Earlier this month, French industry minister Arnaud Montegourg wrote to Maurice (Morry) Taylor, the CEO of US tire company Titan International, asking him to consider buying a failed French tire factory.
Morry, whose nickname is "The Grizz" because of his bear-like no-nonsense approach to business, wrote back declining the offer. But Morry being Morry, a simple and polite "no, thank you" simply wouldn't do.
This is what he wrote:
The French, understandably, got a bit upset and blasted the businessman:
Mr Montebourg, who declined to comment on Wednesday, added his voice to a rising tide of outrage in the Gallic nation in a written response telling the Titan boss "your words, as extremist as they are insulting, show a perfect ignorance of our country."
He went on to point out that since Titan is "20 times smaller" than "French technology leader" Michelin, which is "35 times more profitable", Mr Taylor "could have learnt and gained enormously from a French base."
Morry, in turn, replied:
"The extremists are in your government, who have no idea how to build a business. Your government let the wackos of the communist union destroy the highest paying jobs [...]
"At no time did Titan ask for lower wages; we asked only if you want seven hours pay, you work at least six."
But he added: "France does have beautiful women and great wine. PS: My grandmother named my father after French entertainer Maurice Chevalier, and I inherited the name."
In a final flourish, he said: “I have visited Normandy with my wife. I know what we did for France.”
Stay tuned for the French reply!