I have met two Men in my life that were of enormous wealth, their wealth was not what impressed me the most about them. What impressed me the most was their Humility. John Gutfreund was one, I will forever be talking about John because all the Money he made and all the notoriety it never changed him in the least. When I worked for Mr G as we called him among ourselves, he was CEO at Salomon Brothers Inc a Brokerage House on Wall Street. He was well respected among other CEO’s and Brokerage Houses on the Street. Many Movies about Wall St was spawned from His trading style. What impressed me the most about the Man was the way he interacted with people. His staff was approximately three thousand people, traveling the fifty Stories Building of One New York Plaza, if he knew that you worked for the Company in whatever capacity, you were in an Elevator with him, he would address you in a cordial friendly manner.
Not so with some people who made less than 1% of of what he made yearly, in the same situation in an Elevator they treat you like the Elevator, inanimate. I figured that John had to be that way all his Life meek, humble and poised, because people rarely change for the good. Remember that the meek shall inherit the 🌎 Earth. Meaning, Humility rules, why does Humility rule? While working on Wall Street a Billionaire Buisness Community there were many Indigent People who slept in the Alleyways of the Neighborhood they once traveled in Limousines, they dressed fine, they themselves threw Pennies at Beggars not ever dreaming that the Table could ever turned in such an upside down Economy as in the late 70’s.
When I worked for Salomon I came to work in a Limousine and went home in one, I never lost sight of the Bum sleeping it off in the middle on of the Day on a Sidewalk in the richest Neighborhood in the World. Knowing that he once tipped Hundred Dollar Bills, so who am I to look down on him while John treated me the way he expected me to treat others, not knowing if and when I also should fall from Grace. The first time I heard of Jesus washing his Disciples Feet, my life was changed for every. From that day on I learned the meaning of Humility. Even though for a great portion of my life I lived it in a wayward manner, I never lost sight of the big Picture knowing that even if I developed the cure for Cancer I would still be no more than a Grain of Sand on the Beach of Life.
1988 Salomon Rented several floors in the upper 70’s of the world Trade Buildings. At that time being an employee in good standings, to be precise a model Employee. I didn’t go to John looking for special treatment, I went through the chain of command, I submitted my request to be transferred to the World Trade Center Branch of the Company. My request was flatly turned down with no explanation. I tendered My resignation cashed out My Portfolio and moved to Pennsylvania. My Mother noticed me mopping around and inquired why I was down and out. I explained my situation to her, with the wisdom of Salomon she said don’t stress it,
God has a plan for you. It was those words that kept me from passing out watching my coworkers and friends perished while the Buildings Collapsed to the Ground. Salomon lost 900 People I was supposed to be 901, but God had it charted differently in the Book of Destiny. I have since stop asking myself what is his plan for me, realizing that it is as simple as doing unto my Neighbors as I expected of them. When I worked in a Nursing Home in Pennsylvania I got a close look at my Mortality, I met Moguls, Artists and Performers of yesteryears who were reduced to the mercy of their Caregivers. Some were neglected and some were abused, sometimes by their own families. One Resident named Salt, which describes her personality, nothing like John, her personality was Venomous as she had been all her life.
The 59 millions she made off the Backs of her underpaid and abused Staff was not enough to command care and sensitivity from the Staff at the Nursing Home which she abused daily with poisonous diatribe like calling each and everyone of us, from the Director to the Cooks, Sons of Bitches of Bastards. You don’t learn those words at 85 ravaged with Dementia, they are the Column Post of your Personality. Karma the Backbone of Justice paid her back handsomely, to the end her loving family deserted her counting the Days they could start spending her Money. That is why I am telling you who are out there on your way to becoming Successful and Famous” teach your children well” do not create selfish self centered People who don’t give a Rat’s Ass about the Community of Man, because that Toxic personality they also inherit and passes on to their Children.
Anyway what I truly learned at the Nursing Home is that one Day I am going to end up there at the mercy of Heartless Caregivers who is only here for the menial wages, got no Humanity got no Humility got no Love, what is to become of me? if my Personality isn’t covered in Honey, my Fate will be that of Salt’s. I have always been Humble since meeting John Gutfreund, I know that if he reads this Blog he would be proud of me telling it as I see it. For me to say that Life is unloving, un-giving, untimely and unpredictable would be the greatest understatement one could utter. my best advice to you is “Live, Love, Laugh”, do not take yourself too seriously because today you are riding on a Cloud, Tomorrow, who knows.
John Gutfreund, ‘King of Wall Street’ who helped transform Salomon Brothers, dies at 86
Salomon Brothers chairman John Gutfreund. (AP)
By Laurence Arnold March 9, 2016
John Gutfreund, who was proclaimed the “King of Wall Street” in 1985 for harnessing the egos and fiefdoms of Salomon Brothers into one of the most profitable investment-banking firms, only to be deposed after a 1991 trading scandal, died March 9 in New York. He was 86.
The cause was pneumonia, said a son, John Gutfreund.
As managing partner and later as chairman, Mr. Gutfreund (pronounced GOOD-friend) helped transform Salomon from a traditional bond-trading firm into a leader in businesses such as mortgage-backed securities and computer-driven trading techniques. It also became the largest underwriter of municipal bonds, the department where Mr. Gutfreund got his start.
What I have learned, or at least belatedly remembered, is that there is the possibility of a satisfying life that is broader than the Street,” he said. “I never thought of myself as a king. People really want you to be their deity. They forget the fact that you are a person who has feelings and doubts.”
In the 2010 interview with Bloomberg News, Mr. Gutfreund said he didn’t have many regrets in life. “If I should have been a saint, I would have been,” he said.