Dear David Rockefeller,
I hate to bother a busy man like you but I am getting worried about Danny's $360 up there in Toronto. You probably don't know Danny but he's my oldest son and he's gone back to the university and he needs the $360 because he decided to take an extra course and had to move out of his old apartment. So George Arfeld, who is the niece Chase Manhattan man here in London, suggested that the best way to get Danny his money was for him (George) to wire the $360 from my Chase account to Danny's Toronto bank and we did that - back on Sept. 21. THe trouble is that by November, Danny's bank still hadn't got the money, and I think the man you sent out with thecheck by dog team from New York should be reported as missing or something.
Ordinarily, I wouldn't call your attention to just one transaction at Chase tht went awry because I knwohow involved you are with things like the Trilateral Commission and modern art in the Chase Manhattan PLaza and worrying about your oil companies and other good works. But just between us, depositor to chairman, I have an uneasy feeling you're not minding the store. You may remember that last Aug. 4, I sent Danny off with a check for $1,330 and it did not clear until the end of September, even though it was one of your cashier's checks.
Then, too, there is that little stock custody account I used to keep with you. Suddenly, in June 1975, my modest statement showed I was the proud possessor of 5,000 West Virginia Turnpike bonds and 6,200 shares of Loews Theatres, Inc. They certainly dressed up the statement but it wasn't me. Then in July you gave me 1,210 General Public Utilities; 300 American Brands, Inc.; 1,000 Bordern; 495 St. Regis Paper; 150 Amax; and 200 Abbott Laboratories. Ina final touch of summer madness in August, you threw in 400 Uniroyal, Inc. It was all very giddy until what Chase gaveth Chase tooketh away, and it must have given your bookkeeper almost as bad a time as it did me. I only hope that the IRS knows you didn't mean it.
After a decent interval, I moved my custody account elsewhere and your man Merrill Outslay was kind enough to say he was "sorry." In a final burst of largesse, you sent my new bank my closing balance of $662.50 - twice. You can tell your Ms. Oxendine I most certainly will sends me the $202.50, just as soon as she sends me the $202.50 Northern Natural Gas dividend she forget to mail.
All this must be seem pretty small potatoes compared to your big worries. I know you had to write off a lot of bad real estate loans this year, something like $100 million in the first half alone. I'm sorry you had such tough luck. Then there's that Chase Manhattan mortgage and realty trust you set up and advise. You can't have enjoyed watching its shares fall from 70 to 2, and I see the thing now has a net worth of minus $64 million. But there is one consolation. If I go $640 in the hole, no bank would do business with me. You've got an outfit that is 100,000 times worse off and it si still afloat. Finally, there's all that bum New York City paper youu bought, from an excess of local pride or excessive interest rates. Anywhere, I know you've got big headaches.
Some people say your troubles all stem from greed, from a reckless competition with Walter Wriston over at the Citicorp. But I know a Rockefeller can't be greedy and never competes. You remember when you were over at the London School for Economics and they taught you about the law of diminishing returns and then absolutely diminishing returns, about how extra imputs eventually yield progressively decreasing outputs until finally total output declines? I wonder if you fellows at Chase aren't in that box. I somehow think of you as an amiable herbivorous dinosaur, a large and clumsy brute, chewing the leaves of what's left of the elms down there in Bowling Green, not too bright, not too fast and prey for any carnivorous creature.
Anyway, I'm taking too much of your valuable time. But I would be grateful if 'you could find the man who's carrying the $360 to Danny in Toronto. His landlord and the bursar are getting impatient.
P.S. Since I wrote this in mid-November, there is good news and bad news to tell you. Danny did get his check - in late November, two months late. I hope the poor fellow who brought it isn't too tired. That is a long walk to Toronto.
The I got a nice letter from your Ms. Oxendine. She said "We did some additional checking" and found my Northern Natural Gas Dividend. So now she is only asking back $460 of the money you sent me twice. Please tell her I will get it to her just as soon as you send me my missing dividends for Alcoa, GM, EXXON, Panhandle Eastern Piper and AT&T. Right now I figure I'm giving you involuntarily an interest free loan. Frankly, I need it more than you. Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours.