Fraud, Larry Summers, Dave Barry, Joseph Brodsky, Churchill

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Just Desserts

Katy Vine | Texas Monthly | 30th December 2015

A Texas fait divers yields an exemplary piece of feature-writing. A "shy, daydreaming accountant" at a fruitcake factory finds he can syphon money from the office account. Seven years of high living ensue, filled with ever more fine wines, gold watches and private jets. "Their personal shopper at Neiman Marcus saw the Jenkinses so often she had nicknames for them — 'Fruitcake' for Sandy and 'Cupcake' for Kay" (7,800 words)

The Fed And Financial Reform

Larry Summers | 29th December 2015

Bernie Sanders is mostly wrong about the Fed, but mostly right in saying that banks have too much political power. "Among the obvious reforms held back only by special interests are the highly preferential treatment of carried interest, the privileged treatment of dividends and capital gains, the ability of financial institutions to use tax havens, and the tax deductibility of fines paid to resolve allegations of wrongdoing" (1,960 words)

Dave Barry’s 2015 In Review

Dave Barry | Miami Herald | 23rd December 2015

Uneven, but with enough moments of brilliance. "In Paris, two million people march in solidarity following the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Several days later Secretary of State John Kerry arrives with James Taylor, who — this really happened — performs You’ve Got a Friend. This bold action strikes fear into the hearts of terrorists, who realize that Secretary Kerry is fully capable, if necessary, of unleashing Barry Manilow" (5,300 words)

Brodsky/Baryshnikov: A Ghost Story

Joan Acocella | New York Review of Books | 30th December 2015

In the "elegant and sinister" one-man show, Brodsky/Baryshnikov, staged in Riga by Alvis Hermanis, Mikhail Baryshnikov reads 44 poems by Joseph Brodsky, his friend for 20 years. Hermanis likens the event to a "séance" in which the dead Brodsky visits the living Baryshnikov: "Direct communication with the audience is not our goal. Audience is not necessary. Audience is able just to witness" (3,950 words)

Other People’s Yachts: Churchill And His Money

Alex Harrowell | Yorkshire Ranter | 30th December 2015

Highly entertaining discussion of David Lough’s book, No More Champagne: Churchill And His Money. "We’re talking about someone with no cash, and lifestyle expectations way above his income, but who has substantial long-term earnings potential. He got by through ruthlessly prioritising payments that had to be made now in cash, and letting the others ride, always maximising the undrawn credit available" (2,100 words)

Video of the day: An Elephant On A Trampoline

What to expect: Not, in fact, an elephant on a trampoline, but a computer simulation thereof (2'26")

Thought for the day

That's why there's rules — so that you think before you break them
Terry Pratchett

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