I'm talkin' about friendship. I'm talkin' about character.
I'm talkin' about--hell, Leo, I ain't embarassed to use the word--I'm talkin' about ethics.
. . . You know I'm a sportin' man. I like to make the
occasional bet. But I ain't THAT sportin'.
When I fix a fight, say--if I pay a three-to-one favorite to throw a goddamn fight--I figure I got a right to expect that fight to go off at three- to-one. But every time I lay a bet with this sonofabitch Bernie Bernbaum, before I know it the odds is even up--or worse, I'm betting the short money. . .
The sheeny knows I like sure things. He's selling the information I fixed the fight. Out-of-town money comes pourin' in. The odds go straight to hell. I don't know who he's sellin' it to, maybe the Los Angeles combine, I don't know. The point is, Bernie ain't satisfied with the honest dollar he can make off the vig. He ain't satisfied with the business I do on his book. He's sellin' tips on how I bet, and that means part of the payoff that should be ridin' on my hip is ridin' on someone else's. So back we go to these questions--friendship, character, ethics.
So its clear what I'm sayin'?
It's a wrong situation. It's gettin' so a businessman can't
expect no return from a fixed fight. Now if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust? For a good return you gotta go bettin' on chance, and then you're back with anarchy. Right back inna jungle. On account of the breakdown of ethics. That's why ethics is important. It's the grease makes us get along, what separates us from the animals, beasts a burden, beasts a prey. Ethics. Whereas Bernie Bernbaum is a horse of a different color ...ethics-wise. As in, he ain't got any. He's stealin' from me plain and simple.
-Johnny Caspar, Miller's Crossing a film by Joel and Ethan Coen