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For Everything: Spin, Spin, Spin…

Oct
8
2003

He’s not the Terminator but San Francisco lawyer John Keker scored a few points Tuesday in his defense of Frank Quattrone.
Keker didn’t convince anyone that Quattrone was a complete patsy. The judge was unmoved, to be sure. But Keker did a good job of showing Brodsky to be, at a minimum, not terribly involved in what was going on at the bank.
Brodsky said he couldn’t remember a lot of stuff that, well, he probably should remember. He didn’t do a lot of stuff that he probably should have done.
Listening to Brodsky’s testimony, it was hard not to have the same reaction that I did when I first read of the CSFB investigation and the bank’s response. They were scrambling. Fast and hard. They were scared. So they were doing damage control where it counted, trying to slow down whatever investigations were coming at them as quickly as they could.
They weren’t in a hurry to tell employees what was going on because they knew — or guessed — that some would be found guilty. And the less the employees knew, the easier it would be for the bank.
So Brodsky holed up in meetings with his bosses looking for ways to protect the bank. He didn’t read his email. He didn’t call people as quickly as he should have because he could have given a damn about them. The bank was spinnning, spinning, spinning to the press.
It’s exactly what Quattrone’s public relations team has been doing since he left CSFB.
Every day, during breaks in testimony, after court has adjourned, Quattrone spokesman Bob Chlopak, a veteran of more than one presidential campaign with a smooth baritone and a fine poker face tells the press stuff it already knows. He diligently tries to inch on to the record Quattrone’s version of the story. He did that with this week’s Business Week account of the CSFB team’s departure from Deutsche Bank. Chlopak does a much better job of telling Quattrone’s story than Frank would do. He doesn’t loose his temper for starters. And like a good spin guru, it’s not personal. He’s one cool cat.
But he’s doing what CSFB used to do for Quattrone. So it’s a bit odd to stand in the hallway and listen to Chlopak then go back inside and listen — between the lines — as Brodsky talks about doing something similar for CSFB.
UPDATE: Wednesday after court, Keker gave Chlopak a nasty look and made the “no mas” sign as he walked by the press huddle. He walked down the marble hall toward the door and then turned the corner. But then he came back, breaking up the spin session.
Oh, and Bill Brady is in the house. He don’t look happy about it either. The Gang of Dickheads has grown to about a dozen, all clean-cut nice men (and a few women) sitting in the court’s church-pew benches (about as comfortable, too). They look worried.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 9:36 AM | Permalink

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