Antitrust and Infidelity

Antitrust and Infidelity

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Donald Quimby is a prosecuting attorney with the Federal Trade Commission. Judged a nincompoop by his colleagues, his quixotic quest in life is to bring big business to heel in a radical restructuring of the American economy. Though longing for a wife and family, he refuses to commit to any woman because of the locker-room concern he has with what he calls his shortcoming. Sandra Panatella is Mr. Quimbya€™s assistant. She is desperately in love with Mr. Quimby and believes he loves her back. Unaware of his psychological hang-up, she cana€™t understand why he refuses to take her in his arms to do a mana€™s business. Arnold Armentrout is a smart, hard-driving CEO of Apple-A-Day Packing, Inc., a fast-growing diversified food company. When the company was in financial peril some years back, he entered a conspiracy with Professor Charles Kozicki to rig the prices paid to the Pacific Northwest apple growers. (Professor Kozicki is an influential consultant to the Pacific Northwest Apple Growersa€™ Cooperative, a bargaining association.) Mr. Armentrout owes his position with the company to his marriage to the major stockholdera€™s daughter Louise. He is dissatisfied with his marriage in part because of his wifea€™s hearty appetite for no-frills sex. He longs for a love life with greater subtlety, tenderness, and beauty, where, he tells himself one day on the way to work, lovemaking is a bond not a bang. Steven Burt is an ambitious and conniving vice-president of Apple-A-Day Packing. He plots with his wife Peggy to destroy Armentrout and take over the company. The novela€™s characters collide when a corrupt U.S. senator, to placate a right-wing congresswoman from Idaho, with whom hea€™s having an affair, secretly pressures the Federal Trade Commission into filing a complaint charging Apple-A-Day Packing with attempting to monopolize the processed potato business. Donald Quimby is chosen to lead the prosecutorial team because the FTC leadership doubts that any of its other attorneys wold take charge of a case so devoid of merit. (The FTC has no knowledge of Arnold Armentrouta€™s conspiracy to rig prices paid to apple growers.) Arnold Armentrout is both enraged and terrified, enraged because he knows the charge against his company is bogus; terrified on the one-thing-leads-to-another principle. If the FTC prosecutors investigate his companya€™s position in the processed potato business, mightna€™t they find out about his conspiracy to fix apple prices? Which would likely land him in jail? When Donald Quimby and his team of prosecutors arrive in Seattle to take depositions, the Burts spring their plot to upend Mr. Armentrout. The lives of the novela€™s protagonists are soon strewn with confusion, guilt, broken hearts, and wounded pride. Solemn legal proceedings eventually give way to a comic wrestling match in which Quimby and Armentrout, confused but nonetheless fighting doggedly for the women they love, learn to bear lifea€™s desperation with both a little more understanding and a little less disquiet.Dick Hammond sat in his beata€”up Ford Taurus looking much better than he did after dropping a thousand bucks at Harraha#39;s casino. An inveterate photographer, he had at the ready his Nikon FSS camera sporting a manual 2, 000 telescopicanbsp;...

Title:Antitrust and Infidelity
Author:Peter Helmberger
Publisher:Xlibris Corporation - 2001-12-01


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