Michael Corleone: “My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.”
Kay Adams: “Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.”
Michael Corleone: “Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?”
— The Godfather, Part I
A true family is a group of people who invest in each other’s skills and future. Within such a family, no person is expendable.
Throughout history, financial wealth has been organized around families. Many of the powerful institutions in our society, in fact, represent intergenerational pools of capital -– for example, the Bechtel Corporation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Glenmede Trust Company
If we are to build a strong economy, it will be made up of strong families. Either families in the traditional sense, or families that we create. Many of us are members of families that, like the Corleone family in The Godfather series, have been torn apart by the manipulation of our ambition, greed, and naivete by powerful financial and business interests. Husbands and wives are turned against one another. Children and parents disappoint each other and grow apart. Sibling rivalry threatens family interests.
Most of us assume that The Godfather films — Part I, Part II, Part III — are movies about an organized crime family. The reality is that we all live inside The Godfather’s world. The Godfather series has much to teach us about navigating in our current environment:
- The double-binds that families and businesses face in the real economy
- The stresses that this places on marriages and children
- How we can reduce the risk of being manipulated and turned against one another
- The important role played by churches, foundations and tax-exempt organizations in controlling and managing intergenerational wealth
- The interconnectedness of street crime to the board rooms of global corporations to the financial markets that trade their securities
In this week’s Solari Report our focus is on “Let’s Go to the Movies.” I have prepared a special report on how The Godfather series can help you understand the risks you and your family manage today and what this means to building real wealth in your household and business.
Note: Solari Report subscribers can now listen to Catherine’s discussion of this topic via MP3 recording. You can subscribe monthly or annually here.