Japan New York City News Personal

Issey Miyake op-ed in the NY Times

The fashion designer, Issey Miyake, who is a good friend of my family, has an anti-nuclear weapons op-ed in the New York Times.

If Mr. Obama could walk across the Peace Bridge in Hiroshima — whose balustrades were designed by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi as a reminder both of his ties to East and West and of what humans do to one another out of hatred — it would be both a real and a symbolic step toward creating a world that knows no fear of nuclear threat. Every step taken is another step closer to world peace.

Op-Ed Contributor – A Flash of Memory –

New York City News

Taibbi – Rolling Stone – The Great American Bubble Machine

For those of you who were frustrated by the fact that Rolling Stone’s website does not have the full text of the recent Matt Taibbi missive on Goldman Sachs, the text of that article has been scanned and OCRed and posted to Somethingawful. I highly recommend reading it.
Someone has to do a wiki or page that lists all the ex-Goldman Sachs executives who are running either key American businesses (like Liddy at AIG) or key US government positions (too many to list.) Clearly Goldman Sachs is too influential and has influence that it should not have with the US government. If there’s a company that is worth investigating for being either too big to fail or controlling the markets, it is clearly Goldman Sachs.

Japan New York City Personal

requiescat in pace – Yamada Hisashi sensei

My father’s good friend, Yamada Hisashi sensei of the Urasenke Chanoyu Center of New York City has passed.
The NY Times did a nice profile of Hisashi-san in 2008.

“There is no politics,” Mr. Yamada said. “No talk about who will be president in America or prime minister in Japan.”
While a tea ceremony might seem out of step with the pace of modern life, the Urasenke school has a waiting list for students.
“Once you begin the study of tea, it becomes a lifetime thing,” he said. As for those who think they are too busy to make time for tea, “You discover that you are not as busy as you think you are.”

At 80, Long a Teacher of the Philosophy of Tea

New York City News

CNBC is worthless

Josh Marshall from TalkingPointsMemo:

TPM Reader JC sent me to this interview with Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb on CNBC. Here’s what JC wrote:

In this clip, Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb are still being treated as a circus sideshow by CNBC… They’re predicting the end of finance, and offering the only clear path out of this mess that I’ve seen offered (with the knowledge to back it up), and CNBC keeps asking them for stock tips. It’s ludicrous. Wall Street media — CNBC at least — doesn’t realize how bad this is yet. They’re stuck in a bubble where they think everything will go back to normal in a few months….

He hits it spot on. These two guys are talking about a deep structural crisis in the world economy. And these CNBC yahoos can’t stop asking for stock tips. Really surreal.
I’m watching it again now. This is a seminal piece of video. You have to see it. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything that captures — albeit unintentionally — the vast disconnect over what is happening today in the US economy.

If you ever watched CNBC for any kind of financial information, you now know that the financial information provided at Nickelodeon or Sesame Street is as good as the information they have at CNBC. God help you if you used CNBC to make any investment decisions.

New York City News

The End of Wall Street

Barry Ritholtz has a (3 part) 25-minute documentary by the Wall Street Journal that’s worth watching.  Note that it is all Wall Street Journal reporters who are interviewed, but it’s still worth a viewing.

As a New Yorker, born and raised, my one hope in this recession is that New York City becomes a more heterogeneous city.  Wall Street’s influence on New York City was too large since the 1990s and into the 2000s.  I love New York City but it is not a city I wish to live in at the moment.  If New York City can emerge from the recession as a more honest city, a better place for more people to live, not just rich people, I’d like to live there again one day.