Neil Barofsky was at the very center of the U.S. government's response to the 2008 economic collapse. He spent more than two years, until March of 2011, as Special Inspector General for the TARP program, overseeing and monitoring government bailout funds. Now, Barofsky has written a ferocious book detailing how, he says, "Washington abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street." And he's here to take questions from you, the Main Streeters.
Peter Braunstein was a former writer for The Village Voice, WWD and other New York publications who became a tabloid sensation in 2005 after he went crazy,
raped a woman [Correction: Braunstein was convicted of kidnapping, sexual abuse, robbery and burglary. He was never charged with rape], and went on the run. Aaron Gell (now an editor at the New York Observer), a former colleague of Braunstein's, has revisited the man and tried to make sense of his crimes in his new Kindle Single, Speak of the Devil: How Peter Braunstein went from Fashion Casualty to Tabloid Monster.
In Slate today, Adam Gopnik, the "Adam Gopnik's kids" correspondent for The New Yorker, explains the fine distinctions of New Yorkerania: "compare Mencken and Liebling, often mistaken as twin stylists, and you see the difference between heavy-handed Teutonic mockery and the ideal ironic, stinging, New Yorker tone."
Derrick Bell, a leading racial thinker and law school professor, has died at the age of 80. Besides being an accomplished author, founder of critical race theory, and the first tenured black law professor at Harvard, Bell was famous for quitting jobs on principle: as a young man, he quit a job at the Justice Department rather than resign from the NAACP; and later, he gave up a teaching job at Harvard in order to protest their minority hiring record. From the NYT:
You think the owner of that book store doesn't know what you're doing? Oh, they know exactly what you're doing. You say you "love" books? You say you enjoy perusing the soothing aisles of a book store, so lovingly curated by a book store owner who spends his or her life ensuring that the very latest and most interesting book selections are there, presented for you in the most interesting possible way? You like that a lot? Yeah. So you can go home and order that shit online. Fuckers.
Harry Hurt III (pictured, with pal) used to write a column in the New York Times business section called "Executive Pursuits," in which Harry Hurt went off and did something wacky and upscale and wrote about it. It always struck me as a wholly unnecessary exercise in self-absorption, which had nothing to do with business at all, except for the fact that Harry Hurt is a rich guy. Now, he's back—pioneering the use of advertising and product placement in books. Oh. Good.