always be closing

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pages: 243 words: 61,237

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Blake then concludes his harangue with some old-fashioned sales training, flipping over a green chalkboard and pointing to where he’s written the first three letters of the alphabet. “A-B-C,” he explains. “A—always. B—be. C—closing. Always be closing. Always be closing.” “Always be closing” is a cornerstone of the sales cathedral. Successful salespeople, like successful hunters of any species, never relent in pursuing their prey. Every utterance and each maneuver must serve a single goal: pushing the transaction to a conclusion—your conclusion—and getting the person across the table, as Blake says, “to sign on the line which is dotted.” Always be closing. Its simplicity makes it understandable; its alphabeticality makes it memorable. And it can be constructive advice, keeping sellers focused on a deal’s end even during its beginning and middle.

Fuller (as told to Hartzell Spence), A Foot in the Door: The Life Appraisal of the Original Fuller Brush Man (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960), 87. Index The page numbers in this index refer to the printed version of this book. To find the corresponding locations in the text of this digital version, please use the “search” function on your e-reader. Note that not all terms may be searchable. ABCs “Always be closing” model, 68 moving others, 4–5, 68–69 See also attunement; buoyancy; clarity accountability, 212–15 “Ad Game” exercise, 202 Adler, Mortimer, 190 Akerlof, George, 47–49 Albarracín, Dolores, 101–2 “Always be closing” strategy, 68 “Amazing Silence” exercise, 190–91 Amazon.com, 89–90 ambiversion development of ambiversion skills, 90–91 self-assessment website, 90 and success in selling, 82–84 Andreessen, Marc, 31 app economy, 31–32 appropriate negativity, 122 Atlassian, 32–34 attitude, negative appropriate negativity, 122 benefits of, 121–22 blemished frame, 139–40 defensive pessimism, 122 disputing and de-catastrophizing, 119 learned helplessness, 109–10 pessimistic explanatory style, 110–11 positivity/negativity ratio, 107–8, 118 rejection, 99, 120–21, 122–23, 193 attitude, positive belief in product, 106–7 blemished frame, 139–40 broadening effect on negotiations, 104–6 making partner look good, 195–98 Optimism Test, 120 optimistic explanatory style, 111–12, 118–20 Positivity Self Test, 118 positivity/negativity ratio, 107–8, 118 self-talk, 100–101 “Yes and” technique, 193–94, 202 attunement ambiversion, 80–84 E Test, 69–70 empathy in medical settings, 74 attunement (cont.)

I’ll show how the balance of power has shifted—and how we’ve moved from a world of caveat emptor, buyer beware, to one of caveat venditor, seller beware—where honesty, fairness, and transparency are often the only viable path. That leads to Part Two, where I cull research from the frontiers of social science to reveal the three qualities that are now most valuable in moving others. One adage of the sales trade has long been ABC—“Always Be Closing.” The three chapters of Part Two introduce the new ABCs—Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity. Chapter 4 is about “attunement”—bringing oneself into harmony with individuals, groups, and contexts. I draw on a rich reservoir of research to show you the three rules of attunement—and why extraverts rarely make the best salespeople. Chapter 5 covers “buoyancy”—a quality that combines grittiness of spirit and sunniness of outlook.


pages: 83 words: 26,097

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations (TED Books) by Dan Ariely

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, science of happiness, Snapchat, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

He also tells them that there’s a contest to see who can close the most sales. “The first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado,” he tells them. “The second prize is a set of steak knives. The third prize? ‘You’re fired.’ ” This infamous, insulting motivational speech delivered by a young Alec Baldwin in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross is an obscenity-studded caricature of the business world’s cruelty. This scene—with its “ABC” (“Always Be Closing”) directive—is often listed as a “must watch” for management trainees, reflecting the strong, persistent, and mistaken belief that external motivations, such as threats, are crucial ingredients in the recipe for inspiring hard work. Movies aside, this type of cattle-prod threat is unlikely to fly in the modern workplace. But what about positive incentives such as annual and spot bonuses? Promotions?


pages: 388 words: 119,492

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, Cass Sunstein, correlation does not imply causation, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, mass incarceration

To counter this, La Barbera taught his detectives to think of themselves as Madison Avenue impresarios. Their job wasn’t deducing—it was sales. They had to “sell ice cubes to an Eskimo!” he would say. The elegant business attire was part of this ethos. “People say, oh, you think you’re perfect,” La Barbera said. “Well, yeah! We’d better be.” He kept a whiteboard near his desk to track cases and leave messages. The salesman’s credo, “ABC—Always Be Closing,” was written at the top. But it was not merely a sales job that detectives such as Skaggs perfected. Good ghettoside investigators projected something deeper to their wavering witnesses—something akin to pure conviction. It was no accident that the most successful among them were confident, reassuring. They made people feel they could handle their burdens. In the early days of European law, the legal historian James Whitman said, state officials faced similar problems.

You could get praise and a paycheck and fill your day with busy, important-seeming activities and never solve a case. In South L.A., Skaggs believed, murders got solved only through another level of vigor—when a detective was motivated by something greater than the promise of a good “rating” or promotion. There was a pro forma way to do the job, and there was the Southeast way—best described by the salesman’s credo he had learned from Sal La Barbera. Always be closing. It was why he disliked it when detectives sat around in front of computers or ate lunch at restaurants. Now Skaggs’s whole outlook and career were rooted in the same aggrieved sense of injustice that had prompted Wally Tennelle to turn down RHD a decade before. He believed the victims of South Central deserved better than the appearance of a functioning justice system. They deserved professional practitioners who saw the full reality and horror of their fate and who brought to the job a personal stake in success and a battlefield sense of mission—not just a credible defense against a charge of malpractice.

He copped to stealing the Dust Destroyer. Finally, Skaggs made a last visit back for the South Bureau Christmas party—enduring jeers of “West Bureau!” when he walked in—and said goodbye. By that time, he was ready for the new station to open. He had a large whiteboard installed in his new office to list cases, just like La Barbera’s. He had it stenciled so it wouldn’t look messy. At the top, he wrote the old Southeast mantra “Always Be Closing” in red letters. He bought a top-notch coffeemaker and apple-spice Febreze air freshener. He laid claim to a closet the size of a room and had new shelving installed. Skaggs knew that for all the slowdown in crime, he was sitting on top of a vast dark stain of unsolved homicides from the Big Years in Rampart—back when the bodies floated in MacArthur Park lake. He planned to improve on the Lost Souls Trailer.


pages: 189 words: 52,741

Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

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Airbnb, always be closing, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs

If a customer is just about ready to buy but wants to think about just a little longer, that is the time to offer a discount or a sweetener if they close the deal right away. This could be something like a 2% discount and free shipping or extra warranty coverage. Something that isn’t too expensive to you (the company) but still incentivizes them to buy now instead of later. I think it was Confucius who said “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Getting 98% of the sales price right away is better than 0% later. Follow the ABCs: Always Be Closing. Each time you talk to a potential customer make sure you are moving towards closing the sale. Don’t entertain aimless conversations or disclose information about how your business operates. If you think the prospect may be working for a competitor or just fishing for information, politely tell them to get back in touch when they are ready to make a purchase then move on. Industry-Specific Knowledge and Positioning What differentiates your product from your competitors?


pages: 296 words: 78,227

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less by Richard Koch

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Albert Einstein, always be closing, barriers to entry, business process, delayed gratification, fear of failure, income inequality, inventory management, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, profit maximization, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave

Remember that the initial position and customer franchise are strong, so it’s a lot easier than growing the business overall. The need for overhead coverage from unprofitable segments can disappear pretty quickly. Yet the truth is that you don’t need to wait. “If your eye offends you, pluck it out!” Just remove the offending overhead. If your will is strong, you can always do it. The less profitable segments can sometimes be sold, with or without their overheads, and always be closed. (Do not listen to accountants who bleat about “exit costs” a lot of these are just numbers on a page with no cash cost. Even where there is a cash cost, there is normally a very quick payback, one that will be much quicker, because of the value of simplicity, than the bean counters will ever tell you.) A third option, often the most profitable, is to harvest these segments, deliberately losing market share.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

They both work in the trucking industry, and being close to home was the chief reason Rhonda bought a house so close to the Port of Savannah, less than a mile away. It gives her peace of mind to know that she’s less than five minutes away if her son needs her. She could make more money driving the roads, but the expenses and maintenance are higher and the hours are longer. She chose port trucking so she could always be close to her son. Port truckers are the backbone of our logistics industry: They are the first line in a complex web of moving goods that we literally depend on for the shirts on our backs. My conversation with Rhonda turned emotional when we started talking about politics. Fighting back tears, she talked about the indifference of elected officials who never had to struggle and don’t know what it is to struggle.


pages: 519 words: 102,669

Programming Collective Intelligence by Toby Segaran

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always be closing, correlation coefficient, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, full text search, information retrieval, PageRank, prediction markets, recommendation engine, slashdot, Thomas Bayes, web application

Simulated annealing works because it will always accept a move for the better, and because it is willing to accept a worse solution near the beginning of the process. As the process goes on, the algorithm becomes less and less likely to accept a worse solution, until at the end it will only accept a better solution. The probability of a higher-cost solution being accepted is given by this formula: ((-highcost-lowcost)/temperature) Since the temperature (the willingness to accept a worse solution) starts very high, the exponent will always be close to 0, so the probability will almost be 1. As the temperature decreases, the difference between the high cost and the low cost becomes more important—a bigger difference leads to a lower probability, so the algorithm will favor only slightly worse solutions over much worse ones. Create a new function in optimization.py called annealingoptimize, which implements this algorithm: def annealingoptimize(domain,costf,T=10000.0,cool=0.95,step=1): # Initialize the values randomly vec=[float(random.randint(domain[i][0],domain[i][1])) for i in range(len(domain))] while T>0.1: # Choose one of the indices i=random.randint(0,len(domain)-1) # Choose a direction to change it dir=step*(-1)**int(round(random.random())) # Create a new list with one of the values changed vecb=vec[:] vecb[i]+=dir if vecb[i]<domain[i][0]: vecb[i]=domain[i][0] elif vecb[i]>domain[i][1]: vecb[i]=domain[i][1] # Calculate the current cost and the new cost ea=costf(vec) eb=costf(vecb) # Is it better, or does it make the probability # cutoff?


pages: 327 words: 102,361

Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder

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always be closing, desegregation, index card, pattern recognition, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, white picket fence

So instead, schools have traditionally been arranged in modular fashion: each teacher to her own room and her own duties. The arrangement makes teachers conveniently interchangeable in the administrative sense, and also gives an institution a ready-made system of damage control—watertight bulkheads, as it were. When problems arise, they are isolated from the start in individual rooms. The doors to the rooms of incompetent and inadequately trained teachers can always be closed. Almost two and a half million people teach in public schools. Many of them work in curiously insular circumstances. Most teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum or choice of texts or special placement of students, but most have a great deal of autonomy inside their classrooms. To a degree shared by only a few other occupations, such as police work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people at the bottom of the institutional pyramid.


pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

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Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

“They were seen as agreeable, well adjusted, and competent. After 7 weeks, however, they were rated negatively. . . . If the bulk of their social interactions [were] short-term, then self-enhancers could lead rewarding and productive lives.” Keith Campbell echoed this idea in a 2009 paper, paraphrasing the dictum of the play Glengarry Glen Ross, in which the salesmen in a fictional real estate office are taught “Always be closing”—in other words, approach every sale as if it’s a done deal and you’re just moving toward the inevitable signing. In the case of narcissists, Campbell believes, the rule should be: Always be emerging. That’s possible, of course, only with quick-hit relationships that can end before they turn toxic. In the workplace, the onset of toxicity is just the first part of what can be a very long and very ugly journey.


pages: 407 words: 136,138

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler

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always be closing, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, full employment, illegal immigration, late fees, low skilled workers, payday loans, profit motive, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, working poor

“I went shopping and had some energy.” It was dated February 8,1998, the first entry in a spiral notebook filled with badly spelled musings written almost entirely in pencil. Many were done as letters to God—in gratitude, in appeal, in desperate pleading for survival. “So, God,” she concluded that first evening, “please bless Tom, Zach, Matt, Katie & myself—long life, Love, Happiness, laughter, and to always be close to each other and thank you for Today. Amen. Kara.” Her delights were simple. It was “a wonderful day” when “Tom Bill & virginia went and picked me up a dual range stove, good deal $50.00 bucks—the left front burner don’t work but it’s better than only two burners and one oven,” or when “Tom made Brownies and apple cinnimon muffins for Head Start, & Zach made a date cake—it all sold. I bought Tom a waffle maker for Valentines, he got me a nice slinky nighty.


pages: 525 words: 149,886

Higher-Order Perl: A Guide to Program Transformation by Mark Jason Dominus

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always be closing, Defenestration of Prague, Donald Knuth, Isaac Newton, Larry Wall, P = NP, Paul Graham, Perl 6, slashdot, SpamAssassin

For example, suppose we want to find the slope of the parabola y = x2 − 2 at the point (2, 2). We’ll pick two points close to that and find the slope of the line that passes through them. Say we choose (2.001, 2.004001) and (1.999, 1.996001). The slope of the line through two points is the y difference divided by the x difference; in this case, 0.008/0.002 = 4. And this does match the answer from calculus exactly. It won’t always be an exact match, but it will always be close, because differential calculus uses exactly the same strategy, augmented with algebraic techniques to analyze what happens to the slope as the two points get closer and closer together. It’s not hard to write code that, given a function, calculates the slope at any point: sub slope { my ($f, $x) = @_; my $e = 0.00000095367431640625; ($f->($x+$e) - $f->($x-$e)) / (2*$e); } The value of $e that I chose is exactly 2−20; I picked it because it was the power of 2 closest to one one-millionth.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

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Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Tall, well coiffed, and conspicuously well dressed, even in a company where appearances mattered more than most, Adam Bain was a much-gossiped-about recent poaching from Fox, where he had led all digital monetization efforts for the Rupert Empire. In a hipster world of fixies and intentionally distressed wood (and people), he was the adult in the room keeping an eye on the register. Jessica introduced us. “So what are you working on?” he asked, taking a valuable minute out of his day. In a panic, I realized I hadn’t brought my AdGrok laptop to lunch, and was therefore not ready for an impromptu demo. FAIL! Always be closing, motherfucker. But we had an out. MRM, ever the inventive engineer who knew how to extract value six different ways from the same piece of code, had coded up an AdGrok-hosted demo site for the GrokBar that allowed for a demo off any machine, including tablets or phones. “Can I show you on your laptop?” I asked, gesturing to the half-folded machine he was porting around like a security blanket, as your typical manager-class exec does.


pages: 216 words: 115,870

The Player of Games by Iain M Banks - Culture 02

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always be closing, ghettoisation, gravity well, invisible hand, Network effects, New Journalism

He didn't dwell on them the way the drone knew Azadians tended to; he looked, registered, then flicked away again. He still spent the majority of his time staring at the games shown on the screen. But the coded signals, and his own bad press, kept drawing him back, time and again, like a drug. 'But I don't like rings.' 'It isn't a question of what youlike , Jernau Gurgeh. When you go to Hamin's estate you'll be outside this module. I might not always be close by, and anyway I'm not a specialist in toxicology. You'll be eating their food and drinking their drink and they have some very clever chemists and exobiologists. But if you wear one of these on each hand - index finger preferably - you should be safe from poisoning; if you feel a single jab it means a non-lethal drug, such as a hallucinogen. Three jabs means somebody's out to waste you.' 'What do two jabs mean?'


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig

Albert Einstein, always be closing, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Parkinson's law, the scientific method

To reinforce the idea that they already knew what Quality was he developed a routine in which he read four student papers in class and had everyone rank them in estimated order of Quality on a slip of paper. He did the same himself. He collected the slips, tallied them on the blackboard and averaged the rankings for an overall class opinion. Then he would reveal his own rankings, and this would almost always be close to, if not identical with the class average. Where there were differences it was usually because two papers were close in quality. At first the classes were excited by this exercise, but as time went on they became bored. What he meant by Quality was obvious. They obviously knew what it was too, and so they lost interest in listening. Their question now was “All right, we know what Quality is.


The Art of Scalability: Scalable Web Architecture, Processes, and Organizations for the Modern Enterprise by Martin L. Abbott, Michael T. Fisher

always be closing, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, business climate, business continuity plan, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, database schema, discounted cash flows, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, friendly fire, hiring and firing, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, new economy, packet switching, performance metric, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, software as a service, the scientific method, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, web application, Y2K

As such, information on the past operations of any given thread of execution or series of requests must be maintained somewhere. In maintaining state for a series of transactions, engineering teams typically start to gather and keep a great deal of information about the requests. State costs money, processing power, availability, and scalability. Although there are many cases where state is valuable, it should always be closely evaluated for return on investment. State often implies the need for additional systems and sometimes synchronous calls that would not exist in a stateless system. It also makes designing for multiple live data centers more difficult—how can you possibly handle a transaction with state stored in data center X in data center Y without replicating that state between data centers? The replication of that data would not only need to occur in near real time, implying that the data centers need to be relatively close, but it represents a doubling of space necessary to store relatively transient data.


pages: 1,335 words: 336,772

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow

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always be closing, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bolshevik threat, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Etonian, financial deregulation, fixed income, German hyperinflation, index arbitrage, interest rate swap, margin call, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, paper trading, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, strikebreaker, the market place, the payments system, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Yom Kippur War, young professional

The original contract with them may or may not have been wise, but it would be bad policy to swop horses now, or to make them suspect that we distrust them.”20 In fact, the British were never foolishly or blindly in love with the House of Morgan. They welcomed having an Anglo-American listening post on Wall Street, especially as financial power shifted across the Atlantic. But the government’s deliberations during the war were veined by a certain cynicism, a belief that Morgan partners drove a hard bargain and needlessly offended people with their arrogance. Relations between the Morgans and the British would always be close but seldom harmonious, a fraternal tension lurking beneath protestations of mutual devotion. WHERE other partners at 23 Wall Street harbored some secret envy or suspicion of their British brethren, Jack Morgan had no such reservations. He regularly spent up to six months a year in England and was fully bicultural. For him, the war was a holy cause as well as a business opportunity. Even more than Pierpont, Jack was simple and guileless.