Traitors

Synopsis


 

The quintessence of a privately held W.A.S.P. investment firm, Chandler Brothers is run with the iron yet wrinkled fist of the 92 year old Angus Chandler. A dinosaur, Angus represents the exaggeration of bigotry and mindless venality much more prone a century ago on Wall Street. Timothy Chandler, his grand nephew, runs the principal invest6ingl division, crippled by the mortgage meltdown. Delbert Anthony Shobic represents the kind of “Wall-Streeter” one can detest. He runs trading, the firm’s most profitable division. He detests the name Delbert, thus going by the moniker “Shobic”. Kimberly (know to all as Kim) is a shapely, modern woman who really knows how to transact and has sexually bonded to Shobic, a tactic she will come to regret. Eunice serves as Angus’s administrative assistant and is involved in a clandestine liaison with Timothy. She also advises Kim in Kim’s journey. Into this is brought Ephraim Wittenstein, the “new Jew”, who is orthodox. Hired as the most brilliant investment “quant”, Ephraim is the first Jew to ever work for Chandler Brothers, landing on the trading desk run by Shobic.

Cantankerous and irascible define Angus, yet in the most “waspily” well intentioned way. On the trading desk, Ephraim astounds Shobic and Kim with his sublime mastery of the markets. Ephraim has also secretly amazed Kim, that he’s so cute, so nice and so good with investments.

The need for the 92 year old Angus to establish a method to succeed him running Chandler Brothers hangs over the scene. Angus lambastes Tim for the lack of productivity in the division he runs while floating the “threat” that Shobic will succeed him as the trading division is the most profitable at the firm. To work at a firm run by Shobic is not a destiny of choice for Tim. Eunice also figures in Tim’s world. She is Angus’s “girl” (read: secretary) with whom Tim is having an affair. Tim can’t commit and go public with the relationship, lest it harm his chance to succeed Angus.

Periodically, Angus is joined by two of his elderly friends in a poker game. Their pretense is to invite Ephraim to join them as their further embrace of what they think is affirmative action. Ephraim is excited to join them and utilizes his quantitative wizardry to wipe out Angus and his friends, literally winning piles of money from them. But it is Friday night and Ephraim’s Jewish orthodoxy requires him to attend Shul. His abrupt departure instigates a series of anti-Semitic epithets from the elderly trio which results in Angus suffering a heart attack and dying. This ends the first act.

The second act is framed by Angus’s “rites of succession”. Whichever employee is the largest Profit Center over the stated period will be the new Chief Executive. Chandler Brothers is thrown into a maelstrom of dishonor which manifests in, among other things, manipulation of the computer systems to insure one be the largest Profit Center. Tim avails of Eunice to “break into” the company IT system and play with the numbers. Shoibc, being no stranger to numbers manipulation, does the same. But neither can gain entry “on line” as it is password protected by their accountant, Scudeen & Shrive. Shobic’s liaison with Brenda, the shapely striver from lower Middle Class Queens comes to light, alienating Kim. The growing affection between Kim and Ephraim runs into the inhibitor of Ephraim’s Jewish orthodoxy. This, however, will waver but not dissolve. He seeks wisdom from Ezra, his longtime spiritual counselor who perceives Ephraim’s internal conflict and understands how Ephraim will deal with it.

The climax is the conclusion of the period as prescribed in the “Rites of Succession”; where revealed is the identity of the largest Profit Center, thus Angus’s successor. Also revealed here is that two separate individuals tried to break into the system and doctor the numbers. This inflames Bryce Shrive, the firm’s chief CPA/auditor, that people have tried to doctor the “precious numbers”. With the aura of the moment muddled by accusation and counter accusation of the underhanded behavior used to be illegitimately represented as the largest Profit Center, it is revealed that Ephraim has been. Thus is he chosen to be the firm’s new Chief Executive. In response to the unending deceit and greed that he observed, Ephraim refuses the position and exits. Kim insists she go with him and they exit together...

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