Blackstone is the leading washing machine for getting money out of China. This is what you get when the money isn’t worth the money. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-24/blackstone-nearly-triples-money-on-seaworld-amid-controversy
Le Cirque has filed for bankruptcy. I’m sad for my friend Sirio. When the joint left Mayfair House on 65th St. it started to lose its mojo. I never went to the new premises in the Bloomberg building – by then the restaurant had moved out of my pay grade.
Peggy Noonan https://www.wsj.com/articles/high-anxiety-over-health-care-reform-1490391401
You do wonder where the so-called “MSM” (Mainstream Media) are when matters like this are building, moving from excess to crisis to potential catastrophe. Chasing down our demented president’s tweets, that’s where. Like Trump and Bannon, I see MSM as the enemy, not overtly, as they do, but because of criminal neglect. They tak about themselves as “guardians,” but what do they think they’re supposed to be guarding? https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-24/pension-crisis-too-big-for-markets-to-ignore
As I never watch Fox News, I found this by turns amusing, enraging and enlightening: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/25/business/media/fox-news.html?emc=edit_ta_20170325&nl=top-stories&nlid=2476992&ref=cta&_r=0
My pal John Dizard on a matter that has worried me for some time. The great onrush of index funds threatens to turn markets inside-out when certain truths become self-evident, principally that the lunch may be free but you’ll pay for it afterward in the loo. When index funds have to “rebalance” on the sell side: watch out! Here’s how John puts it: Short term asset price declines have been reversed by the wall of money coming out of active investment managers and into the accounts of low-cost index products. But this comes at the expense of making the eventual decline in a broad range of asset values not just painful, but catastrophic. https://www.ft.com/content/d724d0c2-0fe6-11e7-b030-768954394623
I cant help thinking that, as much as this change of regime signals economic disparity it’s also about that classic campus opposition, jocks v nerds.
Today being Sunday, let’s talk about the NYT, whose beginning-of-the-week edition grows thinner, as much intellectually as physically. It’s obvious that the former is probably a consequence of the latter, but what the hell, life is what it is… What I find curious about Sunday NYT is that its stories frequently don’t supply information that a truly interested, heart-of-the-matter reader wants. Here’s what I mean. Today’s Biz section includes a long piece about Amazon’s ventures into bricks-and-mortar retailing, starting with bookstores with plans for convenience and grocery units. This would pretty much replicate AMZ’s online growth: books first, everything next. But what I want to know is: in the bookstores, what are AMZ’s prices? I’m a heavy AMZ customer, and what makes me one are prices, availability and convenience. If I walk into one of AMZ’s freestanding stores, I don’t expect to find the availability they offer online; as for convenience, it’s pretty much a function of the store’s location relative to where I live and work. The nut of the issue is price. Does NYT‘s account touch on this? Of course not. Why?
OK, turn next to “Sunday Sports” and a lead account of Gonzaga’s rise to NCAA basketball supremacy. The story reports that several players on this year’s powerhouse arrived at Gonzaga this year. Interesting. What I want to know is: which players, where are they from, how come Gonzaga, how many are “one and done”? On all of these points, NYT Sports is silent. Fortunately, thanks to the indispensable Phil Mushnick at the NY Post, I can report that the Gonzaga squad includes players from Japan, Poland, Denmark and France.
Finally, as I said to my wife, “You know, by Sunday I feel I’ve read most of the paper.” We get the print edition to feed my wife’s KenKen and puzzle addiction and my habit of reading every Death Notice everyday, not out of morbid curiosity, but as an essential reminder of other lives, other relationships that more than any earthly power oblige me to remember that the world isn’t all about me.
One final note: The AMZ story speaks of the company’s possible diversion into furniture stores and, almost as a throwaway line, refers to Virtual Reality. I can see how these might work together. Let’s suppose I want to buy a sofa. I take a photo of the room it’s going in with my smartphone. Then I go to AMZ and, plug my phone into a VR setup that allows me to try out various sofas in the very setting that I intend the couch to occupy.
Considered as a receptacle for self-regarding stupidity and pseudo-moral exhibitionism, the Internet seems depthless, but this tests its capacity. Beyond and beneath comment, except to note that I don’t recognize a single name among those attacking Ms. Schutz – and for very good reason, I expect. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/art-world-split-dana-schutz-controversy-902423?utm_campaign=artnetnews&utm_source=032517daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=from_&utm_term=artnet%20News%20Daily%20Newsletter%20USE
Indeed he is, indeed he is. Why I dig Michael Hudson. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/03/105083.html Here’s a taste: (The Democrats) preferred to lose with Hillary than to win behind Bernie Sanders. So Trump’s electoral victory is their legacy as well as Obama’s. Instead of Trump’s victory dispelling that strategy, the Democrats are doubling down. It is as if identity politics is all they have.Trying to ride on Barack Obama’s coattails didn’t work. Promising “hope and change,” he won by posing as a transformational president, leading the Democrats to control of the White House, Senate and Congress in 2008. Swept into office by a national reaction against the George Bush’s Oil War in Iraq and the junk-mortgage crisis that left the economy debt-ridden, they had free rein to pass whatever new laws they chose – even a Public Option in health care if they had wanted, or make Wall Street banks absorb the losses from their bad and often fraudulent loans.But it turned out that Obama’s role was to prevent the changes that voters hoped to see, and indeed that the economy needed to recover: financial reform, debt writedowns to bring junk mortgages in line with fair market prices, and throwing crooked bankers in jail. Obama rescued the banks, not the economy, and turned over the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to his Wall Street campaign contributors. He did not even pull back from war in the Near East, but extended it to Libya and Syria, blundering into the Ukrainian coup as well. My novel Fixers deals with this, which may explain why NYT and other Obama whores wouldn’t review it. The more I think about it, as is suggested toward the end of Fixers, the more I’m convinced that the only cure for the oligarchic pestilence that ails us is a guerrilla movement, possibly ex-Special Ops, that engages in a program of targeted assassination with the objective of scaring – “You may be next” – these Wall Street and Silicon Valley c**ks***ers into behaving like human beings. There’s more to noblesse oblige than overtipping the headwaiter. And the only force on earth more powerful than money is a bullet.
On “60 Minutes” watching Scott Pelley interview a guy who circulates fake news. Pelley tries to be reasonable. But what needs to happen is for someone to walk onscreen and beat this sonofabitch to death with a baseball bat!