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"It's Over for the Little Guy!"

posted by Buce

I get my Sopranos fix only in DVD, so just now got round to Episoide #73, where Patsy and Burt find that big corporate is ruining the collection business. The kid at the upscale coffee store tells them that there is no slippage because Seattle counts every bean and anyway, they won’t care about vandalism—to the store, or to him.  Later, the boys find that Jamba Juice has just bought the building  that houses Caputo’s poultry store (from Tony!).  “It’s over for the little guy,” laments Patsy. "What the f$#% is happening to this neighborhood?"

 It occurs to me that my friend Michael the collection lawyer has the same problem. “Used to be,” says Michael, “that there was a little hardware store in every town. They were always past due to somebody, and you could always kick them around a little. These days, it’s all Wal-Mart. One, Wal-Mart pays and two, if they don’t what are you going to do about it?”

Memories: Back during the Carter inflation, Sears decided they were getting killed on interest costs, so they notified all their suppliers they would no longer pay in 30 days but would pay in. Thank you and have a nice day. This was good for the business of bankrupting small Sears suppliers, I can tell you, sort of like what happens when the old lady swings onto the expressway and 28 miles an hour.

More Sopranos: Come to think of it, there is a good deal of collection law in the Sopranos. Setting aside the routine savage beatings, I recall Episode #72, where credit card pretty much pushes Artie over the brink.  I guess the best bankruptcy/Sopranos tie-in since Episode #23, where the merry pranksters take over Davey Scatino’s sporting goods store to use it as a bust-out joint. As Tony told Davey when he tried to join the executive poker game, "this game isn't for you." Am I forgetting anything?

Still More Sopranos:  For some general thoughts on how the Sopranos has lost its Mojo, see Underbelly.

Bankruptcy Postscript:  I think this is one more piece of the puzzle.    Teaser--the headline reads: "Bankruptcy Work Falls, but Megacases Still Provide Hefty Fees."


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