used lacrosse goal and backstop-net for errant shots whistling at 90 mph (yes, determined by a state-of-the-art radar gun).
My sons have learned to swim, sail, and play tennis at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, and I’m a charter member of the Cornell Club in Manhattan, where I often take clients for lunch. Our vacations are enjoyed at posh resorts, and often with families of other Morgan Stanley executives.
Dressing for work, I reflect on my good fortune, for which I am grateful, and realize Thanksgiving is next week – my favorite holiday, where our extended family congregates at our “warm and inviting” home for a feast, football, and my always evocative Thanksgiving prayer (“Hey, will this go much longer? – my food’s getting cold”). This realization triggers a humbling feeling of satisfaction – life is good.
Checking my watch, “the 5:15” is still possible. En route to train station, the radio-weatherman prognosticates “sunny and seasonably warm” weather. Today, we’re launching the third IQ® securitization, firmly establishing this innovative commercial-mortgage-backed-security (CMBS) I had developed and trademarked over the past year. This franchise is already intrinsically worth $250 million in shareholder value with significantly greater upside…so I’m especially “pumped”.
As Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, I have been promised “a promotion” for this new product development, and an “outsized bonus” for the largest ever farm-loan monetization, scoring this year’s largest transaction fee for the Securitized Products Group (“SPG”). I reflect on what “the number” might be – should be finding out in a few weeks – and the funds will hit my account in January – might be my best ever.
I’m first to arrive on the trading floor, sans FX traders around the corner, allowing me some quiet time to plan the IQ®4 deal for next quarter, and strategize the initiative I was asked to head up in December – marketing ALL securitized products to middle market banks throughout the U.S. Deep in thought, a fellow I didn’t recognize, quips with a measured tone of gravitas, “Mr. Young? . . . Mr. Tufariello would like to see you . . . immediately”. Strange, when a speedy “Spence-Tony-wants-ya” is the norm. I’m also wondering why the Head of SPG–Americas (i.e., my boss’ boss’ boss) wants to see me.
Tony’s office is dark and unoccupied – curious. I notice glum faces – surmising this being a manifestation of downsizing rumors. I’m concerned for others . . . not me, though – I nervously reminded myself that I had a “banner” year; promised a promotion and outsized bonus; had a strong client following; asked to head important initiative; and year-end reviews from junior staff (strongly weighted because deemed free of political agenda) were strong – e.g., “an inclusive team player”, and “one of the nicest guys on the trading floor”.
Such introspective self-assurances are interrupted by an asset-backed trader: “Tony’s meeting with those folks in conference room J!” An enigmatic locution – for that’s at the other end of the building, and just what does “those folks” refer to? A sinking feeling begins to set in.
Upon arrival, Tony has a contorted ornery expression, sitting next to an erect-sitting expressionless Personnel rep. I’m stunned as he tersely reports my “position has been discontinued” and that I should “collect my belongings” and be “out of the building in 15 minutes”. Security thugs resembling NFL linemen now surround me to serve their predetermined role as facilitators of an abrupt emotionless escort.
But the nightmare has only just begun . . .