Now easily available via the links at the top. Is that sufficient?
For now I’ll leave all comments in a discussion inline, but I’m still thinking about that…
“The two shoes were different sizes, they were fired too close in time to come from a single ‘shoe-thrower,’ and eyewitnesses thought it somewhat odd that there was a ‘grassy knoll’ inside a small room.”
Call it product placement. Across the Middle East, rival shoemakers have claimed it was they who created the footwear flung at U.S. President George W. Bush by an angry Iraqi and immortalised by TV cameras.
For many, reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi is a hero for the attack on Bush, and some of the glory seems to have rubbed off on the shoes that almost connected with the presidential head.
Suggestions have been made that they came from cobblers in Turkey or Lebanon — or, like most of the shoes in Iraq, are Chinese-made. But on Wednesday, the brother of Zaidi dismissed such reports:
“One hundred percent they are Iraqi-made shoes,” Udai al-Zaidi told Reuters. “His shoes are not Chinese, nor Turkish.”
Udai said they came from the Baghdad factory of Iraqi shoemaker Alaa Haddad, viewed as among the country’s best.
Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported Turkish businessman Ramazan Baydan had made the shoes and carried a front page picture of the design, alongside the headline “Made in Turkey.”
Baydan said he had designed the style in 1999, and orders from Iraq had increased by 100 percent since the Bush incident.
Austria: Lebensmensch — “most important person in your life.” The word took on a sexual connotation when Stefan Petzner used it after the death of Joerg Haider– leader of that nation’s far right — and acknowledged the two were one of those couples that could only be married in Massachusetts or Connecticut. By vote.
Holland: Swaffelen (won 57% of vote at a dictionary publisher web site). “to swing one’s penis, making it bump against something, in order to stimulate either oneself or someone else.” Runners-up: “wiiën” (playing on a Wii game console) and “bankendomino” (banks falling over like dominoes).
Note that “swaffelen” made it because of a website campaign by GeenStijl (who earlier had a Doritos snack named after them in a similar way, and who is now campaigning to have Sourcy name a new water after them. Marketeers never learn.
For the words of the year in the other mentioned languages, follow the link.
There is something so deliriously surreal about the SEC catching National Lampoon’s CEO allegedly engaging in stock manipulation, while missing the Madoff case, that I hardly know what to say.
As the legend goes, the scheme that would make Carlo Ponzi a household name occurred to Carlo when he was a young man. Carlo would sit on his front steps in Boston and watch his neighbors return home from a day’s work. It was during one of these daydreaming sessions that his innovation struck. Predictably enough, the first victim of what would become known as the Ponzi Scheme was Carlo’s friend Tony. Carlo made an intriguing offer: if Tony lent him $20, Carlo would return $30 in ninety days. “I’ll meet you right here and pay you 50 percent on your money.”
If only Tony hadn’t taken Carlo up on his offer. But he did.
A fascinating bit of history…
Time has named the Person of the Year 2008, although it looks like went to press before that guy threw his shoes at Bush, because he didn’t get it…
I have no sympathy for Madoff. But the fact is, his alleged Ponzi scheme was only slightly more outrageous than the “legal” scheme that Wall Street was running, fueled by cheap credit, low standards and high greed. What do you call giving a worker who makes only $14,000 a year a nothing-down and nothing-to-pay-for-two-years mortgage to buy a $750,000 home, and then bundling that mortgage with 100 others into bonds — which Moody’s or Standard & Poors rate AAA — and then selling them to banks and pension funds the world over? That is what our financial industry was doing. If that isn’t a pyramid scheme, what is?
Disgraced money manager Bernard Madoff’s suspected $50 billion fraud scheme looks set to burn even those who pulled their investments out long before the scandal rippled into the global financial system.
Such investors may have counted themselves fortunate, withdrawing their money years ago to buy a house or to pay for a daughter’s education, and may have even sighed with relief because they ended ties with Madoff long before the scandal erupted late last week.
But they, too, could face trouble, lawyers say. Because of a legal concept known as “fraudulent conveyance,” they could be forced to return their profits and even some of their initial investments to help offset losses incurred by others entangled in the long-running Ponzi scheme.
As the number of victims of Bernard Madoff, the criminally charged founder of the investment firm that bears his name, seems to multiply with the speed and force of a hurricane, certain types of investors seem to be absent — so far, anyway — from the casualty list.
That’s no accident, argues James Hedges IV of LJH Global Investments, a boutique firm that invests in hedge funds and private equity for high-net-worth families. In other words, score one for the big institutions that stick to standard rules rather than allowing their managers to invest on personal connections or hunches.
“There’s no Duke Endowment [among the list of Madoff investors],” Hedges says. “There’s no Harvard management, there’s no Yale, there’s no Penn, there’s no Weyerhauser, no State of Texas or Virginia Retirement system.”
The reason is simple, in Hedges’ view. Letting Madoff manage your money “wouldn’t pass an institutional-quality due diligence process,” he says. “Because when you get to page two of your 30-page due diligence questionnaire, you’ve already tripped eight alarms and said ‘I’m out of here.’ ”
“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system”
– George W. Bush
Andrew Ross Sorkin, in his latest DealBook column, examines a mysterious $138 billion loan the Federal Reserve extended to Lehman Brothers shortly after the investment bank went under.
While that recently released documents on the Fed’s decision say the loan was made to help unwind Lehman in an orderly fashion, Mr. Sorkin notes that the argument made by the Fed and the Treasury for letting Lehman collapse was that they didn’t have the authority to lend any money to the bank.
So why, Mr. Sorkin asks, did the Fed agree to do after Lehman collapsed what it refused to do before Lehman went bankruptcy, sending shockwaves through the financial markets?
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