Tuesday, November 09, 2004

On Fallujah, here are some photographs. If, like me, you're hopelessly stressed out and need something to take your mind off it all, here's what used to be a scandal:

Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay are asking to be tried far, far away from Houston, pointing out that Houstonians refer to them in man-on-the-street interviews as pigs, snakes and terrorists, and that a local rapper has recorded a number advocating "street justice" for them, to a backbeat of gunshots. Kurt Eichenwald's point-counterpoint on their arguments:

The filing cites a poll conducted by Mr. Skilling's expert saying that 32.9 percent of Houstonians personally know someone who was affected by the Enron collapse.

While that number is huge compared with other cities, it also appears to point out one weakness in the economic impact argument: that 67.1 percent of the people in Houston do not personally know anyone affected by the collapse.

[... and as to pigs, snakes, and terrorists] All told, the filing says, 31.8 percent used negative comments to describe Mr. Skilling. Again, of course, this means that 68 percent did not.

Can't we trust Southern gentlemen to put their prejudices aside?

A few other quick hits:

Chinese banks are worried about both informal lending, and their own portfolios of bad debt. Let's hope they don't start counting U.S. T-bills as bad debt.

And on the lighter side, I always had the impression that New York sports fans always took the "curse" talk more seriously than Bostonians. Here's the proof. (More: here's a Yankee fan complaining about the Red Sox winning a championship with high-priced mercenaries, and then getting sanctimonious about it).

I may be posting less the rest of the week, due to pressing commitments...


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