Let the Games Begin 0

I summoned Caesar’s Ghost to enliven the dog days of August.

“Hail, Professor!” he said, as he rose from the Underworld.

 “Hail, Caesar!” One set of games closed this weekend in London and another opened in Washington. Don’t you think so, Dictator?

No. Other games of even greater moment took place in Cairo. Egyptian President Morsi fired his generals. This was a bold move, if predictable – it comes from the playbook of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan.

What will the result be?



From Tacitus to Tebow 0

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 down on the side of good judgment, yet he understands that the greatest spirits combine it with mathematical rigor. Only the rarest of grace, he says, allows that to happen. So, let us be rigorous and intuitive, let us be balanced, and, above all, let us have the gift of grace.


The First Man in an Investment Bank 0


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 friends in finance.”

“What friends?”

“Bob Diamond. Jamie Dimon. Sir Martin Sorrell. Lloyd Blankfein.” More

Diamond in the Rough 4

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 from £1 billion to £10 billion. But suddenly, he was out. More

Caesar advises Obama on the Huffington Post 0