Sunday and I'm back in reflection mode. Actually, I'm hung over. Went
out last night, my buddies stood me up but I ended up having a great
time with two smart, beautiful single Greek ladies. A bit too good of a
time as we drank it up at the bar and cracked jokes all night long. I
had a blast comparing notes on the singles scene (learned that women
are now worse than men!).
I ended up at Arahova Souvlaki on St-Viateur (the original and THE best!) at 3:30 in the morning, woofing down two chicken souvlaki pitas, drinking lots of water, desperately trying to sober up. My trainer's voice was ringing in my ears: "YOU IDIOT! I TOLD YOU NO ALCOHOL WHATSOEVER!!!"
This morning, I'm paying the price for my excessive behavior. Woke up early, popped two aspirins, drank more water with vitamin D drops, had my oatmeal breakfast and coffee as I watched the Sunday news shows. I also read about a UC Davis study that found a drug in cough medicine may help treat multiple sclerosis (Note to self: buy some cough syrup with dextromethorphan and next time, drink in moderation and rinse with Smart Mouth before you fall asleep to avoid waking up with rottenness in your mouth!).
So, as I purge the rottenness in my body, let me go over some of the Sunday news items that struck me, starting with the now exposed criminal and corrupt newspaper called News of the World owned by media baron, Rupert Murdoch. ABC's This Week had an excellent roundtable discussion on Murdoch under fire. The scandal broke out when Nick Davies and Amelia Hill of the Guardian broke the story on how missing Milly Dowler's voicemail was hacked by News of the World. This girl was murdered and News of the World was found guilty of hacking her phone line.
The girl's family is pushing for a hacking crackdown and this scandal risks shaking the foundations of Murdoch's media empire, causing irreparable damage to his credibility. These are all self-inflicted wounds. Importantly, when you head an organization, you have to accept responsibility for all the questionable, unethical practices that your senior officers engage in. In my opinion, with all his billions and political power, Rupert Murdoch and his media empire are cooked. This scandal will bury him. Funny thing about life, mega egos always go down fighting, but in the end, they get what they deserve and all the money and political connections in the world won't save them.
Moving on to other topics, ABC's This Week had a roundtable discussion on the debt divide. I've already covered the danger of the debt ceiling deal and continue to believe that fiscal tightening at this time will only cause more hardship and exacerbate the real unemployment scandal. Christiane Amanpour discussed the debt ceiling issue with Christine Lagarde, the new Managing Director of the IMF (see interview by clicking here). Ms. Lagarde spoke of "ethics" and the need to redefine that organization post DSK.
I must admit that I'm very impressed with Christine Lagarde. I've heard her before on Charlie Rose and she's extremely sharp and knows what's at stake in the global financial system if the global debt crisis unravels. But after listening to Michael Hudson (see Max Keiser video below), I'm rethinking my opinion of Ms. Lagarde. The truth is she is now head of an organization that has caused enormous suffering on countries, an organization whose very existence is in question as the masses awaken to the reality that it only serves the agenda of the financial elite, not common workers. The ugly truth is that private equity funds will make billions off the global debt crisis as they pick up state assets for a song.
On that gloomy note, I leave you by recommending Joe Nocera's New York Times article, Sheila Bair’s Bank Shot. Like Brooksley Born, Ms. Bair tried to do the right thing but she realized her efforts are futile. The reality is that no matter what measures regulators implement to reign in banks, the rottenness of the world always prevails.