The Banker (2020) Movie Script

MAN 1: Today the United States Senate
Committee on Government Operations
begins hearings
on federally insured banks.
We are concerned whether existing laws
are adequate to guarantee
the character, experience, and integrity
of people who acquire such banks,
which are the cornerstones
of American capitalism
and the foundation of the American dream.
MAN 2: Be careful in there, Bernard.
They want to make an example out of you.
MAN 1: Committee calls Bernard S. Garrett
to testify.
Mr. Garrett,
I think you understand the stakes.
MAN 3: Carlyle and Spring?
MAN 4: Right. Annual rental income
80,000, which is strong,
but Mr. Miller wants us
to use a six multiplier to value it.
MAN 3: That's too high.
MAN 4: He's coming in an hour
to negotiate on it. Maybe you can step in.
MAN 3: All right.
Boy does a pretty good shine.
MAN 4: Harder worker than most of 'em.
There may not be comps in Willis,
but take a look at
the other properties I own in the county.
A six multiple is reasonable.
MAN 3:
Your other buildings are in Conroe,
which is booming with the oil find.
So, I'm not sure this is a good comp.
Willis is booming too.
Hey! What are you doing up there, boy?
You spying on these
white people's business? Huh?
Get back here!
- Your dad's gonna hear about this!
MAN: Hey! Watch it, boy!
What do you think them white folks would
do if they knew you were spying on them?
When I was growing up
I've seen boys killed for less.
You know what it's like to see a young boy
hanging dead from a tree?
And don't think because it hasn't happened
recently, it couldn't happen again.
I was just trying to learn
how they make money.
You are so talented.
How did you learn all this?
You was born the wrong color, son.
Negro man can't earn money with this.
White man won't let him,
no matter how good at it you are.
Maybe not in Texas.
You really think it's gonna be different
for you, you go somewhere else?
WOMAN: We're in California.
- What's wrong?
Just looking forward
to having dinner with your uncle.
Well, the aircraft companies are booming.
Northrop is looking to hire 5,000
new workers for their assembly line
and they hire our kind.
And I can get you
an interview there tomorrow.
Well, thank you, sir. But I came here
to try my hand at real estate.
There's not a lot
of colored real estate agents.
Owning property and renting it out.
You married a millionaire, Eunice?
- Deacon.
Well, I sure hope you're close, son.
This isn't some one-horse town in Texas.
Real estate is expensive here.
Bernard saved up money
from a company we started in Houston.
So, what do you plan to do
until you find something you can afford?
Keep looking.
And spend down your savings
till they're gone?
And then can't pay your rent?
Deacon, stop.
You'll get your rent
the first of every month,
one month in advance.
I should go get Bernard Jr. in bed.
Excuse me.
Eunice, what does your husband have
against working?
If we need to supplement our income
until he finds the right property,
I'll work at the Plantation Club.
That ain't no place
for a married woman to work.
Bernard okay with you going back there?
Well, we haven't had a chance
to discuss it.
If he's a real man, he won't let you.
That won't be for him to decide.
What does that mean?
My husband is a genius.
You'll see.
I know this isn't much.
Yeah, I don't plan on us being here long.
Why are you so hard on yourself?
I don't want Bernard Jr.
growing up in a shed.
Well, I grew up in a shed.
Abraham Lincoln grew up in a shed.
Abraham Lincoln grew up in a log cabin.
Well, that's what they call a shed
when it's in the woods.
There's no difference.
Well, I'm gonna get you and him
out of this shed.
As soon as possible.
- MAN: Thanks for the lift.
- BERNARD: No problem.
I'm sorry my dad was such a jerk
last night.
BERNARD: Was he? I didn't notice.
Hey, nice car.
Bernard, this is my friend Matt.
You didn't tell me you had a rich uncle.
Nice to meet you.
Hardly rich. And I'm his cousin.
You got a car, you're rich to me. Hmm.
Hey, good luck finding the right place.
MATT: Hey.
Hey, what's your cousin do for a living?
He owns buildings.
Damn. Huh.
Hello, my name is Bernard Garrett.
I saw your property on Victoria Road.
I was wondering what the asking price...
(IN PERSON) Hello, my name is
Bernard Garrett. Are you the owner of 12...
(ON PHONE) Hi, my name is Bernard Garrett.
I'm a real estate investor.
What's the asking price?
That high, huh?
(IN PERSON) How can a price that high
be sustainable, given the current rents...
(ON PHONE) How many units are
in the building and what are they really...
Looks to me
the building needs a little work.
Maybe we can negotiate...
(IN PERSON) Right. I understand.
Thank you for your time.
This is a white neighborhood, Bernard.
Well, it won't be white for long.
Not with the black neighborhood
two blocks away bursting at the seams.
Well, how much
does Barker & Associates want for it?
We have enough to buy it.
Just won't have anything left over
to fix it up with.
What if I got us a co-investor?
All right, fellows. That was smokin'.
- You came back to me.
(KISSES) Girl, look at you.
Oh, stop it. Behave now.
Oh, honey.
Who's this?
That uncle
you was always talking to me about?
- Husband.
Your hus... What?
Three years.
(LAUGHS) Congratulations, man.
You hit the jackpot.
If you're the marrying type.
I'm not, but if I were,
can't do no better than Eunice Perkins.
- Garrett.
Pleased to meet you, Garrett.
No, I'm Bernard.
I heard him say "Garrett."
Didn't you hear him say "Garrett"?
- WOMAN 1: That's what I heard.
- WOMAN 2: Mm-hmm.
I'm just messing with you, man.
You want a drink?
It's 4:00 P.M.
I know. You're starting late.
I'll have 'em make it strong.
Jackie, make my man here something strong.
A triple.
You know, see if we can blow
the stick out of his ass.
You did not even talk to him
about your idea.
No way am I doing business with that man.
Not for a loan.
Especially not as a business partner.
He's a damn degenerate.
Oh, Bernard, please!
I don't need his help.
You have got the wrong idea about him.
Oh, really? You think so?
'Cause the vice squad
seems to disagree with you.
Well, that's the mayor, silly.
Do you wanna meet him?
Because he's friends with Joe.
If you won't let Joe invest,
then you are gonna have to
make Barker come down on his price.
Asking price is 40,000.
You won't get a penny over 35.
You offering 35?
I can give you 30.
Why would I take 30 if I can get 35?
Well, the building needs renovations
to unlock its value.
It's been fine for my tenants.
Your tenants only occupy
half the building.
But with new kitchens
and refinished floors...
My tenants won't pay more even if they
can see the reflections in those floors.
But another market will.
Black doctors, lawyers, teachers
looking for a place to move outside
the ghettos that they've been forced into.
No one is going after that market.
But I can.
Your confidence is impressive.
But 10,000 less than asking is not enough.
Once I lease the units,
I can give you your full asking price.
Let's say by...
You want me to loan you $10,000
so you can buy my building?
It's not a loan. It's an investment.
It's a loan.
For more than three times what the average
American family make in a year.
- Two point four times.
- What?
The average American income in 1953
was $4,233.
Ten thousand is 2.4 times
the average income.
Well, I admire your entrepreneurial gusto,
but, uh, it's not the way I do business.
I'm sorry.
Thank you for your time, Mr. Barker.
MAN 1: Look what just walked in.
MAN 2: Mighty fancy for a colored fella.
MAN 1: We'll see.
Hi. I'm Bernard Garrett.
I'd like to speak with Mr. Reed, please.
I'm sorry, Mr. Reed is out.
May I take a message?
I have pretty good eyesight and I can
clearly read the nameplate on his desk.
I'm sorry. I misspoke.
Mr. Reed can't meet with you right now.
But I could take a message.
No. There's no message.
Thank you.
Mr. Reed.
Do I know you?
Uh, no. But you know Mr. Barker.
I'd like a loan
to buy one of his buildings.
Uh... Yeah, you can make
an appointment inside, please.
Well, you and I both know
I'm not getting an appointment inside.
Now, this deal will benefit Mr. Barker.
You should hear me out.
Your uncle gonna get a good laugh
out of this one.
EUNICE: Keep looking. You're gonna
find yourself another building.
Come on. Time for bed, little man.
- Yes?
Bernard, there's a phone call for you.
- Hello?
- Mr. Garrett. This is Patrick Barker.
Did you use my name to try and get a loan
from Mr. Reed at Mid City Bank?
Well, in a manner of speaking...
Oh. And do you think that follows
normal business customs?
If I was following
normal business customs,
I'd still be a shoeshine boy
in Texas, sir.
I didn't ask for your biography,
Mr. Garrett.
I asked if you thought
it followed normal business customs.
- No.
- Good.
Well, at least we can agree on that. Hmm.
Reed wants to see you at the bank
in the morning to sign off on that loan.
Excuse me?
I told him I'd act as guarantor.
You still there?
Why are you doing this, Mr. Barker?
Because normal business customs
are in place to screw people like you,
Mr. Garrett.
You went to see Reed
knowing the deck was stacked
because you have
that much confidence in this deal.
That tells me
all I need to know about you.
Well, do you want this loan or not?
Sometimes you need to take a step back
and enjoy what you've accomplished, baby.
JOE: You like cigars?
- I don't smoke.
- Oh.
I'm not fucking your wife.
You go to every table in here
to reassure your patrons of that?
No. Might have to skip some of them.
Come on, man. Lighten up.
I'm not the asshole you think I am.
You a different kind of asshole, huh?
I've been told that, yeah.
Come on. Let's go outside and talk.
What do you want from me, man?
You mean aside from your wife?
Look, I like seeing black men succeed.
Sometimes I even invest
some of my own money to back them.
But you don't even know me.
I know you're smart and ambitious.
You and I both know that's not enough.
You're also angry.
But you don't show it.
That's the best kind of anger.
Fuels you without making you a target.
I'm not angry.
Yeah, all right.
Nice glasses.
You near-sighted or far-sighted?
Does it matter?
Just wondering what you'd look like
without 'em.
So, you trust this Barker?
He didn't have to help me.
What if you can't finish the work
or rent the units fast enough?
I'll make the date.
See? Anger.
I'm gonna get another drink.
I'm not angry.
JOE: Yes, you are.
What are you doing here?
Ma'am, uh, I'm Bernard Garrett.
Just doing some renovations
on the empty apartments.
What hours do you work?
Well, the city say all construction has to
be done between 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M.
- So, if you need any improvements...
- I don't need improvements.
And you can tell
that mick that owns this place,
when he goes jacking the rent,
he ain't jacking mine.
Yes, ma'am.
Mr. Barker was very clear about your lease
when he sold me the building.
Don't you sass me, boy.
This is a white building.
You can't own this place.
Hey, why don't you grab that scraper
and start on the other end?
All right.
- Hey, man.
- MATT: Hey.
Hey, thanks for coming.
Of course.
How's it going?
I can offer you a buck-fifty an hour.
That's great.
And you're fine with working for me?
I've been working for other men
my whole life.
Right. But are you okay
with working for me?
Well, your money is green.
That's the only concern about color I got.
And I like the idea
of watching you build a business.
It's something I'd like to do again
myself one day.
- "Again"?
- Mmm.
Yeah, I tried something a few years back.
It was a drive-in ice cream shop.
Well, it turns out people don't wanna
eat ice cream while driving their cars.
- You serious?
- Oh, yeah.
- Let's get to work.
- Yeah.
Connect it here. Like this.
Should be good.
Step back.
Right there.
We want to scrape these railings
up to the front
and paint our way back
and then go back with the stucco.
Go from the top. Let's work our way down.
- Bernard Garrett.
- Then let's...
Yes, Officer. Is there a problem?
We received a complaint about you.
Ms. Cooper in Apartment 2A
does not like you working in the building.
Why not?
She said you were impersonating
the owner of the building.
- No, he owns the building.
- I'm not talking to you.
I do own the building, Officer.
Um, all the paperwork is filed downtown.
But I keep a copy with me,
just to be safe.
This actually looks real.
(SCOFFS) Yeah, I guess so.
Try to be more respectful to your tenants.
Yes, sir, Officer.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
You can't be here after 6:00 P.M.
A contractor can't be here
after 6:00 P.M., Ms. Cooper.
I'm a resident.
I'm moving in.
I hope your mother enjoys her new place.
Oh, I'm sure she will.
- Mrs. Garrett?
- Yes.
Anita Jefferson. We spoke about
leasing one of your apartments?
Oh, yes, of course. It's nice to meet you.
Fully leased.
I have my eye on a place
two blocks east of here.
You interested?
You mean a partnership?
Yeah. 50-50.
But on one condition.
I do business with people
who turn away from me
after we shake on the deal
and wash their hands
because I'm a dirty Irishman.
(SIGHS) But they do business with me
because I make them money.
Now, you have the knack of knowing
the untapped value of a building.
You'll work the phones with me.
Work the investors.
But when we need a face to sign the deal,
that'll be me.
And we'll make money.
A lot of it.
This is it. Right here.
There we go.
Your signature.
Hello? Yeah.
Oh, right.
Yeah, I was calling about the house...
BERNARD: Let's try the sofa over here.
Lamp. Right here in the corner.
It's perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
That looks great.
What do you think, baby? It's nice, right?
Uh, well. I think there's something
going on with the car.
You wanna go check on it?
- Right.
- Mm-hmm.
Okay, let's move the table there,
slide the couch in,
and put the lamp on the other side.
And don't you dare let him move anything
when he gets back. Okay?
- MATT: Yes, ma'am.
- Yes, ma'am.
BERNARD: Barker and I have been thinking
about diversifying in single family homes.
want you to go in, tell me
what you think this house needs.
- Bernard.
This place is beautiful.
Huh. You think?
- Yes.
- Does it need anything?
So I did a good job, huh?
Well, it depends on the price, doesn't it?
Not this time, baby.
Go on. Take it. I already got a set.
Are you serious?
You really sleeping in late.
Time to get up, dear.
Mrs. Barker would like to offer a buyout
for your interest
in all the Barker/Garrett properties.
I have no reason to sell.
I'm happy running the buildings on my own.
That's unacceptable.
I don't wanna be in business with...
I prefer not to continue the arrangement.
What's the offer?
This is outrageous.
I own 50% of a dozen properties.
You want me to give it up
for pennies on the dollar?
I don't have to pay you anything.
Your name doesn't appear
on any of the deeds.
Well, it couldn't.
We had an agreement.
And we all know
what your husband's intentions were.
I will up my offer
to 25 cents on the dollar.
And if you see fit
to refuse that, Mr. Garrett,
you can walk away with nothing
unless you wanna face me
in a court of law.
With a different lawyer.
There has to be a way
to prove Mr. Barker's intentions.
Well, if you could find a witness, yes.
it can't be me.
I could get disbarred for that.
Mr. Reed at Mid City...
He's her banker now, Bernard.
He's not going to intervene for you.
I need to see Mr. Reed.
I'm sorry, Mr. Garrett.
Mr. Reed can't see anybody
without an appointment.
This is urgent.
Hold on a moment.
I don't know how familiar you are
with the commercial real estate market.
Eunice told me you had two or three
income-producing buildings?
But once you've popped your cherry,
I mean, how much more
can you learn on each new one?
Eighteen, if you count the club.
My mother was a real estate agent.
You know this building?
Sure. Bunch of bankers headquarters
in there.
Tallest commercial building
in downtown Los Angeles.
I wanna buy it.
I want us to buy it.
That's a mighty big building to buy
on the most expensive land in the city.
I know.
We'd need a substantial loan.
You don't own all 18 of those properties
outright, do you?
I got a banker in San Francisco
I've done business with for years.
No, thank you. I don't drink.
You know there's not a single black-owned
building in downtown Los Angeles.
There's a reason for that.
Yeah. We're probably gonna
have to overpay to get it.
Tell me something I don't know.
convince me.
the best place to learn about the present
state of the real estate market
is inside of a bank.
We get that building,
we'll be inside 12 of them.
And next time they'll think twice about
refusing to make loans to us
if we're their landlords.
That's very audacious, Mr. Garrett.
I think of it in purely logical terms.
What a shame.
Excuse me?
What about the thrill
of taking it to the man?
In his own castle, no less?
Never mind.
But on purely logical terms,
I have a concern about your plan.
What's that?
All this information we'll be getting
from hanging around all these bankers
is gonna be about
property in white neighborhoods.
Do you plan on starting to buy real estate
in white-only neighborhoods, Mr. Garrett?
That's exactly what we're gonna do.
And just how in the hell
do you plan on pulling that off?
The same way we're gonna buy
the Bankers Building.
You want me to what?
Be us to the rest of the world.
I don't know anything about banking.
I don't know how to buy a bank.
We're not actually buying a bank.
We're buying a building
that the banks are in.
The banks are tenants.
You'd just be the face of our partnership.
You think I'm,
you know, qualified for this?
We'll teach you everything
you need to know.
That guy? Seriously?
He just has to digest it.
So, what?
He can freeze up
soon as we send him in the room?
He won't freeze up.
Trust me. He's the right guy.
I'll lay you a hundred dollars to your one
he can't go the distance.
Don't you know any other white people
who'd like to get paid
to be our front man?
Not that I trust. Do you?
I don't trust white people.
How do you even go through life like that?
Truth be told,
I don't trust black people either.
What are you even saying?
Look. I do plenty of business
with white folks.
I'm friendly with them.
Good friends with some.
I'm just saying that no matter what,
there's always something extra
going on in the relationship.
It's just the way shit is.
When you accept that,
you can't get caught off guard
when it rears its ugly head.
I can't live my life like that.
See, that's what I like about you.
You are a good person.
Ain't been corrupted by the world yet.
Like a child.
But that's gonna change when you get rich.
Yeah, I'll take that risk.
You ain't gonna have no choice.
Um, you're Matt Steiner, right?
Hollywood High?
- Yes.
- Right.
You were a few years ahead of me,
but everybody knew who you were.
What are you all sour-faced about?
I was just thinking.
A new job.
Mmm? Doing what?
Real estate.
Oh, like a... like a broker?
You know, more like an investor.
Well, I'd be working with the investors.
Hand in hand.
So, they're hiring you?
Kind of a partnership.
A partnership.
- S-Susie.
- Yeah, yeah. Um...
- It's good to see you.
- You too.
I'm in.
You sure?
Just teach me what I need to know.
I won't let you down.
Be at Rancho Park Golf Course
tomorrow morning, 6:00 A.M.
Don't be late.
Thank you.
What? Is he even coming?
Morning, fellows.
I thought you said 6:00?
- I did. Were you here at 6:00?
- Yeah.
You ever play golf?
Well, before you learn
how to talk real estate,
you gotta learn
how to talk to rich white folks
so it seems like you one of 'em.
And you got one month
to learn how to play golf.
And I mean learn to play
like you've been playing your whole life.
Think you can do that?
Yeah. I played
a lot of sports as a kid. So...
So... yes?
- Yes.
- All right, then.
Take him over and get him outfitted.
Show him the basics
and I'll take over from there.
Follow me.
So a hundred dollars to my one?
You think it's a done deal because,
what, I'm such a good golf teacher?
You can fake math.
You can't fake a golf game.
MAN: He's right about that, Joe.
Bernard, this is Don Silverthorne.
My banker.
Flew all the way down
from San Francisco
just to see how crazy we are.
DON: Nice to meet you.
MATT: Shit!
Well, it looks like I got my answer.
Uh, let's try that again.
All right. What do I do differently?
Swing lower.
- Great, thanks.
- Keep your head still.
(WHISPERING) Head still, head still...
No, you moved.
If this charade's gonna work
and you guys want me to finance,
I just hope you don't offer
over two million for that building.
More than that, I don't want the risk.
I can get that building
for under two million.
It's not you I'm worried about,
Mr. Garrett.
I hit it.
It's him.
You sure you don't wanna give me
that dollar now?
The old way of valuing a building
is the number of years rent it takes
to pay off the price of a building.
So, if the building costs $300,000
and you're getting $30,000 net income
per year, it's a ten multiple.
Today most people value buildings
using the capitalization rate.
But they're mathematically related.
So the cap rate
is the multiplicative inverse
of the ten multiple
we were just talking about.
300,000 = 30,000 x M.
M = ten years.
One-tenth x 300,000 = 30,000.
One-tenth is 10%.
Your cap rate.
Maybe we should start with a math review.
That'd be great.
- Right?
- You have to carry the four.
Which four?
Even on a putt, keep your f-ing head down.
Keep my f-ing head down. Keep...
There's a subtraction error in there
and that last step is wrong.
But other than that
you're getting the gist of it.
Now multiply by 1.25.
No. No, no, no. Stop! Stop!
No, no, no.
Stop laughing.
JOE: What the hell?
Hit it.
I am hitting it!
Careful now. Don't hurt yourself.
Stop. Just stop.
We're about 50 yards from the green,
so we're gonna use a wedge.
And you wanna swing it 'bout this hard.
Remember, it's a wedge,
so don't be scared to swing it.
What else you gonna do?
Keep my f-ing head down.
(SOFTLY) Jesus. Come on.
It's right...
- Oh!
- Holy shit. Oh, my...
Come on.
- I just kept my f-ing head down and...
- Whoo!
Uh, it's 432,000.
Yeah. Yeah, that's right.
You got it right, man.
You're getting this.
What you want, Bernard?
This is my time.
BERNARD: I wanna buy a building.
It has a $100,000 annual gross income,
8% vacancy rate,
$12,000 annual operating costs
and I require a 10% cap rate.
What's the maximum purchase amount
I can offer?
Where'd that go?
Straight down the middle, 'bout, oh...
Shit, I don't even know.
I ain't never hit a ball that far.
It's 800,000.
- He's right.
- You're right.
- He's right?
- Yeah.
We have created a monster.
You made the algebra easy.
A month ago, you didn't know
what algebra was, Matt.
- That's true.
- You have a knack for it.
He's ready.
Yep. He's ready.
BERNARD: The Bankers Building is owned
by Charles Renault.
It's 14 stories.
119,000 square feet of commercial space.
It was built in 1929.
And it's still the tallest
commercial building downtown
and generally considered the crown jewel
of downtown architecture.
That's his office?
- That's his office.
A converted ballroom.
MATT: Holy shit. How rich is this guy?
JOE: Very.
Now, he won't take you seriously
without a proper introduction.
But I have arranged for you to bump
into him at the Hancock Park country club.
Wait, that's the most exclusive club
in the city.
I can't just walk in.
Don't worry about that.
Mr. Steiner, welcome.
Thank you.
Arrangements have been made
for you to use our club as a guest,
per our exchange program
with your home club in Pennsylvania.
Will your chauffeur be
waiting on the premises?
I'll be just outside the gate.
Anything goes south, you come find me.
That won't happen, Mr. Morris.
I promise.
Thank you, Anton.
- I'm worried.
- About what?
I don't always do great under pressure.
(CHUCKLES) Come on. You're a natural.
- Natural what?
- Performer.
How do you know that?
You think I got where I am in life
without being able to spot talent?
Go get him.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Steiner?
Jackie says you're playing as a single,
looking to be paired up.
Always looking for a good game.
If I can find someone to give me one.
Charles Renault, good to meet you.
Enjoying playing dress-up?
You should try it sometime.
It's thrilling.
(CHUCKLES) No, thanks.
Oh. So, you're okay with having
a white boy do your business for you,
but you're not okay putting on a cap
so you can keep an eye on him
while he does it?
It's the only job I've been able to avoid
my entire life.
- I'd like to try and keep it that way.
Jimmy, I think we got ourselves a game.
So, we're really gonna do this now?
If by "we," you mean "you," yeah.
eyes on the ball.
And keep my f-ing head down.
Make me proud, son.
He's gonna claim he's renting
for 20 cents a square foot,
but that's poppycock.
It's more like 15.
See, this whole thing is about getting you
to agree to a higher base value.
Uh... Which I won't do.
He's gonna test you. Probe you.
You give him the slightest reason
to doubt your command of the numbers,
he'll see straight through you.
So you gotta impress him.
Like you did on the first tee.
Okay, so what do I do?
What's the equivalent
of a 300-yard tee shot in negotiation?
A four-course lunch.
Flown in from France once a week.
Okay, we lease at 20 cents a square foot.
That's 272,880 gross per year.
Eighty thousand expenses.
That's 192,880 in profit.
10% cap rate on that
will get us to 1,928,880.
25% premium on that would be 2,411,100.
If that's what you're offering,
I'm interested.
Here's my problem, Charles.
I know you have leases
at 15 cents a square foot.
You know, big long-term leases.
So even if you have
a few suckers paying 20 cents...
More than a few.
Fine, call the average 18 cents,
so that would be a net income of...
245,592. But that's not important.
I mean, if you wanna show me your leases
and prove it, okay.
Otherwise, I'd call it
15 cents a square foot.
- Fifteen is too low.
- Fifteen is generous.
Especially when you factor in vacancies,
which are at least 9%.
- Less than that.
- I counted 12.
How could you possibly know that?
Charles, it's November.
It gets dark by 5:00 P.M.
If you wanna bullshit someone
about your vacancy rate,
you need lights shining
in all those unleased spaces by 4:30.
I don't blame you for not doing it.
It's a lot of work.
But those vacancies would
take you to 13.5 cents a square foot.
We'll fill some of those.
Let's call it 16 cents. Fair?
That's a $1,383,000 valuation
at a 10% cap rate.
But, of course a 10% cap rate
is too low for this market.
My partners and I have multiple deals
with 12% returns,
which would be...
$1,152,533 underlying valuation.
- 1,152,533.
How do you do this in your head?
There's no way I can do this math.
Well, you know, maybe I could fake it?
I'll just memorize it.
- All of it?
- Mm-hmm.
Yeah, I got a pretty good memory.
(CHUCKLES) That good?
Well, I got a week to learn it, right?
Hustling a hustler.
I love it.
But, if this works,
Renault's gonna challenge you
on the cap rate.
So you need to get ready for it.
Look, this is downtown.
The risk here is very low.
It doesn't warrant a 12% return.
I'm firm with a 10% cap rate.
He's gonna try to hold you
to a 10% cap rate on the underlying value,
which we're not gonna take.
Not with a 25% premium going to him.
But you're gonna need
somewhere to go in the conversation.
So I want you to memorize
the 10.5% cap rate scenario as well.
But a 25% premium on a 10.5% cap rate
is too high, right?
10.5% cap rate means
$1,317,000 underlying.
With the 25% premium, that's $1,646,250.
Too high.
Yeah, that sounds too high.
You goddamn right it's too high.
So maybe you can sell him a choice.
Mr. Renault, I like you.
First halfway decent golf game I've had
since I've moved here.
But if you want us to value this building
at a 10% cap rate in a booming market,
where we can get 12% elsewhere,
we're not gonna give you
an instant 25% profit in the markup.
Tell you what.
I'll give you two options.
We get an 11% capital return rate
and you get your 25% profit in the markup,
or we get a 10.5% cap rate and you take
an 18% instead of a 25% markup.
You can choose. But...
he can't help you.
You're not what I expected, Matt Steiner.
I'll take the latter.
How'd I do?
You left 17,000 on the table.
Oh, well.
- What's the number?
- $1,554,060.
But, we can call it an even 1,560,000
if you leave me that desk.
I can't believe it worked.
I can.
Tomorrow we meet the tenants,
introduce ourselves as Matt's partners,
and watch the jaws drop.
Maybe I should call a photographer
so you capture the moment.
- Joe.
- What?
Oh. Too much?
Yeah. Cheers.
EUNICE: Hi, Pop.
FATHER: Oh. How you doing?
And who's this right here?
Who's this right here?
Hey, Grandpa.
- Here, get some of these sweet potatoes.
- No, thank you.
What kind of growing boy
don't like sweet potato mash?
Oh, sweetie, try 'em. They're delicious.
Daddy met the vice president.
FATHER: Really now?
Yes, he did. Bernard is being modest.
Yes, sir. He came by the Bankers Building.
Yes, son.
Smooth. Very smooth.
Thought you didn't smoke.
No. I don't.
But I know you like 'em, so...
These are a lot nicer than what I smoke.
You doing so well
out there in Los Angeles.
Guess you were right.
About what?
Earning money the way white men do.
Found you a place where you could do that.
Still... no chance of doing that here.
It might even be worse.
No, it's not perfect in California, but...
it is different.
I don't... I don't think it's California.
I'm proud of you, son.
EUNICE: Where you going?
Taking a walk through town.
Dressed like that?
Going on the other side of the tracks.
You make sure you wear your tie.
I planned on it.
Take Junior with you.
He needs to see where he comes from
up close.
Why the fountains separated, Dad?
It's just different down here, son.
I'm sorry you had to see that.
It's okay.
Hey, how much for a shine?
Only do white folks here, sir.
You think this is a mistake?
I think the world is changing.
But maybe it hasn't changed enough
in Texas.
I feel like I have to do this.
I know.
And that is why I support you.
What the hell do we know about banking?
Banks take deposits and make loans,
mostly on property.
Owning a bank is like owning the other
side of the real estate business.
I'm pretty sure there's a few complexities
you just left out.
Like we black,
and this goddamn bank is in Texas.
There's no Texas law
that says we can't own a bank.
I concede, us being black
may be an issue, practically speaking.
You willing to concede that?
Well, we get Matt to front for us.
No shit.
But here in LA
Matt unlocks the doors for us,
he don't run the business day-to-day,
much less a banking business,
which is not simple.
We'd have to monitor things closely.
And how the hell you plan to do that?
We can't set foot in a bank in Texas
unless we're the help.
(CHUCKLES) I thought that would be
your favorite part.
I live in LA.
I don't plan on moving to Texas. Do you?
During the business week.
And work as a janitor in a bank you own?
Won't have to.
Matt comes to me with the bank business
at the end of every day.
What makes you think he's willing to move
to the middle of nowhere?
No offense to your cosmopolitan hometown.
Plus Matt's got a pretty good gig here.
We'd have to make it worth his while.
Great, so now we gonna pay him even more
money than we pay him to be white.
Joe, think about all the good we can do
for the Negro community down there.
Help 'em buy homes, start businesses.
And aside from all that,
that bank is undervalued.
There's enough capital
to double its loan base.
We could make a lot of money.
We make a lot of money now.
You gonna stand there with a straight face
and tell me there's a business argument
to do this?
This is social activism, Bernard.
Plain and simple.
There's plenty other ways to do that.
Or maybe you're feeling guilty about
leaving your father behind.
Let me tell you this.
If one trip home can
cripple your rational functions like this,
we in trouble.
With all due respect, Joe,
I think this is something
you won't understand.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Did I not wake up black this morning?
'Cause I'm pretty sure I did.
Yep, still black.
Are you telling me because I grew up
in California with a little bit of money,
I'm not black in your eyes?
I wasn't trying to make this personal.
Yes, you were.
I'm sorry.
Bernard, if we go down to Texas
and start screwing around with Jim Crow,
we gonna lose.
Don't matter whether it's legal or not.
Even if Dr. King
gets civil rights legislation,
it ain't gonna happen fast enough
for us to get out of this
without losing our shirts.
Bring your father out here.
Help him directly.
And get rid of that notion that you can
save every black man in Texas,
'cause you can't.
I understand if you don't want to
partner with me on it.
You can't buy this bank
on your own, Bernard.
Not at that price.
Then I'll find someone else
to do it with me.
Jesus H. Christ.
I told you getting rich
was going to change you.
Mark my words. This is a bad idea.
But it's even more bodacious
than us buying that Bankers Building.
And we sure enough pulled that off,
didn't we?
All right. I'm in.
For the record I say you guys are out of
your minds, completely out of your minds.
You ready?
Could you tell me how a bank works
in three sentences?
A bakery makes a profit by selling bread
for more than it cost to make.
A bank makes a profit
by selling loans for more than it costs to
get the money needed to make those loans.
Basically, a bank gets money
from depositors at 3%
and loans it out at five.
Wow. That actually was three sentences.
Let's go.
This should be fun.
JOE: You gonna put the hat on?
I'll pass.
All righty then.
Shall we?
Gentlemen, Don Silverthorne.
- Robert Florance.
- Matt Steiner.
Robert Florance Jr.
- TELLER: Next.
- ROBERT SR.: Please, gentlemen, come in.
DON: Thank you.
Yes, of course. Gentlemen.
My son's guaranteed a position
to protect my remaining 20% interest?
You'll see that in the addendum.
But he won't be the bank's
exclusive loan officer any longer.
My clients' primary interest in buying
the bank is to increase the loan volume
and thus the profitability of the bank.
He'll be reporting directly to you
as the new bank president, Mr. Steiner?
That's right.
Who are Bernard Garrett and Joseph Morris?
My financial partners in Los Angeles.
Why aren't they here?
Honestly? Because they're
too rich to bother.
That's why they have me.
No offense, but they have hundreds
of these investments across the country.
Well, that's great for them.
But this is the investment
they're closing today.
I should note that
the full purchase price for the bank
is sitting in escrow in my bank
as of 11:00 A.M. this morning.
Which is all that matters.
Congratulations, you are now
the owner of your hometown bank.
Time to get my black ass back to LA.
Don't ask.
My partners and I now own Mainland Bank.
And we intend to change the bank's
policies regarding loans to Negroes.
But we need your help to identify
responsible potential borrowers
in your congregations.
You get the loan...
Now, it goes without saying that we cannot
draw attention to this new policy
or to our ownership of the bank.
Or everything we're trying to do
will be put in jeopardy.
But make no mistake,
our goal is to foster business growth
and home ownership in our community
through access to capital.
Thanks to your loan,
we bought two new pieces of equipment.
Doubled our revenue in three months.
You approved 14 new loans this week?
That sounds right.
Only five of those were mine.
There's a lot of underutilized capital
in this bank.
You knew I was gonna start signing off
on loans directly to jump-start things.
I haven't seen
that many viable applicants in one week
since I've worked at this bank.
I've been working here
since I was 18 years old.
Where are you finding all these people?
Who's "Solomon Johnson"?
We're casting a wide net.
The more loans we make,
the higher our profit.
Goes for your stake too.
As long as they don't default.
That's what collateral's for.
My partner Joe comes in town
every other week from LA.
He's looking forward to meeting you.
I told him this is
the best barbecue around here.
Thank you.
Look, the books I keep are pretty simple.
But I can go back to the office
and bring 'em out.
You can look 'em over.
- That would be great. Thank you.
- Okay.
You're late.
Florance discovered the black loans.
He's been wary of me from the beginning,
now he's watching me like a hawk.
Any reason why?
Well, yeah, he had dreams
of being the boss,
not reporting to some guy from California
ten years younger than him.
I hate it here.
Come on.
We've only been here three months.
It's enough time to know.
Why did you agree to do this?
I'm making 25,000 a year.
We bought this house
with one month's salary.
When you started with them you said
they were gonna make you a partner.
- Yeah, and...
- A partner isn't on a salary.
A partner is an owner.
Isn't that what you always told me
you wanted to be?
And I will be.
You know, on the next bank we buy.
You're buying another one?
We're thinking about it, yeah.
Now that would be something.
Wouldn't it?
So, we all agree
the barbecue place is a good bet, right?
- Mmm.
You must be Bernard Garrett.
And you're Joe Morris?
What, you follow me here?
Just trying to understand
who really owns my bank.
You boys are famous.
That's you and Vice President Johnson,
if I'm not mistaken.
I've got nothing against
you people personally.
That's mighty white of you.
But if this town found out
that not only was their bank
regularly making loans to Negroes,
but was actually owned by two of 'em,
there'd be a run on the bank.
Well, why would they find out? Huh?
They don't have access to our books.
You do.
Took you three months to figure it out.
- I could tell 'em.
- Yeah, you could.
Then you'd own 20% of a failed bank
instead of a booming one.
What do you want?
To protect my investment.
This bank collapses, my 20% is worthless.
So, we're in this together?
Not quite.
See, my father didn't know
he was selling his bank to two Negroes,
so that's fraud.
I don't know about that, Bob.
See, both our names
were on that bank contract you signed.
You even asked about us.
Don't know who told you that.
Didn't have to be told. I was there.
(CHUCKLES) No, you weren't.
Bring back memories?
And for the record, your father knew.
You're lying.
Ask him, or I can find a letter
where he and Silverthorne discussed it.
You boys think you're so smart.
JOE: Oh, we are.
For a couple colored boys.
You couldn't just make a loan
here, there to your kind.
You had to make 19 of them
right off the bat?
Well, here's another letter.
This one's from the Comptroller of
the Currency. The US Treasury Department.
They're moving our yearly inspection up
two quarters.
That's a month from now.
Because of anonymous reports
we're making unsafe loans.
You think you have this town figured out,
when you moved here three months ago?
Well, you don't.
I was born here.
So was I. In this house.
then you should've known
you couldn't keep this a secret very long.
We're gonna have to stop giving out loans
to Negroes until after this inspection.
What about the ones already on the books?
Can I propose something?
Can I get a stiff drink?
We should buy another bank.
Make that a double.
What? No, I'm...
I'm serious.
Okay, the Bank of Marlin is small.
You can purchase it outright for 274,000,
half of what you paid for 80% of Mainland.
As president of both banks,
I could move all the Negro loans
we made at Mainland to the Bank of Marlin
before Mainland gets inspected.
It should keep the government
out of our business
and hopefully make Florance an ally.
It's an interesting idea,
but Joe and I don't have
$274,000 in cash laying around.
And I doubt Silverthorne will finance us
buying another bank in Texas.
Right, well, I think I have
a solution to that.
The Bank of Marlin has
two million in deposits,
but it's only made one million in loans.
Which is why it's not making a profit.
So, we buy the bank.
We use that extra million in deposits
to purchase loans from an aggregator.
I've already identified a package of loans
with an 8% interest offered at 6.5%.
That 1.5% spread
puts the bank instantly in profit.
Unless there's a high default rate.
Check the underlying loans yourself.
They seem rock-solid to me.
The whole package is for sale
for 971,000.
Yeah, that doesn't help
the cash flow problem for Joe and me.
All right, it doesn't,
but if you and Joe incorporate as brokers,
the Bank of Marlin
can pay you a commission
of close to 200,000
on that package of mortgages.
That's an awful lot of commission
on a million-dollar package of mortgages.
Maybe, but it's completely legal.
It cuts your investment by two-thirds.
The bank stays profitable
and we keep loaning to Negroes.
Everyone wins.
It sounds too good to be true.
Well, then have your lawyers check.
Look, Matt, even if it does check out,
Joe has to spend his time in LA
overseeing our properties there.
And I'm here
overseeing you and Mainland Bank,
which I can't even get in
the front door of.
I just don't think it's the right time
for us to pick up a second bank in Texas.
Well, you won't have to,
if you let me run this one.
I mean really run it.
I can't speak for Joe,
but I'm not comfortable with that.
SUSIE: I'm sorry to interrupt.
Would you like one?
- No.
- Okay.
Look, we agreed I'd co-own the next bank.
We even put it in the contract.
Three months ago, you didn't know
the first thing about banking.
Come on. I've learnt a lot in that time.
It's not that I don't have faith in you,
it's just...
It's $274,000 of Joe's and my money.
We should at least
have the final say, right?
If I can't become my own man here,
then I think I need to resign
and go back to LA.
- Is this you blackmailing us?
- No.
No, that's not fair, Joe.
You guys have taught me so much.
I just wanna be more like you.
An owner.
Whatever you decide...
I really appreciate
everything you guys have done for me.
You said this was gonna be complicated.
What I said was, "This is a bad idea."
Then I agreed to drive off the cliff
with you and here we are.
Now, we gotta buy a kid with 90 days of
banking experience his own goddamn bank.
Without a chaperone.
Hey, everyone, I just wanted to say
I'm excited to work with all of you.
We're gonna do great things
with this bank.
Growing it while helping the community
around it grow at the same time.
My door is always open.
Let's show the public our new face.
Mmm. Twelfth loan in the package,
it's that one right there.
Another beautiful house
in a white neighborhood.
Give it a five.
Thank you for doing this.
How else am I supposed to learn?
You can stop.
There's no one here
to see you cleaning anymore.
Whatever I do, I try to do my best.
I'm sorry you have to wear that.
I wish they'd just trust me,
then you wouldn't have to.
Do you resent me being here?
A little.
Do you resent me
for wanting to run my own bank?
A little.
Come on. You know
I wasn't born into money.
I just learnt to fake it.
And you helped me.
I do realize...
I had to be white for that to work.
And a man.
I just...
I wanna be respected
for what I've done for the business.
Respect is a big thing.
Sometimes people take big risks
to chase it.
I want this bank to succeed
just as much as you do.
I want you to succeed.
And I hope you don't take this
the wrong way,
but you just took up banking
three months ago.
So did Bernard.
They're all solid.
We looked at the property
securing every single loan.
MATT: That was fast.
Just be sure the documentation matches
exactly before handing over any money.
Yeah, of course.
And contact that lawyer I told you about
in Houston.
I worked with him before.
O'Keefe. Michael O'Keefe. I trust him.
I already did. He said he'll be there.
Excuse me.
- Man, this place is so good.
So, I'm gonna head back in the morning.
It... It's okay.
I'll have it fixed in no time.
JOHN F. KENNEDY: I thought his statement
was rather cautiously worded.
I didn't get any assurances
that Mr. Khrushchev or the Soviet Union
was out of the space race at all.
I think it's...
Mr. Steiner, your attorney's almost
finished reviewing the packet of loans.
- Let me know if you need anything.
- Thanks.
Thank you again for doing this so quickly.
How are the underlying loans looking?
Solid. You can start
signing the contracts now.
- Hi.
- Hey.
Hi. How are you?
Good, how are you?
How'd it go?
Well, I just wrote a check for $971,000.
- Never done that before.
You're a natural businessman.
I don't know. I mean...
tell that to the people who invested
in the drive-in ice cream shop.
You were 19.
Yeah. But, I dunno,
it was my dad's savings.
I just don't want to lose
Bernard and Joe's money the same way.
They're lucky to have you.
No. I'm the lucky one. I'm learning
from people a lot smarter than I am.
they're not smarter than you.
I mean, they can't be.
- They're my friends.
Hey. Look, I'm sorry. I didn't...
- No.
- Just... Matt.
Don't talk like that.
It's Florance.
I've got four white customers here
saying they wanna withdraw all their money
from the bank
because they think it's owned
by the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People.
This was on the door at Mainland.
JOE: Subtle.
Five white customers withdrew
all their money in the past two days.
Nine were convinced by Florance to stay.
Considering Florance probably the one
who started and spread the rumors himself.
What? Why would you say that?
Told you long time ago, Bernard.
I don't trust people.
Especially white people. I remember.
No, what I said was white and black.
The difference is,
when a white person screws you over,
they can count on other white folks
out there to look the other way.
And just knowing that
brings out the worst in people.
How can you be so pessimistic
and still get out the bed in the morning?
Even a rigged game's fun to play, Bernard.
Matt Steiner?
I'm an examiner with the office
of the Comptroller of the Currency.
How can I help you?
A federal bank examiner
just left my office.
I thought that wasn't until next month.
No, I meant Marlin, not Mainland.
What did he say?
To get the master books out.
He's coming back in an hour.
This can't be chance.
Matt's not ready.
Well, how could he be?
And he's gonna get tripped up.
We can't let that happen.
I'd have to be sitting in the room next to
him the whole time for it not to happen.
And I can't exactly do that, now can I?
Well, you could do something close to it.
(SCOFFS) There's gotta be another way.
Well, Joe's not too proud
to put on a chauffeur's uniform.
Well, Joe was born
with a silver spoon in his mouth.
For him it's like playing dress-up.
Well, I wasn't.
I was barely born with a spoon.
How many times have I worn this uniform
to help this business?
- A woman?
- Yeah.
I love you, Bernard.
But how is that any different
from a white man telling you
you shouldn't mind
some daily assault on your dignity
because you're black?
Should've took limo driver
when you had the chance.
I don't like what hats do
to the shape of my face.
You made an actual joke.
Well, what else can I do
in this situation?
See, you find out how life really works,
can't do nothing but laugh.
You sure you don't want
a coffee or anything?
No, thank you.
A cold water maybe?
As of close of business Friday,
the total number of loans delinquent
beyond 60 days was under 5%?
What was the exact percentage?
We are discussing
confidential information.
I'm sure the janitor
wouldn't understand it.
Someone else might.
Take me through this transaction.
That's a package of loans we bought
to increase our loan-to-capital ratio.
He's in trouble.
I can read the description myself.
I'm curious about this related charge.
to Valley National Mortgage Company.
There's no description for that.
It's a broker's fee.
$189,000 as a finder's fee
for a $971,000 package of loans
sitting in an aggregator's office
in Houston?
That's a pretty hefty finder's fee.
No, 19.5%, but that includes payment
for future consultation.
Well, that's a strange arrangement.
Mr. Garrett and Mr. Morris?
Is that something that should concern you?
Aren't you here
to make sure my bank is sound?
Okay, let's turn to the loans themselves.
You paid $971,213 for these loans.
You have them valued as such
on your books.
Yes, of course.
Show me the methodology you used
to justify that book value.
I have an expert to do that.
Bring him in, please.
He's not in today.
But I can, uh, check his files.
He wants to know the exact methodology
we used to value the loans in the package.
Pay attention.
It's a standard present value equation.
This is an individual loan's
monthly payment schedule.
Now, adjust that
with the risk factor for default.
Standard 5% in Texas.
That's what I used.
Tear that out for me.
You can't go in the room
with that piece of paper.
It's got Bernard's handwriting on it.
- Memorize it.
- No, I can't.
Sure you can. You got a great memory.
No, I'm too nervous.
Hey, listen.
You fail this test
and he's gonna write down those loans
and it'll threaten
the stability of the bank.
Your bank.
This is your bank, Matt.
Now, pull it together
and go out there and save it.
Okay, let me see that one more time.
Okay, I have the methodology.
Put a pin in that.
I found problems with individual loans
while you were gone.
I valued those loans conservatively.
We didn't do anything wrong.
They wanna shut us down,
they got plenty ways they can do that.
"5% default rate?"
Hell. What if there's a drought?
You niggers need to value them loans
assuming there's gonna be
a once-in-a-generation drought.
"25% default rate for y'all."
This loan's gonna have to be
sold off immediately.
And this one.
And this one.
Why? Why? What's wrong with them?
Well, that loan is for $21,000.
Your capital account is $200,000.
You don't understand why that's a problem,
do you?
The National Banking Act specifies that no
bank shall have a single loan on the books
that exceeds 10% of equity capital.
Or $20,000 in this case.
Okay, but this one's only 4,000.
It's for a 25-year term.
Same with this one.
A bank of this size
is limited to 20-year terms.
And this loan is legal on its face,
but it's three months delinquent.
I'm not gonna require you to sell it,
but I'm gonna classify it.
Take its value down on your books by 40%
to account for the elevated risk
of default.
Hold on. I'll be right back.
How the hell
did these loans get in the package?
- I don't know.
- Unacceptable.
I looked over every individual loan, Matt.
There was nothing over $20,000.
Nothing over 20 years.
Did you look at the loans
when you picked them up?
Did you look at the goddamn loans?
Yes, I looked through them.
Maybe not carefully enough.
I read the top sheet...
Well, they can't lie on the top sheet.
- Matt, there aren't any limiters.
- What?
There isn't anything on this top sheet
about individual loan limits,
dollar amounts or durations.
They're all averages.
They didn't lie.
They just hid the shit in the averages.
How the hell did our lawyer miss that?
- I couldn't use O'Keefe.
- What?
Bernard checked the properties so fast
I moved up the purchase date.
O'Keefe couldn't make it,
so I hired someone else.
- How did you find him?
- I asked around.
You asked... He asked around.
What the hell's that mean?
We told you you weren't ready
to run your own bank. We told you.
You forced our hand. Now here we are.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Who exactly did you ask
to find this lawyer?
Who, Matt?
You asked Florance?
He switched the goddamn mortgages.
Why? Why would he do that?
To kill Marlin.
And the worst part is I have to learn
about it here, in this ridiculous outfit,
that you helped him do it!
No, that's gotta be illegal, right?
What does he get from that, anyway?
Against us at Mainland.
Or maybe just to watch us fail.
We have to sell 27 bad loans in a week
and cover all the markdowns ourselves.
We're gonna lose $300,000,
unless Matt Steiner can make Marlin
the most successful bank in Texas history.
Or you could let it close.
Matt got you here, you didn't.
No, I did.
Soon as I thought I was clever enough
to come down here and take on all of this.
Joe warned me.
You warned me.
My daddy warned me when I was 13.
If this was easy, somebody else
would have done it a long time ago.
So, you're just gonna walk away from it?
It's the only rational thing to do.
No, we could sue the bastards.
You signed a document saying
you knew exactly what you were buying.
But the lawyer lied to me. We can sue him.
Maybe you can, Matt, but we can't.
Me and Bernard can't win that case,
not in Texas.
Plus, Marlin will be gone by then anyway.
I'm not gonna lose Marlin.
There's gotta be something I can do.
Look, I'm sorry, Matt.
I know it was your baby,
but I need you to focus on Mainland now.
Well, how?
Keep an eye on Florance.
And make sure when white folks
come in that bank,
they see a white man
in the president's office
so they won't pull their deposits.
Garrett residence.
Yes, he's here. Just a moment.
Joe, it's for you.
Yeah, this is Joe.
You didn't hear this from me,
but I got a friend at the Comptroller's
office who kind of looks out for me.
Called me yesterday to say
Matt Steiner managed to get all
"must sell" loans off Marlin's books.
That don't matter,
'cause we decided we ain't gonna
put no more money in there anyhow.
At face value. No discount.
Which means Marlin's in the black again,
fully solvent...
without capital from you.
Who the hell would pay face value
for those piece of shit loans?
Mainland bank in Willis, Texas.
Say what?
Son of a bitch!
What the hell are you doing?
You had Mainland pay face value
for the loans the feds
already had you mark down at Marlin?
It's just temporary.
- It's fraud.
- No, if we classify them differently...
If you keep this up,
you're gonna sink both banks, Matt.
Get the books.
- Shouldn't we wait until...
- Get the goddamn books now.
All I did was transfer the...
Matthew Steiner,
president of Mainland Bank?
- Yes.
- I'm Norman Dunn,
Deputy Comptroller of the Currency
for the Southern District.
The Treasury Department has revoked
Mainland's license to do banking.
Your bank is being placed in FDIC
receivership per the National Banking Act.
This is Mr. Amos of the FDIC.
Mr. Steiner, you're fired.
I'm going to need to escort you
from the building now.
Please leave the ledgers where they are.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the United States Treasury Department
has closed this bank until further notice.
All deposits up to $10,000
are insured by the federal government.
Upon FDIC review of the bank's books,
your money will be returned to you.
The building is now closed to the public.
We must ask that you leave.
I'm so sorry.
I thought that I could save both...
Get out of my face.
- Bernard Garrett and Joseph Morris?
- Yes.
- FBI. You're under arrest.
- For what?
Turn around and face the wall.
No. What are we under arrest for?
What did we do that's illegal?
- The judge will tell you that.
- No, screw the judge.
- You tell me what we did that's illegal.
- Bernard.
- What's he complaining about?
- I get it.
A black man makes some money and it's okay
as long as he keeps to himself.
But if he try to bring other brothers up,
that's intolerable.
This is happening, Mr. Garrett.
The only question to ask yourself
is do you want to get hurt fighting it?
- Hey, get off of him!
- Bernard, no! No!
- Come on.
MAN: The state banking charges
have all been dropped.
The federal charges,
however, are all still in place.
Now, it's my feeling
that we're in a political space here.
So if we play our cards right,
we'll be able to get
those charges dropped as well.
Political how?
Well, Senator John McClellan of Arkansas
is holding a set of hearings
on federally funded banks.
The goal seems to be to shit all over
the so-called "lax oversight"
that our Treasury provides,
so as to justify his committee
expanding its jurisdiction.
Thereby ensuring a steady stream
of campaign donations
and favors from the banking industry.
So, what does that have to do with me?
You want the stated
or the unstated version?
"We need to change these laws.
And I mean quick!
Or niggers like these can own banks
and loan money to other niggers."
JOE: On the bright side, Bernard,
'cause we fit so neatly
into McClellan's power grab,
the whole country's talkin' about
how two Negroes managed to buy two banks
full of white folks' money in Texas
and loan it to other Negroes.
I thought McClellan was one of the first
people to stand up to McCarthyism.
- He was.
- So he must be a decent man, right?
You know, Bernard, I don't have
the ability to look into a man's soul.
But I will tell you this...
he means to make a point
with these hearings.
And if you want
to help him make that point,
I highly doubt that you're gonna have any
problem with any kind of criminal charges.
So, where's Matt in all this?
Now, that is a good question.
My lawyer doesn't want me here.
MAN 2: Then your lawyer doesn't have
your best interests at heart, Matt.
Because we can make a deal here
that could save your life.
How does that work exactly?
You're gonna...
give me back my money? My house?
But I can give you immunity.
And you might avoid
being called to account
for lying to the public
on 23 separate occasions
about the true ownership
of the Mainland and Marlin banks.
Fraudulently valuing loans in these banks.
Illegally transferring said loans
between the banks in question.
It's an easy story to tell,
how these two men manipulated you,
used you to make money by duping everyday
citizens into thinking you were the boss,
when really it was
two Negroes pulling the strings.
But they didn't force me
to do the things I did.
They were careful to follow the law.
You won't find any evidence
that they committed a crime.
See, that's the thing about banking crime,
there's always a subjective element to it.
these two Negroes earned...
189,000 between the two of them,
off a $971,000 purchase of mortgages
that in fact were worth 663,000.
See, that is a misuse of bank funds
in my book.
And a misuse of bank funds is a crime.
It's more complicated than that.
I don't think it is, Mr. Steiner.
Unless you're telling me they didn't force
you to buy these dog-shit mortgages...
so they could bilk the bank
of $189,000 of commission.
Then maybe they are innocent
and maybe
someone else needs to go to prison.
- I'm really sorry I ever brought him in.
- You didn't force me to hire him.
Joe warned me a dozen times as well.
Just wanted to believe in him, I guess.
I hope whoever owns this place is taking
good care of you for the renovation.
He is...
'cause it's me.
MAN 2: So, it's your testimony that
you've always been under the direction
of Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris.
Is that correct?
It is. Yes.
You ever refuse an order
from Garrett or Morris?
For example, the initial purchase
of mortgages by the Marlin bank,
for which Garrett and Morris
were compensated $189,000,
or Mainland Bank's subsequent purchase
at grossly inflated prices
of problem mortgages from Marlin?
They were my employers.
I carried out their wishes to the letter.
MAN 2: I'm surprised
you requested this meeting, Melvin.
It seemed my offer required
a simple answer, yes or no.
Especially given
how solid Steiner was today.
Well, John, Bernard's not the kind of man
to make a deal
without checking all the details.
It seems to me
that a large part of his purported defense
is that he did just that.
You want me to put the banking rules
on trial in my testimony.
I want you to tell the truth.
Which should have that result, yes.
The rules allowed you
to hide your identity from the public
and take the successive actions that led
to two national banks becoming insolvent,
risking the savings
of thousands of innocent depositors.
You and I see the truth very differently.
Son, I'm from Arkansas.
You don't have to tell me that Negroes
sometimes get the short end of the stick.
We're not gonna change that here.
The truth is, whatever obstacles
they put in your way,
you kept your head down,
did your business,
became one of the richest Negroes
in the country.
You were living the American dream
before you decided to go mucking around
with the social order in Texas.
Might be a lesson there.
You have a choice now.
Take the immunity deal.
Go in there and confirm
what Steiner just told us,
that you took advantage of lax rules
in order to enrich yourself.
And let Congress fix those rules,
and you'll be a free man.
Or you can refuse the deal...
and say whatever you want.
But just know,
after you're done saying your piece
about racism and the plight of the Negro,
we're gonna compare your testimony
point for point
with what we heard
from Steiner and Florance,
and a whole bunch of other white people.
Well, thank God the Constitution
doesn't make those types of distinctions.
Well, at the end of all that,
a determination will be made
by a court of law
to decide who's telling the truth...
and who's lying.
And the liars are going to prison.
EUNICE: Sure is pretty from the outside.
BERNARD: Guess you were right.
It was too early
for two Negroes to own a bank in Texas.
Or maybe you were right to do it now.
Look where you ended up.
White people get to buy homes
and build businesses
because banks will loan them money.
Black people don't.
And maybe it is time that someone
shine a bright light on that now,
in order for things to change.
Well, if I shine the light too bright,
McClellan will get rid of my immunity.
What do you think I should do in there?
Everyone thought I was crazy to marry you.
You always thought differently
from everyone else.
But that's why
I fell in love with you, Bernard.
And whatever you decide to do
in there today is not gonna change that.
Would you mind giving me a minute?
Should I be jealous
you get to testify first?
No, man.
I'm just a warm-up act
for the criminal mastermind to follow.
Well, they gonna be disappointed as hell
because I plan to
blame all this shit on you.
Damn. That was my plan too.
You know, when I first laid eyes on you,
I thought you were this uptight,
square-ass Negro
who wouldn't know
whitey's hand was 'round his neck
if he was staring at it in a mirror.
Glad I made such a good first impression.
Turns out,
you a goddamn revolutionary.
You know, when I first met you,
I thought you were
an entitled playboy clown.
you saw things years before I did.
Even about myself,
five minutes after meeting me.
MCCLELLAN: Committee calls
Bernard S. Garrett to testify.
Do you have his glasses?
He doesn't have his glasses.
He doesn't need 'em.
He's got to read his opening statement.
He doesn't need his glasses. He never has.
Mr. Garrett,
I think you understand the stakes.
We'll take your statement now.
Mr. Chairman.
Our nation's founding documents declare
that "all men are created equal"
and endeavor to create a society
where citizens receive
the equal protection of our laws.
It's a noble goal.
But we all know,
for many citizens it's a lie.
This hearing is supposed to be
about uncovering and reforming
unsafe banking practices.
But I think it's really about
how on Earth did two black men
pull off owning a bank in Texas.
Mr. Garrett, I think you
should tread carefully now.
Well, I can talk at length about that.
Or I can sum it up with this.
The dress code.
Mr. Garrett, you are out of order, sir.
- I'm not finished.
- Out of order.
If you can't get a loan,
you can't own a home.
You can't start a business.
Mr. Garrett, you have been warned.
- Which means you can't build wealth.
- Mr. Garrett!
And you're excluded
from the American dream.
Sergeant-at-arms, remove the witness.
Why is it so important to you
to exclude an entire race of people
from the American dream?
Figures they'd let you out before me.
Man, they couldn't wait
to get rid of my ass.
Let's go home.
- They took 'em all, remember?
- Well, let's go somewhere.
What are you two laughing about?
They didn't take all of 'em.
They didn't know about the two
we bought next door to each other
in the Bahamas.
Bernard, how did you do that?
BERNARD: Matt called me
the night before he testified.
He was pretty broken up.
It's Matt.
Can we talk?
BERNARD: He told me
he was facing 50 years in prison
if he didn't say
what they wanted him to say.
I told him to do what he had to do,
but since the government
hadn't taken all of our money yet,
I asked him to do me a favor.
- (COOS)