ART CASHIN: Don't Ever Trust An SEC Agent Carrying A Violin Case

thompson machine gun violin case

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In this morning’s Cashin’s Comments, UBS’s Art Cashin issues a warning about guys who look like regulators.  He offers this warm and fuzzy story from 1929:On this day (+1…..which would be Valentine’s Day, of course) in 1929, a group of executives gathered for a mid-morning get-together.  Records do not indicate that coffee or buns were served.  Nor do they appear to indicate that the seven men gathered around the water cooler (maybe because there was no water cooler).

Anyway, seven top guys in “Moran Enterprises” were gathered in a non-descript Chicago garage.  Suddenly, the regulators appeared.  In this case the regulators were dressed in the uniforms of the Chicago Police.  So to comply with this surprise audit, these seven men, men who worked for George Moran Enterprises faced the wall and raised their hands (a standard audit procedure at that time).

This time, however, the regulators were not police.  Rather they were Al Capone’s hit men dressed as cops.  Instantly, they began firing Thompson sub machine guns (not standard audit equipment even at that time) at the backs of the seven gunsels from “Bugs” Moran’s gang.  After the initial burst, they checked the victims and put away any of those still moving.  Then they drove off.

From drive-up to drive-off the whole thing took less than eight minutes.  The bloodshed was so bad that one hardboiled reporter, from the Chicago City news, walked into the garage, and remarked “I got more brains on my feet than I got in my head“.  And he had a big head.

Thus, the event entered American popular mythology as the “St. Valentines Day Massacre”.

To celebrate attend a Conference on Market Neutral Strategies.  But, if some guys claiming to be from the SEC show up carrying violin cases, try to crawl out the restroom window.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at