US Federal Reserve
How does he do it? Here is an administration in ruins. Here is a president who has nearly quadrupled the inflation rate at home, has produced the highest interest rates in American history, and now is deliberately steering the nation into a recession; abroad he has kicked away confidence among friends and foes alike in the sobriety, consistence, and reliability of American foreign policy. Six months ago he was nowhere in the polls.
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin; $10.05) I know it seems like a pipsqueak confession to make in these days of Carlos and the FALN, but I once burgled a house. I opened a window and stepped inside and there I was, my heart in my mouth and my ears filled with the distant whine of dozens of stern Methodist ancestors spinning in their graves like turbines. The owner of the house had made a terrible mistake. He’d loaned me the first volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Then he’d locked his place up with the second volume inside and gone off for the weekend.
Marseilles presents itself to you without preparation and without comment. It is there that the traveler first sees the Mediterranean; usually the tram goes on, and the traveler with it, to the Riviera or to Italy. Neither Marseilles nor the guide book invites you to stop. It wants a full day. Although each of its two movements is complete, each one intends the other as its complement, like the systole and diastole of the heart; rather like night and day, making a complete cycle of life.
Omens these: In Paterson, the silk city, little third and fourth class shops are flooded with fine silks to be sold at any price; there has been a panic in silk. A year ago a butcher got $1.35 a pound for his raw calf hides and today he is lucky to get 25 cents; the bottom has fallen out of the leather market. The sign of the night rider appears in the South. The farming industry in convention at Washington demands unlimited federal credit to enable the South to sit on its cotton until the price is 40 cents again, and the West to hold its wheat for $3.00 a bushel; else all are ruined.