The Informant! (2009)
Mark Whitacre: When polar bears hunt, they crouch down by a hole in the ice and wait for a seal to pop up. They keep one paw over their nose so that they blend in, because they've got those black noses. They'd blend in perfectly if not for the nose. So the question is, how do they know their noses are black? From looking at other polar bears? Do they see their reflections in the water and think, "I'd be invisible if not for that." That seems like a lot of thinking for a bear.
Mark Whitacre: There are these butterflies in Central America. They're blue and orange and yellow and have poison in their wings,just enough to stop a bird heart. But the birds know this somehow, so they don't eat them. But there are other ones, butterflies, they're orange, blue and yellow too but no poison wings. They're just flying around, looking dangerous, getting by on their looks.
Mark Whitacre: Who'd make up someone named Regina? It's the capital of Saskatchewan.
Mark Whitacre: I've been to Tokyo. They sell little-girl underwear in the vending machines right on the main drag, the Ginza, or whatever. Guys in suits buying used girl panties. How is that okay? That's not okay.
Mark Whitacre: The liter bottle is the only thing that caught on because it's a nicer word, "liter" then "quart". Quart. Quart.
Mark Whitacre: Paranoid is what people who are trying to take advantage of you call you to get you to drop your guard!
Mark Whitacre: [voiceover] We took the kids one year to the Renaissance Festival in Indiana. You get to be the White Knight. The kids get to ride a horse and joust against the forces of darkness with a helmet on. And the White Knight always wins - the forces of darkness fall onto an old mattress. Someone plays a Lute and plays a song from Medieval Times. The day we went it was maybe 90 degrees out and the heat and humidity index I can't even remember what the radio said. We were next in line and the mare collapsed. Went down in a heap. Ginger was eating Ye Olde Drumstick and she dropped it in the dirt. The kids were crying. I remember this farmer saying he had a gun in his truck. Just like that. From the White Knight to a gun in the truck. They had everyone turn their backs before they put the animal down, but even if you couldn't see you could still hear. How do you get that back? How does that get to be fair?
Mark Whitacre: [on the phone] Well, they kept coming to the house and they only had ADM's side of the story.
Brian Shepard: You talked to the Wall Street Journal, Mark? What did you say? It's real important that you not talk to the press.
Mark Whitacre: Me? I told them I had no comment, but didn't matter, they already had the story, anyway. They already had it. Did you see my stipple portrait? It's pretty good.
Mark Whitacre: What if I just put out some hypotheticals. I'll talk about certain financial situations, and you guys can tell me if they're wrong, or how serious they might be. Okay, for instance, what if a company gave an executive a car, you know, a corporate car, and instead of driving that to work, he used his personal car, and gave his company car to his daughter. That be a problem?
FBI Special Agent Bob Herndon: That's it? That's hypothetical?
Brian Shepard: That shouldn't be a problem.
Mark Whitacre: Okay, what if it was a corporate plane, and the executive was using that for personal use.
FBI Special Agent Bob Herndon: Basically the same thing.
Brian Shepard: Maybe some IRS issues, but...
Mark Whitacre: Okay, what if it was standard practice at ADM for executives to regularly accept kickbacks in cash.
Brian Shepard: [stunned] How much money are we talking about, Mark?
Mark Whitacre: Well, Brian, hypothetically, $500,000.
Mark Whitacre: What's the German word for "corn?" The word in German I really like is kugelschreiber. That's "pen." All those syllables just for "pen."
Mark Whitacre: [voiceover] You know that orange juice you have every morning? You know what's in that? Corn. And you know what's in the maple syrup you put on your pancakes? You know what makes it taste so good? Corn. And when you're good and help with the trash, you know what makes the big, green bags biodegradable?
Mark Whitacre: [to his son] Do you?
Alexander Whitacre: Uh-huh. Corn.
Mark Whitacre: Corn *starch*. But Daddy's company didn't come up with that one. DuPont did.
Mark Whitacre: I read this study in Time magazine when I was at Cornell, which is an Ivy League school, and there were people, including my mother, who never believed I would make it into an Ivy League school. Maybe Ginger, who I met in marching in the eighth grade. And the study said people had nice, sympathetic feelings about people who were adopted, and treated them better. So I made up this adoption story, and people *did* treat me better. And when I got a job, one of my professors told people at Ralston Purina that I was this amazing guy that had accomplished all this in spite of being adopted. And so it was really *other* people who spread the story, not me. Although I admit it was wrong to start it and everything, it was other people who kept it going, even the people at ADM.
Terry Wilson: Well, there you have it, from Mark Whitacre, Ph.D. You know what the Ph.D. stands for, don't you? Piled higher and deeper.
Mark Whitacre: I don't like wool on skin. Not even that merino wool they have at Marshall Field in Chicago. Ginger likes it because it's formfitting, but she likes avocados. And who wants that texture in their mouth?
Mark Whitacre: It's not just lysine. It's citric. It's gluconate. There was a guy who left the company because he wouldn't do it. He was forced out. The gluconate guy, he's out of a job.
Terry Wilson: Did the Japanese have these kind of problems with lysine?
Mick Andreas: I don't give a shit about the Japanese. You just gotta get the Goddamn lysine bugs to eat the dextrose and shit us out some money.
Mark Whitacre: There should be a tv show about a guy who calls home one day and he's there, he answers, he's talking to himself, only he's someone else. He's somehow divided into two, and the second one of him drives away and the rest of the show is about him trying to find the guy.
Mark Whitacre: One of the Japanese guys told me a story. This lysine salesman is in a meeting with someone from ConAgra or some other company, I don't know. And the client leans forward and says "I have the same tie as you, only the pattern is reversed." And then he drops dead, face down on the table. Alive and then dead. Brain aneurism. Maybe everyone has a sentence like that, a little time bomb. "I have the same tie as you, only the pattern's reversed." Dead. The last thing they'll ever say.
Mark Whitacre: What do they pay Kirk? What does a guy like that get? I bet he gets a hundred grand. He's just gonna sit behind that desk and ride it into the future.
Mark Whitacre: Archer Daniels Midland. Most people have never head of us, but chances are, they've never had a meal we're not a part of. Just read the side of the package. That's us. Now ADM is taking dextrose from the corn and turning it into an amino acid called lysine. It's all very scientific, but if you're a stockholder, all that matters is corn goes in one end and profit comes out the other.
Mark Whitacre's Mother: Mark's been telling people that you and I were killed in a car accident and he was adopted by rich people? What do you make of that?
Mark Whitacre's Father: Hm. That's kind of weird.
Mark Whitacre: Mark Whitacre, secret agent 0014.
Rusty Williams: Why 0014?
Mark Whitacre: Cause I'm twice as smart as 007.
Mark Whitacre: This would be a great place for some outlet stores. People would come from all over southern Illinois, probably Missouri too. Famous name-brand labels and appliances at saving of up to 50 percent every day. Maybe a food court with a Mexican place. The birds eat the bugs, the cars eat the birds, the rust eats the cars, and the new construction eats the rust.