Thursday, 28 October 2010

Who is Todd Combs?

Who is he, this Todd Combs? Isn't he Puff Daddy's brother or uncle or something? Whatever. I know he had his own hedge fund. Anyway, Warren Buffett has just taken him on at Berkshire Hathaway. People are saying Todd will run Berkshire Hathaway one day, once Warren has joined that great investment firm in the sky.

O Master, what great investment firm in the sky? Is this a Big Herb thing?

O my child, don't worry about it. Oh, Todd Combs! I remember Todd Combs. Yes, Castle Point Capital, of course! How could I forget?

O Master, do you know him, then?

Well, not really. I once tried to get into Castle Point's office, but ... couldn't quite manage it.

Oh. What was the problem?

It was late in the evening when I arrived. The village was deep in snow. Castle Point's office was hidden, veiled in mist and darkness, nor was there even a glimmer of light to show that it was there. On the wooden bridge leading from the main road to the village I stood for a long time gazing into the illusory emptiness above me.

Right. So why didn't you just go in?

Well, I went on to find quarters for the night. The inn was still awake, and although the landlord could not provide a room and was upset by such a late and unexpected arrival, he was willing to let me sleep on a bag of straw in the parlour.

Oh, that was nice of him!

I certainly appreciated it. I was in a warm corner, the peasants were quiet, and letting my weary eyes stray over them I soon fell asleep. But very shortly I was awakened. A young man dressed like a townsman, with the face of a trader, his eyes narrow and his eyebrows strongly marked, was standing beside me along with the landlord. The young man spoke to me, saying: 'This village belongs to Castle Point Capital, and whoever lives here or passes the night here does so in a manner of speaking in the Castle Point office itself. Nobody may do that without Todd Combs' permission. But you have no such permit, or at least you have produced none.'

What did you say?

Well, I had no idea whether what he said was true. I just asked him if I really needed a permit to sleep on a bag of straw on the floor of some grotty inn.

Nice one! What did he come back with?

He said: 'One must have a permit,' and with an ironical contempt for me stretched out his arm and appealed to the others, 'Or must one not have a permit?'

What a cheeky git! No doubt you told him to piss off.

I just said to him: 'Well, then, I'll have to go and get one,' yawning and pushing my blanket away as if to rise up. Then he asked me: 'And from whom, pray?'

Pray?! What a ponce!

I said: 'From Todd Combs. That's the only thing to be done.'

How did he take that?

'A permit from Todd Combs in the middle of the night!'


I said, coolly: 'Is that impossible? Then why did you waken me?'

Oh boy. Then what?

Oh, he flew into a passion. 'None of your guttersnipe manners! I insist on respect for Todd Combs' authority! I woke you up to -' Blah blah blah.

What happened in the end?

Well, he went off, eventually; and I was able to spend a few days at the inn. But I never got a chance to enter Castle Point's office, let alone meet Todd Combs.

What a shame!