阅后即焚(十六)

Jack Lew’s golden parachute

  • paychecks he received from his last two employers before returning to government — a bonus guarantee (from Citi) if he left the bank for a “high level position with the United States government or regulatory body.”
  • “Citi knew from the start that Mr. Lew was headed back to a powerful job in Washington, and that it wanted him to remember the bank fondly when he left.”

Michelle Obama’s Oscar turn sparks debate

  • inappropriate in its affirmation of the hard power behind the soft power—the connection of real politics to the representational politics of the movies, of the peculiar and long-standing symbiosis of Washington and Hollywood;
  • (Jennifer Rubin) It is not enough that President Obama pops up at every sporting event in the nation. Now the first lady feels entitled, with military personnel as props, to intrude on other forms of entertaining.

Barnes’s chairman mulls store buyout

  • biggest shareholder, Leonard Riggio, expressed interest in buying out the consumer-store chain — not Nook Media LLC;
  • B&N market capitalization $809 million, down from $2.2 billion in 2001; physical stores, profitable; the Nook business, suffered $262 million in fiscal 2012;
  • management buyout: insiders are seen as having an advantaged position over outside buyers;

Hidden risks of a hard landing in China

  • (Stephen Green, Standard Chartered) calculate GDP growth at just 5.5% (official figure 7.8%) in 2012, using an alternative measure of inflation that better
  • (official data) exports up 14%, but compare import data from Hong Kong, four percentage points lower;
  • (official data) consumption up 15.2%; Nielsen’s index of sales of fast-moving consumer goods, which include fewer of the government purchases that distort the official data, was up just 9%;
  • (official data) fixed asset investment increased 21%; that looks odd against 14% fall in sales of excavators and 19% drop in steel prices — measures that should track investment growth;

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