I was reading the paper yesterday and came across one of those stories we’ve discussed before – the public shaming of someone caught embezzling. There’s something so uniquely humiliating about seeing these items bought with purloined funds; the evidence tags only underline the foolishness of risking liberty, fortune, reputation and family for something that inevitably looks shabby under a courtroom’s glaring lights.
This case hasn’t gotten this far; the accused is still only accused, but the feds are not shy with their filings in this case, in which an executive for Fiat Chrysler allegedly siphoned funds from a company training fund into his pocket and from there into various other pockets around town. He had the mansion and the swimming pool and the Ferrari and the “outdoor kitchen,” but this story is about his fondness for expensive fountain pens. He bought two — two! — $36,000, limited-edition (aren’t they all?) MontBlancs, with mother-of-pearl this and sapphire-embedded that. They were, the story labored perhaps just a teensy bit too hard to underline, issued to honor Abraham Lincoln, who I have to think would have guffawed at such a thing. (I shudder to think of the gewgaws yet to come to commemorate our 45th president.)
Anyway, not only does this guy have to squirm under the magnifying glass of those with subpoenas, he also has to endure the scorn of the pen community:
“This is a guy trying to live like how he thinks rich people live,” said Eric Fonville, president of the Michigan Pen Club, a collectors group of about 130 members. “Nobody would buy a $40,000 Montblanc. True millionaires don’t spend money like that.”
It so happens I agree, but someone must buy the things, or MontBlanc wouldn’t go to the trouble to make them. I guess they’re all tacky people.
But the shading is not over:
Iacobelli does not appear to be a serious pen collector. Fonville, the pen club president, had never heard of him until the indictment.
“He’s not a part of the pen-collecting community,” Fonville said.
And with that, a disgraced former Fiat Chrysler executive imagines life in a cell, and when everything he writes with resembles a crayon.
Stay honest, people. Or you could find yourself publicly shamed by a pen-club president.
So, we now march into the weekend. Hot and steamy here, which I guess is sorta-Indian summer, although I thought that had to come after the first frost, and we haven’t had that yet. I’m going to do the NYT mini crossword and ask you once again to read my Schvitz story, so I can be web-traffic queen for a day.
This other Bridge link will be live after noon EDT today. It’s about a crappy poll that claimed Kid Rock could beat Debbie Stabenow in the Michigan Senate race. If you follow the link within it to the FiveThirtyEight debunking, you find this remarkable passage:
After Delphi Analytica released its Michigan survey (it has released eight polls in all), I received a direct message on Twitter from Michael McDonald, a source I had spoken to before. McDonald follows political betting markets and had previously contacted me about another survey firm, CSP Polling, that he believed was a shell organization started by some people who use PredictIt, a betting market for political propositions. McDonald said that CSP stood for “Cuck Shed Polling.” Like Delphi Analytica, CSP Polling doesn’t list anyone who works there on its website.
A betting market for politics? Really? Talk about fools and their money.
Good weekend to all.