Bennett's Five Links #070
Ironbark Housel; When the training wheels come off
I get frustrated when reading a book that is ‘only ok’. I’m forever asking friends and family to recommend me a book they’ve really enjoyed.
So I’m drawn to the ‘booktok’ and blog posts with the ‘10 books you simply must read before you die’ formats. Except that quite often these posts refer to the same books I’ve already read. One of them being Morgan Housel’s excellent book, the Psychology of Money (seriously if you haven’t read it already - it’s wonderful!).
So I was particularly excited to see that Morgan House himself has a blog post with recommended books.
Starting the SwissBush design trend ..
The Savile Row Lavender Slip ..
A well written long-read on some shifty Americans that pulled a swifty on the hoighty-toughty Bank of England.
On April 18, 1872, Austin Bidwell walked into Green & Son tailors on London’s renowned Savile Row and ordered eight bespoke suits, two topcoats, and a luxurious dressing gown. Bidwell was 26 years old, 6ft tall, and handsomely groomed with a waxed mustache and bushy side-whiskers. If the accent didn’t give it away, his eye-catching western hat marked him out as an American — a rich American. London tradesmen called Americans with bulges of money in their pockets “Silver Kings,” and they were most welcome in upmarket establishments like Green & Son, which charged as much for the strength of their reputations as for the quality of their goods.
Green led Austin through the Western Branch’s stone portico and into the grand two-story banking hall, where motes of dust floated in sunbeams from the high windows. The key to the security of the Bank of England was trust. The Bank only conducted business with persons known to them. This meant, as an American stranger, Austin Bidwell was unable to open an account — unless he was introduced by a reputable existing customer of the bank. As Austin had staked out the bank for several days prior to his first meeting with the tailor, he knew Mr. Green was just such a customer. After Green’s introduction, Austin was presented with a checkbook and passbook in the name of Frederick Warren.
George first encountered the art of the scam as a kid, when his father was conned out of every penny he had by a crooked business partner. George regarded his father as honest and hardworking but embarrassingly naïve. The family moved several times, from upstate New York to Michigan and around the Midwest. In each place, his father would establish a new business, only to be “taken in and done for” by hustlers who left the family penniless. George sold apples and candy from a basket to support the family and bristled at his father’s gullibility. Somewhere around this time, he decided there was no point struggling to earn a legitimate living when there was much easier money to be had in fraud, so he moved to New York to make his fortune.
But in their haste, the gang — specifically Mac — had made a mistake. Two of the bills did not have a date inserted, and could not be accepted. When they were received by the Bank of England, on the morning of February 28, they were taken by a clerk to the office of the supposed issuer, B.W. Blydenstein & Co. banking agents, to have the error rectified. One of Blydenstein’s partners, William Trumpler, immediately identified the bills as forgeries. The scam was uncovered. In total, the gang had successfully cashed 92 forged bills to the value of £102,217 ($10.9m in 2020). Now the game was up.
How four Americans robbed the Bank of England ..
Doing well and doing good, too ..
I love a good commencement address.
Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen, I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me.
Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous.
All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.
Anna Quindlen’s Commencement Address
The Art only begins when the training wheels come off ..
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