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A Letter from Bill: 03.29.06

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William B. Harrison has been Chairman of the Board of JPMorgan Chase since December 31, 2005, parcel to the merger agreement whereby Bank One took over JPMorgan without seeming to do so. Mr. Harrison will be chronicling his experiences in retirement in periodic letters to Dealbreaker's Trip Paulson. Mr. Harrison has no awareness of his involvement in these letters.
Dear Trip,
A big bucket of thanks for your email last week. Gosh it's good to hear that the swelling has gone down, and that the dripping has stopped. In my experience there ain't just about a damn thing that a good steak and some vintage port can't fix, and I really do mean that.
And don't worry about how you got it or who gave it to you. What matters is that you had a great trip to Thailand, and now you're better.
Barbara is down in Palm Beach for the week, at the big pastel convention, and frankly I'm glad to have her out of the house. I woke up just a little past noon yesterday, and had our maid Lucia bring me my breakfast in bed. She makes a mean French toast! I grow fonder and fonder of her every day, Roger.
I know what you said, that she is sixty five and the mother of a large extended family, all of whom depend upon her monthly remittances to stay above the poverty line. I do understand that. But it gets so lonely here some mornings and then she brings me pancakes made in the shape of my initials.
And I can't help but want to be held by her.
"Lucia," I say, and hold out my arms. "Why don't you curl up, and I'll tell you about the time that I got paid twenty million dollars for paying forty billion dollars for nothing at all..." Most women love that story. She just makes the sign of the cross and scurries away. You know what?
That's when I want her most badly.
Dr. Shapiro says it's a fixation, because my mother never loved me and Lucia reminds me of my wetmaid. But I keep tellin' him that I can't but hardly ever remember my wetmaid, because I was just a little one.
He just smiles and says, 'Exactly.' I say, "Exactly what?" And he says, "Who are you really fooling here Bill?" I say, "Golly, I don't know, that' s why I asked you." And then he looks at me and says "Exactly," again. It makes my back hurt.
Well, I've got a Merck board meeting tonight. Or maybe it's a Pfizer. I don't know. But the driver's outside and I've gotta get going. Oh, and don't worry about my back. I'm on this Vioxx stuff now and have never felt better. Damned if it doesn't go down like sugar with a little bit of bourbon!
Your friend,


Photo: Bob Riha Jr/Getty Images

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