humanity

This comes as a bit of a surprise as we were under the impression LightSquared was still in the testing/trying to prove it’s not going to cause “devastating interference,” sink a battleship, kill some people/working out the kinks phase. Still, it’s wonderful to hear regardless, not just since it’s nice thing to do but because it suggests this thing might actually work, and Wilbur Falcone may not have to start asking for his old shift at Rick’s Cabaret just to put food on the table. Read more »

  • 26 Oct 2010 at 10:26 AM

A Tree Grows In Blankfein’s Brooklyn

“I really like the idea that there is a flowering tree that’s blossoming here, indigenous to Brooklyn, rising out of an urban area,” Blankfein said yesterday in Bed-Stuy, while helping break ground on The Bradford, a low-income housing project financed by Goldman’s Urban Investments Group named for a type of pear tree that grows in the borough. [Daily Intel]

Whether or not you wanted to know, the PIMCO founder has chosen to devote the first half (that’s 512 words) of August’s Outlook to the matter. Specifically, the indignity of the automatic flush. In related news, perhaps this would be a good time for PIMCO investors to start considering finding another person to manage their bond investments? Take it away, Bill:

I write this month to condemn the inventor of the electronic “seeing eye” toilet. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking toilets here, doo-doo-stuff, some of which I hopefully won’t step in myself over the next few paragraphs. I know there must be more substantive and less objectionable topics to bring before you, but I have a sense that many of you joint me in spirit if not common experience and so I devote this month’s Outlook to another trivial snippet emphasizing our joint humanity and sense of loss due to the recent disappearance of the hand flusher.

I don’t know where it is located exactly, but there’s an electronic eye in the plumbing of public toilets these days that can sense when you get up and down (or is it down and up) and are finally finished with your “business,” if you get my drift. My doctor says a proctology exam is a necessary evil but cameras in toilets? Never having seen myself from this particular angle, it is particularly embarrassing to turn over the assignment to camera and in effect say, “Snap away– see anything that doesn’t look right?” I figure if there’s an eye in there, then there could also be a little voice that says, “Have a seat,” which of course I do, usually with much haste and a sense that I’d better get on with it before I attract a crowd.

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To research his role in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, Shia LaBeouf spent a good deal of time at John Thomas Financial, an Encino branch of Charles Schwab and Goldman Sachs. It was there he learned how to stick $20,000 in an online brokerage account and turn it into $450,00-ish in a matter of months, wow the shit out of Lloyd Blankfein in the 47th round of interviews, and insider tips for passing Level I of the CFA. You know what he never did? Ask any of the guys he was shadowing about their feelings. Same goes for Penn Badgely, who spent some time on the Citi trading floor to prep for his role as a junior analyst in Margin Call (where he learned that “young traders sport ‘nice clothes that were not terribly tailored’ and that that the term ‘bucks’ means millions”). That’s because these two whippersnappers only care about the surface. They’re not interested in drilling down to the person underneath that suit and the fifties still stuck to your ass from the weekend. One guy who is? Kevin Spacey. He cares, deeply.

“I am trying to humanize bankers,” said Kevin Spacey, the Academy Award-winning actor, who plays a senior trader in Margin Call. “Everyone talks about facts, figures and debt. I was more interested in what they were feeling.”

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