The Algonquin Wits: George S. Kaufman on Manipulating Markets

“While entertaining musician-wit Oscar Levant at this new Bucks County home, George Kaufman offered his friend an engaging business proposition (based on Levant’s reputation as a noxious influence): ‘We’ll both walk through the main thoroughfares of Bucks County and I’ll have blueprints in my hand and this will lead people to think that you are going to build and settle down here. The local inhabitants will become panic-stricken and real estate will go down. Then we’ll buy, you won’t build, and we’ll clean up.’”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

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