Easy Money

Notes from The Complaints by Ian Rankin

P.326

‘…But these days, people just want to sit back and let the money and all that goes with it find them. That’s not the way it works! There are businessmen out there…’ Wishaw made a stabbing motion with one finger, ‘who think money should come easy.’

‘Money from nothing?’ Fox guessed.

‘As good as,’ Wishaw agreed. ‘Buy a parcel of land, sit on it for a year and then sell at a profit. Or a house or a bunch of flats or whatever it might be. If you’ve got cash in a bank, you want to a double-digit rate of interest – doesn’t matter to you how the bank finances it. Money from thin air, that’s what it seems like. And nobody asks any questions because that might break the spell.’

‘Charlie …’ Wishaw calmed again, his eyes losing focus as he remembered the man he’d known. ‘Charlie was incredibly likeable – genial company, all of that. But he was product of his time. In a nutshell, he got greedy. That’s what it boils down to. He thought that money should come easy, and for the first few years it really did. But that can make you soft and complacent and gullible …’ Wishaw paused. ‘And stupid. Above all, it can make you incredibly stupid…yet for a while you’re still making money.’

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