Berkman Leff Kept The Cali Cartel In Business

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The specialist screamed: "What did you do with the powder?"
I replied: "I threw it away."
The specialist moaned: "There were two grams of cocaine in that container."
I said: "So, what? I don't care."
The specialist retorted: "You're a schmeckel!"

[Genesis Of The Financial Meltdown]

Ah, Spring is in the air and the defenders of the cocaine-abusing American Stock Exchange specialist firm known as Berkman Leff are out for revenge.

On March 30, I wrote an article, "Mexicans Die So Some Americans Can Snort Coke." I specifically mentioned one of the all-time party books –a specialist unit was known as "a book"—that ever existed on the floor of the AMEX- Berkman Leff. An individual responded to my column with the comment: "The facts are wrong and the presentation is biased. Very poor work."

So, today, I am forced to elaborate.

Let’s look back at one of my first days at Berkman Leff, in my now ancient days on Wall Street. There I was, a specialist clerk. I mentioned to a specialist that on the weekend I would be visiting my wife's friend, who was a research chemist at Merck, the pharmaceutical giant. The specialist immediately asked me if I could obtain some pharmaceutical cocaine for him.

"What is pharmaceutical cocaine?" I inquired. He explained that pharmaceutical cocaine was used for nose jobs; more professionally known as a rhinoplasty—rhino being Greek for nose. I politely declined.

Then there was the time that I found an amber-colored glass container on the floor. I thought to myself: "This is the right size for my coins."

I then opened the container and a white powder spilled out. I thought that it was anti-fungal powder. A specialist at Berkman Leff saw the container. The specialist immediately seized the container and opened it.

He said: "Oh, it's empty."
I said: "No there was some powder in it."

The specialist screamed: "What did you do with the powder?"
I replied: "I threw it away."

The specialist moaned: "There were two grams of cocaine in that container."
I said: "So, what? I don't care."
The specialist retorted: "You're a schmeckel!"

One of the all-time best stories of someone being a rear-end occurred when a specialist was high on drugs and screamed that I had put mayonnaise on his pastrami sandwich which he’d asked me to buy for him. He put the pastrami sandwich in my face and opened it. There was no mayonnaise; just mustard as he had ordered.

Another favorite incident occurred at a party at the AMEX. I went into the men's room and I noticed the specialist of the aforementioned pastrami incident bending over a sink. He was accompanied by a clerk, who at one time had proudly displayed photographs of a marijuana tree, which he had cultivated in his apartment in Long Beach.

I inquired: "Did you lose your contacts?"
At which point the specialist and the clerk retired to the same stall in the men's room.

But my personal favorite story concerned the specialist who, after a night of partying, decided to drive home. It was summer. His car had a T-top, which he had open, so that he could inhale the night air while smoking a joint after he had snorted cocaine at a party.

The specialist lived in Atlantic Beach. So, he drove along North Conduit Boulevard, where several weeks before, a young teenager was dragged from his car, which had stopped for a red light, and was killed. The specialist stopped for the light; suddenly a swarm of individuals were running at his car. They were screaming.

The specialist became frightened- but he did not run. No. He was a great hunter. He had a 380 automatic, which had 14 rounds in its magazine. Plus a second clip with another 14 bullets.

As the individuals approached the car- he opened fire. He squeezed the trigger hesitantly- at first. Then in less than a minute he had fired 14 rounds. He became worried- he only had 14 bullets in the second clip. He extricated the first clip and quickly loaded the second clip. Suddenly to his amazement, there was no one running at his car. The individuals, who wished to separate him from his money and car, had vanished into the reeds of the swamp.

The next day, the specialist came into the AMEX and related his story to anyone, who would listen.

Oh yes. Remember the story about the parmesan cheese? Well, Richard Cranmer, a partner in Berkman Leff, was standing next to me when I asked about the parmesan cheese which actually happened to be cocaine. Cranmer laughed at my stupidity, or lack of knowledge about the ways of Wall Street.

Next week I shall write about the specialist who was also a pimp.

Black Star News Financial columnist Manfredonia was a trader on Wall Street.

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