Presented below are a narrative story and poems of cathartic release that have been published and cover how MorganStanleyGate began, along with its impact, which has transmogrified over time.
This recounts the day MorganStanleyGate began, its impact and an expression of hope for the future, and is titled "An Autumn Day Like No Other". It was written in 2008, and published the same year by Intertel.
The poems are presented in two formats: traditional and haiku. The Countermand of Valor is a more traditional in structure, which was written in April 2004 and published by Mensa in 2005. It was inspired by The New York Times' declaration of "National Poetry Month" and encouragement of its readers to write a poem. Doing so was timely, and personally therapeutic for Mr. Young as it was a cathartic release from the stress thus caused byMorganStanleyGate, which at the time was beginning to exact a significant toll on Mr. Young's family. The Japanese haikus were written in 2010 and were similarly a cathartic release from the unrelenting travails of MorganStanleyGate. This type of poem follows a strict format of three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables, and interpretations have also been included.
An Autumn Day Like No Other
by Spencer C. Young
(Published by Intertel in 2008)
It’s Wednesday, November 20, 2002 – the alarm clock blares at 4:15 am. No need to hit the snooze button – bounding from bed is effortless. Despite a “down year” on Wall Street, I’m upbeat – had a career year; my three sons, “Michael” (age 16), and twin 14 year-olds (“Kevin” & “Ryan”) are developing into fine young men; my marriage of 19 years to “Maria” is strong; and I’ve got a large circle of friends. For past five years, my income has been seven figures, diversified in investment banking earnings, commercial real estate and securities investments.
Our Long Island residence was featured in HOME magazine, and a frisky black-nosed cotton ball scurries its hallways – “Casey”, our four-legged “daughter” is a bichon-frise…with attitude. The NBA hoop in the driveway hosts competitive and occasionally blood-producing basketball games, and the backyard touts an oft-used lacrosse goal and backstop-net for errant shots. My sons have learned to swim, sail, and play tennis at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, and I’m a charter member of the Cornell Club in Manhattan, where I take clients for lunch. Our vacations are enjoyed at opulent resorts.
Dressing for work, I reflect on my good fortune, for which I am grateful, and realize Thanksgiving is next week – my favorite holiday, where our extended family congregates for a feast, football, and my always evocative Thanksgiving prayer (“Hey, will this go much longer? – my food’s getting cold”). This realization triggers a humbling feeling of satisfaction – life is good. Checking my watch, “the 5:15” is still possible. En route to train station, the radio-weatherman prognosticates “sunny and beautiful” weather.
Today, we’re launching the third IQ® securitization, firmly establishing an innovative commercial-mortgage-backed-security I had developed and trademarked – intrinsically worth $250 million…so I’m “pumped”. As Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, I have been promised “a promotion” for this product development, and an “outsized bonus” for the largest ever farm-loan monetization, scoring this year’s largest transaction fee for the Securitized Products Group (“SPG”). I reflect on what “the number” might be – should be finding out in a few weeks – and the funds will hit my account in January – might be my best ever.
I’m first to arrive on the trading floor, sans FX traders around the corner, allowing me quiet hours to plan the IQ®-4 deal for next quarter, and strategize the initiative I was asked to head up in December – marketing ALL securitized products to middle market banks throughout the U.S.
Deep in thought, a fellow I didn’t recognize, quips with a measured tone of gravitas, “Mr. Young?...Mr. Tufariello would like to see you…immediately”. Strange, when a speedy “Spence,-Tony-wants-ya” is the norm. I’m also wondering why the Head of SPG–Americas (i.e., my boss’ boss’ boss) wants to see me.
Tony’s office is dark and unoccupied – curious. I notice glum faces – surmising a manifestation of downsizing rumors. I’m concerned for others . . . not me, though – had a “banner” year; promised a promotion and outsized bonus; had a strong client following; asked to head important initiative; and year-end reviews from junior staff (strongly weighted because deemed free of political agenda) were strong – e.g., “an inclusive team player”, and “one of the nicest guys on the trading floor”.
Introspective self-assurances are interrupted by an asset-backed trader: “Tony’s meeting with those people in conference room J!” An enigmatic locution – for that’s at the other end of the building, and just what does “those people” refer to? A sinking feeling sets in. Upon arrival, Tony has a contorted ornery expression, sitting next to an expressionless Personnel rep. I’m stunned as he tersely reports my “position has been discontinued” and that I should “collect my belongings” and be “out of the building in 15 minutes”. Security thugs resembling NFL linemen escort me.
The Aftermath of “No’s”
This nightmare then transmogrified…and continues – a précis ensues:
⇨ No Bonus – Nothing;
⇨ No Promotion – Shown the door;
⇨ No Discussion – My overtures for an equitable parting are rebuffed
⇨ No Job – Numerous offers revoked with spurious explanations;
⇨ No Marriage – Chronic ensuing stress ends a 24-year marriage;
⇨ No Health – Shortly after divorce, Maria is diagnosed cancer;
⇨ No Safety-Net – Maria’s health insurance is lacking;
⇨ No Family – A once close-knit family becomes entirely dysfunctional;
⇨ No Relationships – Father-Son relationships are estranged;
⇨ No Action – Maria resists selling home, so foreclosure results;
⇨ No Home – Maria and sons now reside in cramped apartment;
⇨ No Dog – Apartment rules forbid;
⇨ No Credit – Foreclosure and Maria’s debts from denial of the fiscal reality destroyed my credit;
⇨ No Refi – Banks reneged on commercial real estate refinancing, sending everything into a tailspin;
⇨ No Attorneys – Attorneys failed to prosecute claims, resigning just before hearing, others do similarly;
⇨ No Due Process – NASD orchestrated dismissal of claims on eve of hiring replacement counsel
⇨ No Policing – Disciplinary Board declined prosecuting obvious malpractice
⇨ No Collections – Attorneys drag feet collecting mounting rent arrears
⇨ No Investigation – FBI and NYC District Attorney are non-responsive
⇨ No Discovery – MS Counsel (Kirkland & Ellis) failed to comply with 91% of the discovery request
⇨ No Support – I’m prevented from supporting my dependents, causing unimaginable pain and suffering
⇨ No Resources – Real estate investments have been destabilized by sabotage, depleting resources;
⇨ No Friends – Reactions to my precipitous fall leads me to realization I seem to have no true friends
⇨ No Respect – Smear campaign featuring over 50 disparaging articles denigrates me
⇨ No Truth – These travails result from fraud, corruption and prevarication
⇨ No Rights – This travesty is a mockery of my constitutional rights …
⇨ No Dignity – …And an assault on my dignity
⇨ No Justice – The justice system and law enforcement have magnanimously failed
While heartened by Barack Obama’s election and promise of “Change We Can Believe In”, efforts to overcome this injustice have heretofore been met with “No-You-Can’t!”.
If these misdeeds are merely investigated, and those in a position to assist, actually do, a powerful force of truth and productive achievement will be unleashed and propagate “the timeless spirit of a people who say – ‘Yes We Can!’ ”… and then the pain may finally ebb.
(Written by Spencer C. Young in 2010)
A haiku is a type of poetry that originated from Japanese culture. It follows a specific format of three lines that do not rhyme, with the first line containing five syllables, the second line containing seven syllables and the third line containing five syllables. The haikus that follow were influenced in part by an aphorism by Carl Jung, a sanskrit proverb of Zen, and a simple call to arms originated by Winston Churchill and later embraced by Jimmy Valvano.
The haikus that follow are germane to MorganStanleyGate, and collectively reflect Mr. Young's resolve to resolve this scandal, expose those responsible and end the nightmare for his family once and for all -- and do so in a manner such that countless others will benefit.
Once upon a time
I celebrated living,
which I now yearn for
[This reflects the sadness of no longer having a family to celebrate life with because it has been decimated by the malicious acts of others -- and very much wanting to get this back]
know your dreams for tomorrow
but enjoy today
[Cast away sadness by: ruminating on the joyful memories of your past; being clear about your plans for a better tomorrow; and celebrating that which is good in your life today.]
Your dreams can be reached
only through introspection
and focused effort
[To make your dreams come true, you must honestly evaluate your progress, constantly refine your approach, and continue your pursuit with unwavering focus.]
Great things come from strife
while darkest before the dawn
just never give up
[Although you may experience overwhelming pain and suffering, and all glimmers of hope appear gone forever, don't you dare quit, because history has shown that the greatest events and achievements that serve the multitudes are born out of such strife.]
By Spencer C. Young
(Published by Mensa in 2005)
Why cast invectives o’er horizons to sea 1
Whilst Polymath Aegis lures patrons, thee? 2
Entrée vengeance, avarice to Dyad most trepid o’er shadows 3
Elixirs to the genesis of Machiavellian gallows 4
Spelunkers’ plans transcend darkness to bliss 5
Casting leeward sojourns toward deeper abyss 6
Pontificating artifice cloaked as vaunt merit 7
Obfuscate plagiary, in barrister Sanskrit 8
Despots’ de nouveau notorious vice 9
Propagate – now profligate the bastions entice 10
Ne’er a conscience revet Draco waves 11
Turn patrician forefathers’ incessantly, graves 12
Translations by Verse:
1. The protagonist [Spencer C. Young] is vexed by the confluence of fabricated attacks on his professional competence and integrity
2. This is an especially perplexing response to the protagonist’s creation and establishment of a trademarked brand of product that connotes erudition by those who buy it, and celebrates the creativity embodied in this high quality product (called “EC®”), enabling it to become the most successful proprietary brand of its kind, and a magnet for new clients, thereby creating tremendous incremental wealth for the Firm [Note: in this case EC® represents the IQ® franchise]
3. The debilitating forces of revenge, job insecurity and greed created by the long shadows of the protagonist’s successes are later elucidated as the motivations of two primary perpetrators
4. The collaboration of the perpetrators, one driven by revenge[John Westerfield], the other by insecurity[Warren Friend], and both by greed, gestated a malicious initiative intended to hang the protagonist in the public square of the industry.[i.e., Morgan Stanley's smear campaign]
5. The sinister perpetrators clandestinely devised their lowly plans (metaphorically akin to terrorists plotting an invidious attack, and having to move about an extensive network of caves to prevent detection), and then ingratiate themselves with those like-minded for their ability to carry out their fallacious conspiracy with apparent aplomb [i.e., the employment-related fraud of firing Mr. Young, while Mr. Friend takes credit for Mr. Young's accomplishment ]
6. The fabricated reasons to originally impugn the protagonist are then trumped by the perpetrators’ carefully administered plan of incessant character defamation in order to preserve the portentous value of the EC® brand and related franchise, and in turn, their own wealth.
7. One of the perpetrators contemptuously takes credit for the creation of the EC® brand, as well as other accomplishments of the protagonist, while feigning no involvement in the insolent actions taken against the protagonist.
8. The misinformation is then amplified in legalese [Morgan Stanley's filed response to Mr. Young's Claims contained 97 bold-faced lies], which is metaphorically described as being scripted in an ancient language to further obfuscate the truth about the true progenitor of the EC® brand, and the intentions of the perpetrators in their procacious intellectual theft and breach of good faith
9. Newly ensconced in a position of power (one new and the other newly regained), the perpetrators collectively abused the authorities thus vested
10. Emboldened by their success, others have been encouraged to support the canard with promises of advancement and pecuniary benefits, in exchange for their cooperation (and veiled threats of a similar fate, if they do not).
11. Although aghast at the protagonists’ sudden demise and ensuing treatment, fear of a similar reprisal mutes those who would otherwise speak out -- a form of employee blackmail that countermands the valor of those in the Firm and perhaps its industries, generally, as information travels quickly when a new management practice proves effective, despite the fact that the foundation of its application may be morally reprehensible.
12. The founding fathers of the perpetrators’ Firm [Morgan Stanley was once part of JPMorgan] long espoused conducting “first class business in a first class way”. While difficult to discern how prevalent these corrupt practices of workplace mobbing are, the actions taken in this instance alone are enough to have them “turning in their graves”.
This poem speaks to instances where the often respected character trait of personal bravery, historically brought to bear to redress injustice, can be quelled by the economic influence wielded by a corrupt few. This can foster the development of a subculture within an enterprise that operates in a manner wholly inconsistent with the vision of its founders. Condoned or undetected, if unmitigated, it procreates like a cancer into the very psyche of an organization, and potentially throughout the industries it operates in – risking the forbearance of rational, independent thinking that would in turn impede creativity and noteworthy achievement, ergo the bane of self-actualization for many.
This is somewhat consistent with the circumstances and dogma suffused in Ayn Rand’s epic novel, Atlas Shrugged – where a diabolical plan is foisted upon a populace to remove the greatest minds from the country. But there is one salient difference – to wit – in Atlas Shrugged, the world’s great thinkers consciously withdrew from society in the form of a strike (at first surreptitiously, and eventually with a brazen declaration) because its leadership undermined a once vibrant economy with rampant collectivism – punishing the productive and efficient, and concurrently rewarding the slothful and wasteful. By comparison, this poem recounts a situation where a great thinker, and architect of prodigious achievement is punished for his accomplishments by a surreptitious plan meant for the self-aggrandizement of a small, somewhat aristocratic group. Although individualistically employed, its effect spreads quickly and establishes an inherent rewards system where equivocation prevails at the expense of human progress and legitimate achievement. In short, leadership that is ignorant of the human need for self-actualization, or threatened by creative thinking can be parasitic to very the tours de force of mankind.
Cognizing this disturbing trend, the poem implores embracing valor to avenge instances of injustice, support personal achievement, and resist succumbing to countermand by economic ascendancy via implied or express hectoring. To quote Teddy Roosevelt: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, because they live in the great twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat”. This is the infectious esprit de corps the author most wants to engender.