Best Of The Web
“The financial crisis slashed the value of America’s publicly traded companies, put a crater through household wealth, worsened an already-appalling racial wealth gap, sent wages for the bottom 70 percent of American workers plummeting, and fed, even through the years of superficial recovery that followed, the resentment and economic insecurity that allowed a figure like President Trump to prosper. But let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture: It was also great fun. It was exciting. Indeed for many of the main actors — the guys and (rarely) girls at the center of the action, pushing the buttons of stimulus and making fiat money rain — it was the best weekend of their lives. A weekend from which, of course, these actors emerged as heroes. Thankfully, the financial media’s commitment to Lehman weekend trivia has allowed us not to lose sight of this happy tableau. Risk and leverage and derivatives and all that stuff: Who cares about that? The real question the world needs the answer to is: What was Jamie Dimon wearing the exact moment when Barclays killed its deal to buy Lehman?
The 10th anniversary festivities reached a peak of nostalgification when Sorkin took to the stage at the Brookings Institution to interview Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Hank Paulson about their experience of crisis month. The band, literally, was back together, and with Sorkin’s giddy prompting, the memories flowed like lender-of-last-resort liquidity. During his time in public office Geithner had a reputation for being slightly crotchety, slightly impatient — a precious egghead with too-high hair — but on stage at the Brookings Institution, free to jam with Hank and Benny, his hair long having descended from the Krameresque heights it reached during the crisis, he was positively loose, man. He was funky. Paulson rambled and contradicted himself in that inimitable way that only he and Grampa Simpson can, and as for Bernanke? Well, he was the same as always: wise old Ben, the prof with the trim beard and encyclopedic knowledge of the history of counter-cyclical stimulus who could now afford to look back on the whole crisis thingy with a fond, Gandalf-like chuckle.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."
"This past weekend Melania Trump’s spokeswoman penned an op-ed for CNN in which she criticized the media’s unrelenting criticism of the first lady... Is it true that the media have a fixation on the first lady’s fashion sense?"
"Ultra-Orthodox Jews are smarter consumers, have interest-free loan funds, and are satisfied even if they are poor, the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs has found."
"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."
"For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash."
"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."
"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."
"Christopher Hitchens died seven years ago this Saturday, a decade after breaking ranks with onetime friend Gore Vidal and beginning a feud that symbolized major changes in left-wing politics."
"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."
"Have you eaten a Cheez-It sometime in the past eight years? If so, as they say on TV, call now because you may be entitled to compensation."
"An intelligent fish has stirred up a debate about how to measure self-awareness among animals—and what self-awareness even is in the first place."
"...either our youth walk out on Judaism or maintain a lukewarm relationship with Jewish observance; or, they become so obsessed by its finest points that they are incapable of seeing the forest from the trees."