From Tacitus to Tebow

In Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

The philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) drew a distinction between the spirit of geometry and the spirit of finesse. With apologies to Pascal’s own infinite finesse, I will reduce the distinction to this: mathematical rigor versus good judgment. Mathematical rigor marshals the facts, subjects them to analysis, and comes up with the answer. Good judgment simply knows. Pascal tends to come …

Barry StraussFrom Tacitus to Tebow

The First Man in an Investment Bank

In Caesar's Ghost by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

  My first night in Paris, I heard a knock on the door. It was the man who conquered France, Caesar’s Ghost. “Hail, dictator,” I said. “Hail, Professor.” “Is it really you? Or is it the ghost of the wild mushrooms in tonight‘s souffle?” “Caesar has indeed arrived.” “What brings you here?” “Caesar wishes to testify on behalf of his …

Barry StraussThe First Man in an Investment Bank

Diamond in the Rough

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

On Tuesday, Bob Diamond, the Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, one of the world’s biggest banks, was forced out of his job. He held that position for only 18 months, but he had been at Barclays for 16 years. During those years, Diamond led a revolution. He turned a staid old institution into an investment banking giant, increasing its revenues …

Barry StraussDiamond in the Rough