Lords of Finance

This lovely book tells the story of the Great Depression, and how many errors (both political and economic) led to it, as well as World War II. The time span roughly covers the founding of the Federal Reserve system to Bretton Woods, and introduces many important historical figures. It is remarkable how the "conventional" experts failed: how astute John Maynard Keynes was, and FDR was the right person in the right place, and how the poor health of Benjamin Strong led to his premature passing from a critical position in the world's financial leadership. This book is a very easy read, and well worth it to show how hard it is to understand macroeconomics.

Ghost Writer

An excellent film from Roman Polanski. The film felt like it was filmed in the US (which was surprising to me, since he is still being held in Switzerland), but apparently it was all shot in Germany. It's a political thriller with some surprises and filled with all kinds of recognizable actors/actresses. I recommend it highly.


We went with our friends Frank and Jinyang to this little hole-in-the-wall tapas place. Not a huge selection of tapas, but not bad nonetheless; and the pizza was quite good. Prices were reasonable, although not that cheap. Recommended if you're looking for decent food (but not high-end).

USA Networks Character Approved

We got to go to the Character Approved awards given by USA Networks to "characters" who have shaped our culture. One of our friends was given an award (I don't want to drop names, so I'll let you guess who it was). It was an entertaining media event: there were lots of TV types there (although we only recognized Jeff Goldblum). Several other people seemed familiar.

Robin Hood

We finished watching the first season of BBC's recent Robin Hood series. It's not very believable, but still fun and entertaining to watch. If you're not looking for authenticity, it's pretty decent TV (certainly by American sitcom standards).


We went to this relatively high-end Italian restaurant north of Madison Square Park. Nice ambience (and not too noisy, as we were there on the early side). We ordered several "half-sized" entries, which was not cheap, but gave us a chance to sample their cooking. The food was lovely, and not overly salty like some restaurants we've eaten at lately. The octopus was really tender, and the squab was delicious.

Dexter Season 2

Wow, another great season of Dexter. I love this show: great writing focused on character development, a plotline that stretches through an entire season, and really good acting. The sister character turns out to have real depth in this season, too. Great stuff!

Super Bowl!

Wow, an exciting game! The Colts were outcoached and outplayed. Sean Payton's decision to open the second half with an onside kick was gutsy, as was his call to go for it on fourth down at the end of the first half. Although I'm not a Saints fan, I am delighted that they won for New Orleans. Plus, I was getting tired of all the hype in the media about how great Peyton Manning is: they were anointing him the best of his era even before the game happened.

The Who

Well, a surprisingly tight Super Bowl game. The Who is just sad: Daltrey can't hit any of the really high notes in the songs anymore; neither can he sustain his lines. I don't know why agreed to do this sad performance.


We started watching Season 1 of Dexter on DVD. Wow, fantastic stuff! Great TV, albeit a bit bloody. The writing is great: one continuous background story across an entire TV season. The story speaks to the alienation that all of us experience (although in extremely exaggerated form). If you can't take the bloodiness, though, don't watch it.

Metropolitan Museum: French Art Deco

We saw an exhibition at the Met titled "Masterpieces of French Art Deco", which included panels from a mural that came from a crazy French ship called the Normandie. Titled The History of Navigation, the mural reflects an era of luxury ended by The Great Depression.