The Corner

An Especially Strong Issue of New York Magazine

I am generally a fan of New York magazine but I thought this week’s issue was really good. First, there is a very nice article about John Stossel. We learn that he loves being around his coworkers at Fox, who actually like him, as opposed to his old coworkers at ABC. On the other hand, Fox does a lot of live TV, and it makes him very anxious.

“I grew up with a stutter and still don’t feel completely comfortable in live settings,” he says. “I’ve made my living editing, reediting, and figuring where to put the perfect punch line; here at Fox you have people who have been on radio talking for 8,000 years.”

Also, if you search the magazine’s website for “Stossel,” you will find out several other things about the man, such as: “John Stossel has an effigy of Barney Frank hanging above his sofa“; or “Stossel’s marriage would not survive without his mustache.”

Then, John Heilemann has a very good article called “Obama is from Mars, Wall Street is from Venus.” I don’t necessarily agree with everything he writes, but it’s a very good analysis of the dysfunctional relationship between the federal government and the financial industry. To my mind, the fact that there is a relationship is the source of the problem, but that’s the topic for another blog post. That being said, Heilemann’s piece shows some interesting insights into the world of big bank executives and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. (Interestingly, Heilemann paints Geithner is a much better light than he did in last year’s article “Inside Obama’s Economic Brain Trust: It’s not pretty at this moment.”) Here is a good paragraph from this week’s article:

Today, it’s hard to find anyone on Wall Street who doesn’t speak of Obama as if he were an unholy hybrid of Bernie Sanders and Eldridge Cleaver. One night not long ago, over dinner with ten executives in the finance industry, I heard the president described as “hostile to business,” “anti-wealth,” and “anti-capitalism”; as a “redistributionist,” a “vilifier,” and a “thug.” A few days later, I recounted this experience to the same Wall Street CEO who’d called the Volcker Rule a testicular blow, and mentioned I’d been told that one of the most prominent megabank chiefs, who once boasted to friends of voting for Obama, now refers to him privately as a “Chicago mob guy.” Do all your brethren feel this way? I asked. “Oh, not everybody—just most of them,” he replied. “Jamie [Dimon]? Lloyd [Blankfein]? They might not say Obama’s a socialist, but they come pretty close.”

Finally, there is an interesting piece about how Rand Paul has embraced openly the tea-party movement. The article claims it’s a first — that, in the past, politicians courted tea partiers “with a dog whistle, not a bullhorn.” I leave it up to you to judge if that’s the case.

And if you want to know all about Billy’s Joel’s daughter’s nose job, that piece is here, too.

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