Billions (2016) s05e08 Episode Script


1 Previously on Billions Mike Prince is Axe's real enemy.
I want to officially welcome each of you to Taylor Mason Carbon! Whoo! Nice.
All right! You know my new artist, Tanner? He's not workin'.
You know what, let me talk to him.
This happened to be a Nico Tanner original? The doctors are running some tests, but they think he'll need a kidney transplant.
My father wasn't healthy enough to pass the workup to get on the donor list.
I have a guy.
They need you to rip a letter on my behalf out of the SEC and grease the skids - to a charter.
- Sure.
Welcome to the NYAG.
Today, you're gonna go after a cabinet member.
Secretary of the Treasury, Todd Krakow.
We have a problem with the assignment.
I'm not part of a criminal enterprise He's out.
Fired by the White House.
Back to square fuckin' one! Is this a reward or to teach me a lesson? Both.
We need a rockstar in our corner, too.
Mike Prince.
Go to him.
Enlist him.
Team up.
Get me anyone who can help us find out what is near and dear to Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince.
Because when I find out what matters to him, I am going to fuckin' destroy it.
And him right along with it.
You're putting on this little show here instead of at home and instead of managing our underperforming employees.
That means you got somethin' to tell me.
You read me like the Sunday papers, honcho.
I was re-toxing last night at the Aviary and learned one Michael Prince is ready to be confirmed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Denmark.
You don't fuckin' say.
I do.
And while I saw the upside in him posting up in Copenhagen, I also envisioned him parachuting back into our fair city, the anointed one.
So I decided to give him a smorgasbord of shit.
I spent the last 18 hours in a whirlwind of Mike Prince research-wining, dining, drugging, grooming, levering, horse-trading And the dividend? Prince keeps himself locked down Fort Knox-style.
But one Roger Dunbar, known to you as Scooter, is our way in.
The man likes to play the angles at football and basketball and horse racing.
Scooter's a sports bettor? On a staggering scale through numerous fronts.
He's trying to disguise it, but no way he can afford the inevitable swings.
He's leaking like a raft at a kid's pool party.
And his leaks are Prince's leaks.
The sort of vulnerability that stops you from getting government security clearance.
And for good reason.
Nail him to the pyre, douse him with oil, and light his ass up.
Joan of Arc style.
But first, a quick nap.
Watch yourself with them when you go in there later.
You make it sound like I'm going into the lion enclosure at the zoo.
Axe Cap's been called worse.
Or are you just afraid I'm gonna say something to make you look bad? Fuck no.
The opposite.
Just if you're not used to it, the money talk from my colleagues can be relentless, shameless, suffocating.
You know, only rich people get embarrassed by money talk.
The rest of us get embarrassed because we don't have any money.
My job is to train them to tune every fiber of their being to get as much as they can.
But I've seen the negative effect it can have.
It can restrict growth in other ways.
Well, you can say that, 'cause you're one of 'em.
You're rich.
How much you make? - Really? - Yeah.
It'll clarify things.
My bonus was $9 million last year.
Look, I get that some of this is new to you.
And you can be who you want to be.
But y-you just seem I don't know, overly interested in what those buyers like Lisa had to say the other night.
But when we met, you acted like money is like chains.
So I guess I'm just saying, beware.
Yeah, I hear you.
It's just that now that I have a little bit of it, that money, I it's startin' to feel like freedom.
Karl! You rang? You look ready to toss your cap into the air at West Point.
Don't make a whole thing out of it.
Pull the record of every prisoner I've put away.
- Here and at SDNY.
- Criminal records? Uh, no, medical records.
I'm lookin' for a kidney.
Pristine quality.
Ah, Chuck.
Shoppin' for the old man.
I get it.
I used to walk six miles to the army PX to get my dad a pack of Lucky's.
- How's he doin'? - Hm.
Like Clint Eastwood.
Straight-backed but uh But sometimes, he just gets that lost look in the eyes and starts talking to the furniture? In a sense.
Rough for him.
Rougher for you.
Gets the old compassion flowing.
I'll grab what I can.
Gotta tell ya, it works.
You look great.
- Don't make a whole - Copy! I heard you fell back to the country place.
Yeah, trying to figure out how much to sell it for.
Lara always liked it.
Me? I can't stand the quiet.
You interested? Nah, too rich for my blood.
But you're still interested in a bank charter, right? - You know I am.
- Well There may be a way around our obstacle.
When we heard that Rhoades was teaching up at the law school, I tapped some Yale connects I know from boating.
And it turns out he was using a bunch of the law school kids as a think tank to take out Krakow.
So I ran my own think tank.
Feels like time for a recount.
Do it.
Find a true believer amongst those acolytes and let's get Rhoades caught in a crossfire hurricane.
And find me another charter.
Get Victor on it.
Designing for the space? Making sure it's lit properly.
Like Von Sydow, not Dusty.
"I don't sell my work by the yard.
" I get it.
I studied art history.
And yet you work here.
Well, in a way, so do you.
Who fuck are you? The name's Mafee.
I don't think I'll remember that.
Do you own any art? I have a hand-painted production cell from the movie Tron with the young Bridges.
- Not - Obviously.
I meant as an investment.
Oh, not yet.
But I'll start acquiring in the next 12 to 18 months.
- What do you like? - No fuckin' idea.
I don't know anything about the underlying commodity.
Don't need to.
Just that it can go up in value.
It's speculation, with an option for manipulation.
What'll you give me for that? You were worried about me, and I beat 'em.
That group of overpaid philistines just gave me $3,200.
for a signed doodle.
- Seriously? - Yeah.
It's great that you guys are doing this.
So many so-called impact investors, they don't really care.
We're money where your mouth is type of people.
And now, please welcome our host for the evening, Mike Novogratz.
I want to thank all of you for supporting us tonight.
The mission of the Bail Project is to combat racial and economic disparities within our broken criminal justice system - Mock tuna wrap? - No, thanks.
Take the pretend tuna.
And a napkin.
- So you - Yes.
I have to go grind some daiquiris.
Wait, it's not daiquiri season.
And you don't grind them.
I don't know why I said that.
I gotta go.
if you want to dig deeper, you can pay in Bitcoin or dollars.
And I'm giving you a good reason to.
It's my great pleasure to introduce to you a friend of the Bail Project, an American hero my friend, Mr.
Jason Isbell.
Thank you all.
If you ever spent even one night in jail, then you understand just how precious your freedom is.
And if you're a human being with your eyes open, you realize that freedom isn't exactly equally available for everybody.
So I'm happy to be here with you this evening.
I couldn't be happy in the city at night You can't see the stars for the neon lights The sidewalk's dirty and the river's worse The underground trains all run in reverse Nobody here can dance like me Everybody's clapping on the one and the three Am I The last of my kind? Am I The last of my kind? So many people with so much to do The winter's so cold your hands turn blue Old men sleeping on the filthy ground They spend their whole day just walking around And nobody else here seems to care They walk right past them like they ain't even there Am I The last of my kind? Oh, shit! This isn't great.
A picture of you burning a bathtub full of ballots? No.
Back in college, junior year.
You rigged the election? You really wanted to be president of the YCC.
More than that.
Look closely and you'll see the name of my opponent, Robertson Wycoff.
Oh my God, this guy was straight out of the Niedermeyer from Animal House school of student government.
Ah, I'm starting to remember you telling me about this in law school.
He was like a fascist back then, right? I remember the times, we were pro-divestment, anti-apartheid.
He leaned more status quo, said South Africa wasn't our problem.
You couldn't risk letting him win.
No, indeed.
So some friends of mine did the Saybrook College vote tally, which meant we could suppress my opponent's turnout.
You stole a student election and posed for pictures.
Our own little homage to "Landslide Lyndon.
" People find out you turned your dorm room into Tammany Hall, that's a potential career killer.
And I have been sent this memento mori, anonymously, with the gracious opportunity to resign my teaching post at Yale.
It's extortion.
You can't.
I don't plan to.
You have any idea who sent it? I do.
A recalcitrant former pupil.
And much like a disobedient dog, I will bring him to heel.
I forget that when you have a boss, they can summon you.
Or is that more of a king thing? Both? Anyway, here I am, summoned.
Close the door.
I want to talk about last night.
If you ran into me, you can run into people we do business with.
People who will wonder about you, about what kind of place I'm running, why I don't pay enough for my people not to work second jobs.
I can wear a wig.
I have no desire to make you uncomfortable or to job shame you.
What's with the gig? It's a gig economy.
For some people.
Not mid-six-figure pre-bonus analysts.
My roommates and I have been doing the Party Down thing together ever since we got to the city.
So you don't want to leave them behind.
There are less laborious ways to keep in touch.
A WhatsApp group, the occasional escape room.
Uh hmm.
I get the distinction now.
You're my boss, but not a king.
You don't own my time.
We have a work relationship.
Let's keep it that way.
Cool? Kewl.
That time I said it with the K and W spelling.
Could you hear it? Thanks for your concern.
Now back to work we go.
Oh, leave it open, closed? I'm feeling closed.
You take steps yet? Uh percolating.
I'll get to it.
What's up? You seem phlegmatic.
- Even for - No, no, I'm fine.
I'm just in attack mode, and, uh Come on, Mamoun's is the cleanest falafel outside of the Holy Land.
You haven't even touched yours.
The thing with the woman I was seeing - that's over.
- Oh she was a keeper, you said.
Yeah, that's what most guys would call someone that smart, beautiful, kind, and willing to throw them a threesome.
- You'd think.
- You didn't like it? No.
I liked it.
Of course I liked it.
Give me pistachio ice cream, I'll eat it and smile, as Diamond David Lee Roth would say.
But, yeah, it was uncomfortable.
It's just too many limbs.
Too many questions.
Oh, what to do.
Give me rum raisin, on the other hand, I'll inhale the whole pint and root around the fridge to find another one.
And that's what I was missing.
Well, Cat seems pretty, you know, liberated.
Have you broached the subject of what you really want? A-as you said, she's smart and sensitive.
And she saw She saw that it would never work, not all the way from me.
Not without, you know And so she said something along the lines of, "We'll always have Paris.
" Only the words she used were harsher, you know? And all about wasting her time.
- Shit.
- And now I got some goddamn college kid wasting my fucking time.
Well, whatever you're feeling about what she did to you, do to him.
And I'll help.
You want half my turkey and chopped liver? Underrated sandwich.
Bet I can name two better ones.
And I just know you want in on the other side of that action.
- Why would I? - 'Cause, like Michael Cheritto, for you, the action is the juice.
Don't know him.
You should see Heat.
On my list.
But I get that you're saying you think - I'm a gambling man.
- I don't think it.
I observed it.
Those guys are just scattered to the wind.
They're your runners, placing your bets so they don't track back to you.
But I tracked it back.
Look, those guys are a street marketing team.
I'm building out a brand on a new company.
This hobby of yours makes you vulnerable to extortion.
And that extortion has come.
Prince finds out about this, he shitcans you, then you're an orphan without a purpose.
I thought I was so GD careful.
None of that matters now.
Give up Prince.
Nothin' to give.
He may be the best at bleaching.
But no one gets to 11 figures clean.
Go home.
Remember the thing.
Come tell Axe and me.
And your life stays the same.
Don't, and you lose everything you hold sacred.
Glad you accepted my offer to drop by.
I didn't like the circumstances you left under.
Never bad to march with your conscience intact.
Not sure I agree with that.
Conscience can be a little bit like those old nonstick pans.
Flakes off under heat.
Produces noxious fumes that ruin the whole enterprise.
Now, what you're really looking for is a cast iron soul.
Durable, seasoned.
If I wanted advice about pots and pans, I'd have signed up to intern for Guy Fieri.
Well then, here's the advice you really came for.
Sign your name to everything you write.
I don't know what you're talking about.
You do.
And you should own it.
C'mon, do what your Chef Fieri does.
Use your leverage.
Don't throw it away.
Hell, he started out with a '67 Camaro, bleached goatee, and a hankering for Sloppy Joe, and he ended up with an empire.
Morality isn't leverage.
Democracy isn't leverage.
Decency It was a student election.
To decide who got to woo Oingo Boingo to Spring Fling and push them not to play Sun City.
It wasn't Il Duce in '34.
There's a difference.
Not as much as you think.
One leads to the other.
Oh, fuck.
I can tell how good that felt to you to say.
Problem is, it's just not true.
You're right about one thing.
Sending an anonymous email was weak.
I answer for that now.
Just like you will have to answer for your mistake.
See, this is where old days I'd have appealed to your fear and greed centers.
Dangled an unattainable post-graduation job in front of you, or the specter of some member of your family getting into legal trouble.
Instead, allow me to share with you a lesson from my own life.
So it's guilt then, I'm guessin'.
Listen, Merle.
I don't know you, or what you do or plan to do with your life.
But I know this.
If you move me out by using blackmail, you will be setting yourself up for a life well, a life quite like mine.
One open to moments of deep regret and loss of face.
Ah, the stern warning.
The wisdom from down the road.
I'm giving you the most valuable thing I have: perspective.
You have the chance to live a life of honor.
To sleep through the night You know what? I already have a father who sells me his bad choices, his object lessons.
You have a day to resign gracefully.
After that, I'm blasting the picture out wide.
I may have a vote-rigging problem on my horizon.
I assume you're not teeing up a big, juicy case.
Oh, in this scenario, I'm the golf ball.
Take a look at this.
Hmm Nice lighter.
Dupont? Let's talk about those ballots I'm taking the lighter to.
Does the election-tampering bother you? Nah, I'd have a bigger problem if you weren't in it to win it.
I was on the right side of history, if that matters.
Yeah, no, not much.
Look, you were practically a kid.
I am guessing you had your reasons or were just practicing your moves.
But now as a state constitutional officer, your voters may feel differently about this if it gets out.
That's why I'm here.
You want me to tee up a big, juicy case, one that screams out justice and fairness, and bumps your tee time right off the front page.
I do.
As you'd say "Let me work.
" I will need you to sign a contract that states clearly you're exclusively working here and nowhere else.
And if I won't sign? I think maybe then you're gone.
I can't have people here who are less committed than contestants on The Bachelor.
There is no way you've even seen one episode of The Bachelor.
How can you Sometimes it helps me fall asleep.
Their insipid self-confidence and beauty is a somnolent.
But the point is, if you work with me, I need your blood, because that is what I give.
I don't know.
I want you here.
You think clearly.
That's rare.
But you can also communicate clearly.
The combo is more rare.
And then there's the ability to charm, get people on your side without resorting to cheap tricks.
Plus, also, I can see you struggling to remain a good person despite the temptations.
It would seem a mistake to fire someone with those characteristics, no? I don't want to fire you.
You want to own me.
And that's not cool.
You haven't answered me.
Oh Ya likes? I dug like Indiana Jones in the Ark picture.
I see that.
These are potent.
And could be quite helpful to me.
I and everyone now not only understand why you stole the election, but we're rooting for you in retrospect.
You had to take him out.
By any means necessary.
If Yale's student body president was anti-divestment, picking the speakers for every event, stacking the decks at every meeting.
His own quotes and speeches say it all.
How did you get these? That's a question I expect from my brother-in-law, the garmento.
The point is, use this stuff.
And then even if that picture of you is released, the story will be you were fighting institutionalized racism and slaying a dragon.
A dragon who currently serves as the beloved university chaplain.
I looked him up, too.
A lifetime of service.
So he turned out to be a good guy because you saved him.
Hey, boss.
Uh, attorney-client or broheim time? Just signing off.
Thank you.
What's up, Karl? Got a hit.
Prisoner named Aman Dekel.
He matches a certain profile you need.
Clean bill of health on this one, too.
Not a drinker.
Religious man who was incarcerated for crimes in the name of his maker.
But the required pristine kidneys.
You make contact? I did.
He's expecting you tomorrow.
He will sacrifice the bean for payment to be negotiated and the ability to move out of state to be with his family as soon as he's released.
That can be arranged.
Ah, the things we do for those we love huh? Thank you very much.
Doctor Gilbert.
I know what you're doing here and who you hoped to meet, but I'm afraid Aman Dekel isn't gonna make it today.
And neither are the beautiful glomeruli in his kidneys.
- Is that so? - When you put me in here, I became more powerful than you could ever have imagined.
Well, less powerful than, say, any free man.
From one perspective, but from another the residents of this institution come to me with their afflictions.
And I give them better treatment than the hacks in the infirmary.
And that's why they were happy to come to me and to lure you in.
And why you will never get what you're lookin' for.
It's not me, but my father that you're doing this to.
All the same.
Organ failure is beastly.
Took my own mom.
We're talking total physiologic breakdown.
Your dad will be wishing for incontinence, because urine output will cease and then the swelling comes the feet, the legs and the the pain that that brings it's pain that makes you pass out and wish you never wake up.
Vomiting, seizures.
You've really gotten away from that whole do no harm deal.
It's what happens when your ideals get turned inside out.
You know well what I'm talking about.
Guard! How's your sister, Jerry? Much better, thanks.
It's a tricky medical condition that was misdiagnosed.
Ovarian cysts.
They thought it was cancer.
They would've gutted her.
You were right about getting a second opinion downstate.
You need anything? Hmm.
I'd love a LaCroix.
And an escort for the Attorney General.
He's leaving.
Come on.
Let's go.
You know, I'm not visiting any more prisons anytime soon.
It's always a punch in the fucking face.
- Thanks, Peach.
- Mm-hmm.
You got my smoke signal.
I did.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
It was nicer to relive than it was to live.
What do you want? This.
Healthcare proxy? Why me? Because Roxanne's too young.
She'll never let me go.
She will keep the machines on for years, hoping for a miracle while I crap myself and the money runs out.
And Chuck, he might pull the plug when I'm in the middle of a sentence.
He's doing everything he can to help you.
Sure, he is.
But you, you're the one with liquid silver in her veins, the cool-headed killer.
You'll do the right thing at the right time.
At the "right time," you'll be comatose, completely incommunicative, and you want me to come in waving this around in front of your young wife and son? It'll be a total shit show.
That's why I'm asking you.
No, I I pray, to the extent that I pray, that these decisions never need be made.
But if the worst comes to pass, Wendy if I hit the fucking wall and become a full gomer, I need you to be clear-eyed and punch my ticket.
Can I count on you? Sure, Dad.
If it comes to it, I'll put you down.
That's a good girl.
I see.
While I've been out scouring the countryside trying to save your life, you put your trust in someone else.
Oh, I've been doing what needs to be done.
Or are you here to tell me that you found me a donor and it isn't necessary? No.
Unfortunately, it is.
I'll leave you two to settle your business.
Scooter's on his way up.
Longest elevator ride of his life.
I knew he was gonna cave.
Saw it in his eyes that he'd do anything to save himself.
You look surprised.
Was I not invited? I felt, in a way, that I was.
Or at least that my invitation was implied.
Love this.
Raw concrete.
Very wabi-sabi.
You have Rande Gerber decorate for ya? Threw yourself at the merciful hem of the Shogun skirts? Not exactly.
He was already well aware of the bets.
Because they were his.
Too bad.
Ambassador with a gambling problem's a no-go.
No problem here.
I have a better winning percentage than the Vegas books.
Plus, sports betting is now legal in this state.
Those runners you saw placed the action for me at the sports books at upstate casinos.
Because that much money, with my profile, would have moved the lines.
You had your man put 'em down to get you a better price.
Protect and serve.
Don't worry, though, my records are orderly.
We have it all documented in exquisite detail.
Taxes paid on all the profits.
And the Danes are a sporting bunch.
They love a good wager.
You made a mistake coming here, Mike.
I smoked you out.
You could have had me wasting my time on this until your post was clinched.
But now I know which direction I need to go in.
Without meaning to, you guys have just revealed it to me.
You're trying to put a read on me? Steady hands, no micro-expressions, nothing there.
So you can look as long and hard as you want at my life, past or present.
There's nothing there for you to chew on.
You sure? When a man's bluffing, he looks a guy right in the eyes.
I look people in the eye because I believe in myself.
And I like to connect with them.
Which is one of the things I love about the Danes, their warmth.
They have the most delightful demeanor and a wonderful word to describe their state of cozy well-being.
It's the contentment of feeling warm, being warm.
Danes are hygge-like.
And in the time I will be spending in their midst, I plan to embrace their way of life.
While you will remain here Cold, lonely, self-obsessed, and most assuredly not hygge-like.
I didn't anticipate the carom.
But what did you pick up on him? Not a goddamn thing.
I was fucking bluffing.
Next time you bring me something, make sure it's something.
You'll always be my guy, Wags.
But don't make me have to get another guy that you report to.
Now, I said something to this kid, Merle.
About the cost of these actions.
And although I was merely trying to influence him Fuck, Ira, I was him at law school.
And if someone, anyone had tried to warn me off becoming who I did, I'd have listened.
I was right there with you, and I know exactly who you were, the smartest and most rigorous student in our class.
The only one who ever doubted you was you, man.
And y-you wouldn't have listened to any kind of warning or bromide from anyone, especially not some Some grizzled old pol? Yeah, something like that.
You know, I always figured I'd keep growing in a real way.
That the worst parts of me would recede over time, that I'd be able to will myself forward to the better.
Oh, instead? As 50 looms, you come to see that those sub-optimal parts, the bugs, as it were They aren't bugs.
Turns out, they are you.
Might not be an age thing.
From the moment our parents look at us a certain way, it might all be set in fucking stone.
You gotta deploy the materials I gave you.
I'm shredding these printouts.
And I need you to destroy the original package you put together.
I won't.
And neither will you.
I'm glad to know that you've changed.
In your heart.
But just what if you didn't tell your heart what you were doing yet and first you got out of this jam? This kid is coming for you.
If he had a pistol, would you let him shoot you? No, you'd defend yourself and then go about making amends.
Once you knew you were still breathing.
Do the same here.
I know you better than you know yourself.
And I know what you need.
So you take that and do the thing you have to.
Yes? What's he doing here? He's part of it.
Part of? Such a thing.
What is? A violation of this scope, given your history? And to think I wouldn't have a system in place to monitor you, given said history.
That's downright insulting.
Such a thing.
All right.
That's quite enough of that.
Though, incredibly, he is right.
Why are you running a search through the employees' medical records? Go.
Traditionally, the scent hound gets to tear at the quarry at hunt's end.
It's nothing personal.
Just business.
I always liked you.
It's Chuck's father.
He's gonna die unless he gets a kidney.
- So I thought I - You should have come to me.
Would you have let me run the search? No.
But I'd have saved you from that.
We haven't been able to save each other from much lately.
Since you're here, let me try.
Mike Prince.
Let it go.
I sat with him, with Taylor.
He's not out to hurt you.
If he wasn't before, he is now.
Because he knows my intentions.
Let it go anyway.
In the past, when I have nudged, counseled, warned you to lay off against other opponents, it's because you were beating yourself.
Being rash, lacking focus, becoming consumed by your own rage.
But in this case, it's something else.
He'll likely beat you.
I beat him in Yonkers.
Did you? Or did he kinda let you have that one? This is a strange fucking pep talk, Wend.
Because I'm not giving you one.
Do you know how many sports movies I've watched over the last 20 years? All of them.
So believe me, I know how to do 'em.
And I have the right poll for this moment.
You think he's Tin Cup McAvoy, and you're Don Johnson, and you'll let the quirk in his character defeat him, but it might just be the other way around.
Not gonna keep putting balls in the drink.
That's what Roy thought, too.
But once guys like you and him commit, you'll keep hitting until there are no more Pro V-Ones - left in your golf bag.
- Right.
So what do you suggest I do instead? Figure out who or what from your past you're still furious at, because that's where it always really comes from, and go hit that.
Or finally decide to let it go.
The past.
You're right.
It's always the fucking past.
In here, please.
Axe Capital! We've been looking to hit all of Prince's current holdings and businesses, right? As was ordered.
To create a dip in the value of his portfolio before the big feature on him airs on The Hour.
Axe figured out we're aiming at the wrong target.
We were with Prince.
And Prince said, "You can look as long and hard as you want in my life, "past and present.
There's nothing there for you to chew on.
" But no one said anything about his past.
Axe picked up on his tell.
He's got a secret.
Fucking find it.
You know how we had feelers out on a half-dozen of those shady companies crying out for public execution? - Yeah, Axe filled me in.
- We're like a fishing boat with a bunch of lines over the side.
And we got a tug.
It's called Plaintif-Full.
Chum the local press.
Wait for another bite, then set the fucking hook.
Dean Walker is here.
I imagine she is.
I had a visit from a young man named Merle Howard - a few hours ago.
- I see.
He wanted to throw himself on the mercy of the court, so to speak.
He told me of his plans to blackmail you, get you ousted, and how you talked him out of it.
He literally said he'd misjudged you and wanted to report himself to me for an honor code violation.
I forgave him, of course.
And he asked that I'd drop the entire matter.
- Really? - Mm-hmm.
So I did some good.
Ha! Well, that is wonderful news.
Yet we live in an age that doesn't give me that opportunity to let it go.
If a student knows something and tells me, I have no choice but to investigate it.
That picture of you, Chuck what it says about the whole foundation of your career.
You have to know there was context.
I was part of a movement to push the Yale Corporation to divest holdings You stole an election for social justice? Divestment itself was in the balance? I could make that case.
Against the Robertson Wycoff I know? Sounds like a reach.
Here's your window.
Closing fast.
I guess I thought I could make a difference by winning that election.
So you have.
And I'm sure that picture of you will never come out.
Merle kept it.
Said he was destroying it.
Well, then is there a way we can consider this a closed matter? Not quite.
That's not the only thing Merle told me.
He also mentioned a student law clinic you put together.
He'd made his peace with it.
But from where I sit, it sounds like a goddamn hit squad.
I see.
Yale Law School is the nation's finest because we refuse to compromise on our principles.
Even if the money came from outside sources, even if it was voluntary.
This is against school policy and non-fucking-negotiable.
Then I step down.
And you redirect the money funding the operation back to my office No.
We'll keep the bestowal.
And use it for the good and fair purpose for which it was meant to be used.
But I accept your resignation and I thank you for it.
You did do a good thing.
Two, really.
Merle Howard has a chance to be a productive member of society.
And Yale is now protected from a mentor like you.
Rough day? Not my best.
But I did something.
I actually kept a promise to myself, a good one.
So that's I guess the word is progress.
So you feel great? Oh, let's not get carried away.
Well, maybe this will take it over the top.
I was researching some big, juicy cases that would put a halo over your head and found a small article in a local paper about some neighborhood folks that got fleeced by a payday lender.
Company's called Plaintif-Full.
Are they as bad as their name suggests? Bad-faith operators.
Well, I no longer need it.
But I am in the mood to take someone down.
Let's do it because it's the right thing to do.
Old school.
Move fast on this.
You know it.
I got it.
When you said the past, it jogged my memory of an old Fortune article.
I used to read 'em on the crapper.
Is that the actual one from the crapper? No, I pulled that one out of archives.
The story is about Prince's deceased partner, David Fells.
Now Prince sold off 40% of his company years ago to Microsoft, back when Fells was still alive.
It was his first big score.
His first billion.
But he's always famously refused to sell off the rest.
To give up control.
- And? - And this might be a way for you to wrest control of his goddamn company from within, like a Guinea worm.
Because Fells's founder's shares come with ten to one voting rights.
You get those, you can stage a boardroom coup.
I've been in touch with Fells's next of kin, his mother.
She's agreed to meet.
And she's no fan of Mike Prince.
- How do you know that? - 'Cause she said, "I have just what you need to torpedo Mike Prince.
" She has the founder's shares and the super voting rights.
What else could that mean? Fuel up your jet? You know it.
Bring her to me.
- Mrs.
Fells - Oh, Brenda.
I'm gonna to put this bluntly, and I'm not gonna bother negotiating.
I will back up an armored car for your son's shares.
I I'm sorry, I don't have them.
Uh-uh he sold them before he died, to Michael Prince.
I shouldn't have come.
Well, ma'am, that is too bad.
But you knew this before I flew you in.
And you didn't say don't, so That leads me to believe it might be something else.
Oh, I'm sure it's something else.
It's something I've known and carried for years, since my s-all right, look.
I signed an NDA.
Prince came to me years ago, right after David was buried.
He gave me money and he had me sign.
This is just you and me talking.
Whatever you tell me, and if it's valuable, and I use it, I will cover any losses or liabilities you face.
Only an idiot would take your word and not write this up with lawyers.
Only an idiot would make the offer.
My son was brilliant, but he was troubled.
He had trouble finding his way through the world.
He didn't make friends easily.
And then he started in with the drinking and the drugs.
Except for Michael Prince.
Those two spent thousands of hours in my garage working.
You know, Prince was like the forward face of all my son's genius.
And then one day, he stops by with what seemed like a windfall, $200,000.
He said he'd gotten a licensing agreement and that he would buy David's piece of the company to take the pressure off.
So David could chill out, you know, clean up, dry out.
He said that while the first one didn't work, they would start a new company when David was strong again.
And-and to tip the scales, he brought along the check and tickets to Rio for Carnival.
Michael's gonna join him on the last day.
So David accepted, he went.
And then the Microsoft deal was announced, and the numbers were reported, and Michael Prince had made wh uh a hundred times what he'd paid David, a thousand.
He knew the offer was coming.
Oh, he knew, and he stalled it off until he could secure David's piece.
Made it look like a favor and put him out in the cold.
I mean, do you know what that does to a 25-year-old? To lose out like that? I mean, to be stabbed in the back like that by your best friend? The drinking and using went into overdrive.
He said he was ready to come home.
But he didn't.
He he went dark.
And he wound up dying a month later in a single-car accident.
Michael Prince built his fortune on my son's grave.
I was supposed to By now I was supposed to be done with my PhD in economic philosophy at U Chicago.
I'd have published my dissertation.
But then Bobby Axelrod put a promise of mentorship, a meeting of the minds, a kinship of ideas, and a way of seeing the markets I'd never felt before, and so much money in front of me that I just I never even called the professor I was supposed to go work with.
I just withdrew from the program.
You wish you were at the place fun goes to die instead of making jillions solving unsolvable puzzles every day? I never thought I was the kind of person who would be tempted by all this.
And then I told myself that anyone, everyone, would lose a piece of themselves for this.
It made me able to justify what I did.
And then here I was.
And it was the perfect chance to conduct an experiment, a test case.
Part of you wants me to make the escape you couldn't.
But the other part wants me to stay.
To prove to you that no one can resist the clarion call.
I'm on the wrong side of our generation.
Even just the four years between when Axe put the choice to me, and now No, yeah, you're old.
I'm not.
But I'm not sitting here like I'm better than you.
You chose something sturdy and real, and where, like, you could land.
I'm still floating.
That's what I've been thinking about since we last talked.
- How I'm caught between.
- Really? I don't want to go work in the Ford plant for 40 years like a rivet head.
But knowing I'm really in something? Yeah, that seems good.
I'm gonna ditch the catering company.
But I can't let you just go and do it without warning you what else you need to be ready for.
What else one gives up to go on the journey.
Oh, so what else do you give up? Nights, weekends, holidays.
Your world will become a series of data sets, line items on a P and L.
Everything broken down into basis points.
And your victories will not be the money, the thing that anybody can measure, but the stuff they can't begin to appreciate.
Looking beyond what's quantifiable, the subtle refinements, the elegance of success.
I'll quit the catering company.
Then buy it.
Turn it over to my friends.
Nice gesture.
They won't appreciate it.
But at least you'll know you did a good thing for them.
Your real friends, few as they may be, will get it.
And the ones that don't, don't have the capacity to be the kind of friend you need.
So instead of friendship, you have to use work to fill the void? I guess I do.
Thanks for this.
Yeah, he was in town.
I figured he'd dig the work.
This is really good work, man.
I dig yours.
You know, maybe you want to commission one.
I spend most of my money on guitars - but I'm thinking about it.
- Yeah, good.
Hey, you want to come by my place tonight? I'm having my team by for a special viewing party.
Oh, no, thank you.
I-I don't ever really feel comfortable around the financial set, right? Oh, yeah.
But there there are some upsides.
Only thing that sounds worse is hanging out with record label executives.
Especially when I'm trying to work.
I just want to do my thing.
I don't want to be somebody's trick monkey.
Anyway, thanks for showing me this stuff.
Really good.
Really inspirational.
Oh, thanks.
- Hey see you in a bit.
- Yeah.
Does the paint get on your stuff? Or do you like, add it? Tuk, you shouldn't bother the man.
He doesn't like small talk.
What what, uh, what is it that you're trying to ask? I just dropped 10K on this Gucci jacket to wear out to clubs, but but now I'm thinking if I splash some paint Oh, Tuk.
Yeah, you really shouldn't do that.
You'll just ruin your jacket, loser.
The artist thing works for him because he's an artist.
Get your own game, like buying the girl the $10,000 jacket.
Maybe you'll get some gratitude points.
Oh, Tuk.
I heard we had to watch this thing.
My friends were going out and I didn't know where else to go really.
Do you mind? Mr.
Ambassador, your habiliments.
All right, everyone.
You are gonna like this.
He's a self-made billionaire, an advocate for the environment and our future, a man who asks the tough questions about inequality.
But to paraphrase Balzac, behind every great fortune, there is great cruelty.
And in the case of Mr.
Prince, exploitation and betrayal.
Over the next part of the hour, we will explore a fortune stolen and a legacy pilfered.
It's been hard.
It's been brutal, really, to watch the world celebrate this man and know the truth about what he did to my son, which is steal from him and destroy him.
You best hope you are not Dollar Bill's mission, because he will ride you down like Tombstone.
Dollar Bill! Dollar Bill! Anyone seen Tanner? No.
That fish? He went for the lure.
And he got hooked.
Fuck yeah! Pick up the company on the cheap.
Already done.
Pull Plaintif-Full's corporate charter, - their company by-laws.
- That is what I'm elbow deep in right now.
Why would Axe care about buying up a marginal shitbag operation that after our takedown has basically zero value? What are we missing? What angle? Not what angle, what asset.
The way they got away with a bunch of their unethical lending is doing it in-house.
They have a bank charter.
They have a fucking bank charter.
We just delivered Axe's bank.
You disappeared.
You weren't answering your phone.
Don't talk! Just saying hi.
Can I watch? You can stay, you can leave, you can do whatever.
You wanted pure? This is pure as I got! Make yourself a drink if you want.
You just let me work.

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