June 03, 2009
This year, Nouriel Roubini, the economist known to the general public as Dr. Doom, Prophet of the Financial Apocalypse, spent the early hours of Mardi Gras on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was only 11 a.m., but the party was rollicking. Traders careened around the floor, hooting and honking, dressed as dragons and devils and convicts. Rock music roared overhead, and no one seemed to care that, by the bye, the market had tanked.
The Worst Movie Idea Of The Year?
May 28, 2009
Yes, I know that's an awfully high bar, especially of late. But the news that producer Fran Rubel Kuzui is considering a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie that would probably not involve Joss Whedon in any capacity, nor any of the cast of the television show, nor even the subsidiary characters from the show (Willow, Xander, Angel, etc.) may put it into contention for the honor. The idea, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is that the project would be a relaunch/reboot, or perhaps even a remake of the original 1992 movie that spawned the TV series.
Who's Next In North Korea?
May 26, 2009
While we don't ultimately know what prompted North Korea's nuclear test, we do know that Kim Jong-Il was hospitalized last fall, and that he is maneuvering to appoint a successor. Last September, TNR reviewed Kim's options: Of Mr. Kim's four children from three mothers, his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, is thought to be his favorite, but being only 24 and third in line, it would seem very difficult to jump two sons in the succession.
Obama's Surprise Court Choice?
May 20, 2009
Most Supreme Court speculation has revolved around a short list of high-profile candidates, but the White House is still telling reporters that it is considering a few dark-horse candidates. One of those may be U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello, an associate of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who recently told her local newspaper, The Pueblo Chieftain, that Obama's people had contacted her to ask if she "would be willing to go through the intense scrutiny" of a Supreme Court nomination.
A Nudge For Justice Stevens
May 13, 2009
A couple of days ago, Richard Primus made the case for older, more experienced justices on the high court and laid out an ambitious plan for realizing that goal. Fair enough, but I feel it's only reasonable to make a more targeted plea for, let us say, the "most experienced" of the current justices to start planning his exit strategy. At an impressive 89 years old, Justice John Paul Stevens really should start thinking about dipping into that retirement fund. Not this year, maybe. Obama will have enough excitement getting Justice Souter's replacement squared away.
May 12, 2009
Backdoor Social Security reform? - What should the U.S. do about cost of living adjustments when prices fall? The Soda Tax - The Senate is considering a sin tax on sugary drinks to help pay for heath care costs. The value of picking the right 'peers' - For CEO's, about $400,00. Jimmy Cayne, 4:20 - The former Bear CEO's doobie smoking proclivities. Why mortgage modifications shouldn't be subsidized. --Zubin Jelveh
What Treasury Needs Is A Distraction
May 05, 2009
The bank stress tests are beginning to create a perception problem, but not--as you might think--for banks. Rather the issue is top level Administration officials' own optics (spin jargon for how we think about our rulers). At one level, the government's approach to banks--delay doing anything until the economy stabilizes--is working out nicely. This is the counterpart of the macroeconomic Summers Strategy and in principle it is brilliant.
After Souter: Will Obama Move The Court?
May 01, 2009
Tom Goldstein is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and lecturer at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. His is the founder of SCOTUSblog. Legal Washington's best-kept secret leaked this afternoon, and by 10pm Pete Williams and then Nina Totenberg had confirmed that Justice Souter intends to retire. Justice Souter obviously has a significant legacy at the Supreme Court. But it is important to pause and recognize he will go down in history as a gentleman and (rare these days) a scholar who (even more rare) sees no need to show that fact off.
Who Will Obama Pick To Replace Souter?
April 30, 2009
Reports are trickling out that Supreme Court Justice David Souter will soon be retiring from the bench, giving Obama the opportunity to make his first SCOTUS appointment. But who will he choose? Back during the presidential primaries, TNR writer Jeffrey Rosen lamented the fact that Democrats have a surprisingly shallow bench to pick from: For several decades, presidents have drawn their Supreme Court nominees from the ranks of appellate judges appointed by previous presidents of the same party.
Durban Ii Dispatch: Israel's A-team
April 25, 2009
Geneva, Switzerland Just because the Israeli government decided to boycott this year's Durban Review Conference doesn't mean they weren't well-represented in Geneva this week. I was surprised to meet Andy David, the deputy spokesman of Israel's foreign ministry, at a Sabbath dinner last weekend when I arrived in Geneva. "We're here, but we're not here," he whispered to me. He revealed to me that the ministry has quietly brought a group of Israeli students--mostly attractive, eloquent, and from diverse countries of origin--to plead Israel's case on the sidelines of this week's conference.