I recently interviewed Kurt Luchs, a humor writer whose works have been published by The Onion, The New Yorker, Slate and McSweeney's. He's the author of Leave The Gun, Take The Cannoli: A Wiseguy's Guide to the Workplace, a book that takes quotes from classic movies like The Godfather and TV shows like The Sopranos and translates them into business lessons. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview. In Part 1,we discussed Apple and Microsoft. Part 2 begins with a discussion of the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
Chris Hill: What about Warren Buffett? Is there a wiseguy equivalent to the wise old man from Omaha?
Kurt Luchs: You know, I hate to say it, but he reminds me a lot of Uncle Junior in The Sopranos. You look at him and you think, "Who is this guy? How did he ever get here? What did he do?" But obviously he must have done something right, so you don't want to diss the guy. You don't want to disrespect him or underestimate his accomplishments, but at the same time, he is such a goofball. You really can't put the two together.
Hill: All right, two more. Former businessman, now politician, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Actually, I shouldn't say "former" businessman. He's still a businessman and his net worth speaks to that as much.
Luchs: Gee, I don't want to get accused of anything, but he has got that Moe Green feeling to me. He really does.
Hill: You can picture him just going into a room and just demanding of people, "Do you know who I am?"
Luchs: I can see him slapping around Fredo, yeah.
Hill: And finally, Amazon
Luchs: This is totally unfair, but he is a Corleone, but not the right one. He is Fredo all the way.
Hill: Jeff Bezos is Fredo??
Luchs: Well, in his manner, you know? I think it is hard to take him seriously when he presents. It is a little bit like watching George W. Bush. Whatever is really going on under there, it presents a different face publicly. To me, he has got the image of a Fredo, even if I know he is actually much smarter than that.