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Skulduggery in the Club Hot Lips, Hong Kong

Operation "Chow-mien" sees Ingersoll and Komarovsky at the Club Hot Lips and points east, on a quest vital to the bottom line.

JJ Ingersoll, our head of global focus, is telling me about a dinner he was at last week, at Keith Wu's Noodle Palace. At the end of meal, our esteemed chairman, Ace Iceberg handed JJ and everyone else a fortune cookie. Inside was one of his world famous memos. To: all general partners and limited people

Time: just after the duck course

Subject: why chow-mien will save the firm

JJ throws it across the desk to me.

"I decided this morning that cost control at head office has reached unprecedented standards in the history of any financial firm. The recent initiative to limit club-class travel to leap years looks sure to hit the firm's bottom line soon. But since my golf swing can no longer be improved on America's water-obsessed fairways, I am convinced that the only solution is to generate revenue in the world's biggest area of growth, Asia. It will be recalled that the firm's commitment to this region has been undinted, saving strategic withdrawals in 1902, 1954, 1982, 1988, 1990, 1993, and 1996.

Not surprisingly we have a name that people trust in the region. I intend to bolster this with an "integrity offensive" codename Chow-mien.

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