"He's really the finest writer of narrative non-fiction out there." - Malcolm Gladwell on Michael Lewis, in Fast Company


How You Measured Success In New Orleans

"What was important inside New Orleans was who your mama was, what carnival organisation you belonged to, where you went to school. It wasn't that there was an attitude that was hostile to success; it was that success was family; it was, "Did you give pleasure to people?" It was just kind of being. It wasn't achieving." - in smh.com.au


Looming Threats

We have identified two looming threats:

The first is the shifting relationship between ambitious young people and money. There’s a reason the Lower 99 currently lack leadership: Anyone with the ability to organize large numbers of unsuccessful people has been diverted into Wall Street jobs, mainly in the analyst programs at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Those jobs no longer exist, at least not in the quantities sufficient to distract an entire generation from examining the meaning of their lives.
Our Wall Street friends, wounded and weakened, can no longer pick up the tab for sucking the idealism out of America’s youth. But if not them, who? We on the committee are resigned to all elite universities becoming breeding grounds for insurrection, with the possible exception of Princeton.

The second threat is in the unstable mental pictures used by Lower 99ers to understand their economic lives. (We have found that they think in pictures.)

For many years the less viable among us have soothed themselves with metaphors of growth and abundance: rising tides, expanding pies, trickling down. A dollar in our pocket they viewed hopefully, as, perhaps, a few pennies in theirs. They appear to have switched this out of their minds for a new picture, of a life raft with shrinking provisions. A dollar in our pockets they now view as a dollar from theirs. Fearing for their lives, the Lower 99 will surely become ever more desperate and troublesome. Complaints from our membership about their personal behavior are already running at post-French Revolutionary highs.

We on the strategy committee see these developments as inexorable historical forces. The Lower 99 is a ticking bomb that can’t be defused. They may be occasionally distracted by, say, a winning lottery ticket. (And we have sent out the word to the hedge fund community to cease their purchases of such tickets.) They may turn their anger on others -- immigrants for instance, or the federal government -- and we can encourage them to do so. They may even be frightened into momentary submission. (We’re long pepper spray.) - in Bloomberg