The Barometer was reviewing the recent grand jury indictment of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s campaign manager for about 6 weeks in the summer of 2016. Mr. Manafort is facing money-laundering charges, so the indictment lays out wire transfers that were used to pay for a condominium in Soho in Manhattan and a brownstone in Brooklyn ($3,000,000), among so many other expenditures: A home entertainment company received $1,319,281.00. Antique rug store: $934,350. Men’s Clothing Store (Bijan):$849,215. Landscaper for the home in the Hamptons: $655,500. Priceless, eh?
The behavior patterns of those charged with white-collar crimes are the same. One pattern is levels of spending that would make a drunken yuppie blush. Dennis Kozlowski spent five figures on an umbrella stand for his Manhattan digs. The fellas at Enron went for the Maserati types of vehicles. The multiple homes. The Hermes ties. Whatever they buy, it is never enough. One more home. One more car. Another $5,000 suit. The insatiable appetite for stuff impairs judgment. They cross lines to keep the income stream flowing at the same gallons per minute.
Whether Mr. Manafort is guilty remains to be seen. But, his spending is a head-turner for all of us. A reminder that it is never enough, but we are ensnared by the desire to find out if we can reach the “Enough!” point. Sadly, that point comes too often when bail is set at $10,000,000.