First ObamaFlick Scores

If American Factory is any indication of Barack & Michelle’s talent for choosing great content, then they could have their own Network.

This first choice is a documentary about a Chinese glass company that takes over a moth-balled auto factory in Dayton, Ohio. The stories of both Americans who want to welcome the company for its jobs and the Chinese management and workers who come with it is astoundingly intimate. Access is based on trust of the local filmmakers through the ups and downs of a foreign entity taking over a community workplace.

A willingness to bond with each other’s cultures turns to a clash. Resolution is never complete nor easy. This is a must-see brilliant view of life in middle America and working-class China. Global realities. Bravo.

Eclipped

Solar Eclipse 2017. Truncated at 70% in NYC. It was basically a sunny turned gray day non-event. But lots of people were wearing weird glasses in Central Park.

Movie filmed on our block on election day last November. Just released. Not doing so good. The Only Living Boy in New York. Callum Turner. Cynthia Nixon. Probably left on the cutting room floor.

Meanwhile, we are saved! Mike Bloomberg is assuming the helm. Snatching the tiller from Hillary & Co.

YERP-ean Vacation

American tourists’ stock proclamation. “We’re going to YERP this summer.” If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium. Guided bus tours and Viking river cruises. Groups going from one YERP-ean country to the next. Sweden? No. Switzerland? Where are we today? As in Bermuda shorts high-socks wearing wanderers. Then in 1992 it became an economic experiment. The EU. The Euro. Central Bank Chairs thought it could succeed. YERP. Despite centuries of ingrained cultures and histories. Former enemies financial friends. Nope. Never thought it would work.

Globalization is not in style, Hillary. Mark Cuban. Warren Buffett. Notwithstanding.

¡Qué bola!

El Presidente Obama touches down in Cuba. CEO’s in tow. Las Capitalistas invade the last bastion of La Revolución. La lluvia. Las lágrimas de Fidel. Castro regime sheds its last tears. What will it mean. Trade-offs. Rights vs. redistribution. Mojitos. Cigarros. Starbucks. Starwood.

90 miles north back in The States. Bernie Sanders fills stadiums as a Socialist. A new generation of Americans ready to embrace income equality. Al revés. Where is Elián González these days? What would José Martí say?

Drach EU ma

An ancient vampire is poised to suck the blood out of the EU. Taking the world markets with it. Count Drachma may emerge from his crypt. Will the ruble now see daylight? Euroland is vulnerable to a global financial bite. Twenty years later than I’d guessed, the death knell of a continental experiment.

Talk about ghoulish. Finally watched first two new True Detectives. Nic Pizzolatto rises again. Brilliant.

Too Big Yet Failed

The Perfect Prey, The Fall of ABN AMRO, or What Went Wrong in the Banking Industry, by Jeroen Smit. I came across this book, written by a Dutch investigative journalist, by chance. After the recent tragic murder-suicide by former CEO Schmittmann was reported in the NY Post, I did some research as an ABN AMRO alum, and one of its former Managing Directors. I found the paperback and it read like a novel. Here is my Amazon review:

‘A stilted translation to English may be some of the reason for my 3 stars. But, the story was well told and compelling- the demise of a once prestigious global financial institution, ABN, which prided itself on being a member of each community it served in over 70 countries, rivaling only Citibank. When the corrupt AMRO merged with ABN, began le deluge. I became unwittingly embroiled in an unethical transaction with the saga’s central character, AMRO’s R. Groenink. A lot of the players are known to me from my tenure at the Bank in San Francisco and Boston in the 80’s and 90’s. Lex Kloosterman was my boss. After I retired, he went on to Fortis and was instrumental in the tale and ultimate sale. There is probably not a wide audience for this book. I would recommend it as an allegory- too big yet failed. A moral tragedy.’