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Showing posts from October 6, 2002
Remora On the subject of Iraq, the two major Washington newspapers, and the two major Washington journals of opinion (The Weekly Standard and The New Republic) are all loudly belligerent. While the WP and The New Republic are (reluctantly, inconsistently) "liberal" journals, and the Washington Times and the WS are boldly and bluntly conservative, they are all agreed that we have to go to war right now, and no fooling around. The Ithaca, New York city council has voted not to go to war with Iraq. That is an entirely appropriate step, since the war is less the U.S. versus Iraq than D.C. vs. Iraq. Rarely has one locale been able, by its own feverish will, to pull a whole country behind it. But D.C. has become a place of fevers; fevers from which the rest of the country suffers. Who wanted the years of impeachment? Who wanted Whitewater? D.C. Watergate, another D.C. fever, at least caught on in the rest of the country, so that by the time it was over, the whole country real
Remora Trailing distantly in the wake of the comet... Well, people are starting to wake up to LI's complaint about the lack of competition in the executive labor market. The Economist deigns , even, to notice that something is rotten in Coutersport -- although they assume the attitude of ingenues in a brothel: "The market is also characterised by extreme secrecy. Companies may run advertisements for technicians and accountants, but they rarely advertise the top job�and if word of a candidacy leaks out, the person concerned usually has no option but to rule himself out of the race. Mr Khurana argues that the search process, with its emphasis on confidentiality, restricts the hunt for potential candidates and puts enormous power in the hands of the recruiting firm. And, precisely because it is such a restricted and secretive market, it is bad at price-setting. Hence the immense sums that companies offer outsiders to persuade them to take the job, sums that then influ
Dope LI doesn't usually read the NY Press for pretty articles -- we skim the controversialists, and move on. But this week, there is a very nice little article about Writing in New York: and no, it isn't some damn take on Jonathan Franzen's earmuffs. It is about the very civilized sounding NY Society Library. Lincoln MacVeagh, the writer, is happy to indulge in the causerie that Joseph Mitchell perfected -- a NYC stroll among odd fellows. Well, we think that form is un-improvable. Here's the first three grafs: "Anthony Trollope didn�t need a writing desk; he was perfectly happy composing his novels in crowded train compartments. Not every writer possesses such power of concentration. Virginia Woolf insisted on several thousand pounds and a room of her own before she could get on with the job, and it�s my guess that most of us are more like Mrs. Woolf than Mr. Trollope. The trouble is, it�s not easy to find a room of one�s own. Manhattan apartments don�t
Remora Isn't this sweet? Outgoing senator Phil Gramm -- that's what all the news releases say -- is set to join UBS Warburg : ABC News announces it in the easy tones that embody the flow of senatorial personage to business personage and back: "Senator Phil Gramm will soon become vice chairman of UBS Warburg, the investment banking arm of Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS Warburg said on Monday.Gramm, who will take up the private sector post when his Senate term ends later this year, follows a well trodden path of key legislators who join top Wall Street firms. Gramm has been in Congress for 24 years, and co-authored far reaching legislation in 1999 that repealed a prohibition on companies offering banking, brokerage and insurance operations under one roof." Curiously, nobody connects a few dots. So Limited Inc will take up the pencil. How about this? 1. Wendy Gramm serves on the board of Enron. Preceding this nice little sinecure, she sits on the
Remora The chatter between members of the governing classes, up to June of this year, had been that Lula da Silva, the labor candidate for president in Brazil, had to be defeated. The threats became as thuggish as the manicured set gets. Here's what George Soros had to say : According to Rossi's reporting, published on June 8th in a major Brazilian daily newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, the markets believe that Luiz In�cio Lula da Silva (the leftist candidate, of the Workers Party, or PT, who is well ahead in the polls) will default on the debt payments if elected. Thus, says Soros, the markets are already betting against Brazil, specifically against the Brazilian currency, the real. If Lula indeed wins in the two rounds of the elections, scheduled to happen on October 6 and 27, the financial situation would be so dramatic that he wouldn't have any option other than defaulting on the debt. Faced with the intrinsic totalitarianism of such prophecy, Soros acknowledge