In 1985, I sat in the backseat of a 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, with my parents in the bench seat in front, pulling up to a nondescript automatic carwash just off of South Volusia Avenue, Daytona Beach Florida.
A typical Floridian Spring day, temperatures were in the mid seventies and the air dewy sweet with the scent of begonias and lilacs that Florida’s legion of retirees were busy tending to.
“Your car is too big.”
“What do you mean my car is too big?” my father asked quizzically at the reed-thin man leaning into the driver side window of our car, hints of chest hair showing over his dirty-white wifebeater, a well-worn clipboard under his arm and a red trucker cap with a Bud Light logo emblazoned across the front atop his head. …
Meaghan Carter couldn’t put a finger on what was ailing her fourteen-year-old daughter Peggy. A cheerful, happy child, Peggy had blossomed into a “tweenager” yet had never manifested any of the predictable maladies that that age was supposed to have ushered in.
But of late, Carter noticed that her typically bubbly and sociable daughter was turning petulant, and was concerned about cyberbullying or other things that could be happening to her at school.
Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Carter, who enjoyed an extremely close relationship with her eldest child, broached the topic in the gentlest way possible. …
“When you owe the bank money, it’s your problem, when you owe all the banks money, suddenly it’s their problem,” a stone-faced Chen said to the lawyer taking his deposition.
Accused of unauthorized trading of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of oil contracts, Chen was CEO at the time for a prominent Chinese oil trading company which was believed to have had links to Beijing, and which had traded well beyond its allowed mandate.
But the banks had been complicit as well, extending copious amounts of credit to Chen, despite having suspicions that he neither had the authority to execute trades of such magnitudes, nor did the company have the assets to back up any losses. …
“That one is four dollars,” comes the smattering of heavily-accented English from a shopkeeper at Vientiane’s famous Ban Anou Night Market, along the crowded streets of the Laotian capital.
Across the city and indeed, across this mountainous, landlocked Southeast Asian country, the dollar is widely accepted, even though the official currency is the Lao kip.
From taxi drivers to hotel owners, across Laos and many countries around the world, boxes and stacks of dollars are used, exchanged and treasured, without a single greenback ever having to pass through the international dollar-backed banking system centered on a clutch of New York’s biggest banks. …
“Honey, I’ve done it, we’re going to be rich,” Jim Katts burst through the door of the modest brownstone apartment that he shared with his young wife and their 2-year old daughter.
“Done what?” Kate Katts, looked up from playing with their 2-year-old.
“I’ve gone and invested in this new thing called the Internet. Everybody at the office is talking about it, I think it could change everything.”
“Wait, how much did you invest?”
“Not much, just the money we had been setting aside for that trip to the Bahamas.”
“That wasn’t your money to spend! It was ours! …
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. Wherever you’re tuning in to us from, thank you for joining us for BlockBali.
My name is Patrick Tan, and I’m the CEO and General Counsel for Novum Alpha, a quantitative digital asset trading firm, as well as General Counsel for the Novum Group, a diversified cryptocurrency and blockchain services companies with interests in media, software development, trading and services.
It is my privilege to welcome you to BlockBali 2020 and Novum Alpha is proud to be the gold partner for this year’s event.
But what a difference a year has made!
As you can see from where I am seated, I am unfortunately not in Bali, one of the most beautiful places on earth. …
Forget about getting a word in, it was virtually impossible to even get a thought in as delegates from the various tribes bickered noisily at the table, each shouting above the other.
No, this wasn’t the United Nations General Assembly congregating in New York City, or a gathering of tribal leaders of the Maasai on the vast plains of Tanzania.
Instead, this was a gathering of the Saunders clan at a nondescript brownstone in Brooklyn, New York, arguing with each other over whose turn it was to host Thanksgiving Dinner this year — a responsibility that everyone and no one wanted. …
“When I first left the commune, I was lost. I didn’t know anything else. You have to understand, it’s not like a religion or anything, it’s all I ever knew.”
Now some thirty-five years later, Douglas Pizzaro, a 54-year-old landscaper looks back on his years in a commune, which he was rescued from.
In the Big Sky country of Montana, you can drive for miles without meeting a single soul.
Yet for the thousand-odd people living in the foothills abutting the Rocky Mountains, they could just as well have been living on another planet.
For the followers of the Reverend James Turnbull, that small patch of America was their entire life. …
In the fifth month of the fourteenth year of the Shang dynasty, Emperor Lu Shou was busy fending off threats to his land coming from the restive western reaches of his vast empire, that stretched from the Mongolian steppes all the way to the eastern coast of China.
But that wasn’t the only challenge facing the Jade Emperor (as he was known), a poor harvest, often seen as a celestial rebuke of the Emperor’s leadership ,as well as the failure to produce a male heir to the throne from his Empress were all complicating matters within the Shang court.
Against this backdrop, the one thing that the Jade Emperor could rely on was the backing of a capable cadre of eunuchs and generals. …
By this stage of the interrogation, Tameer Hussain was wondering if he would ever see the light of day again. Staring directly into the eyes of the Director of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, he repeated,
“I’m telling you I didn’t know about the American drone strike, if I had known I would have asked them to call it off.”
The Director gave a half smile and with a slight motion of his head, signaled for Hussain’s interrogators to continue beating him,
“You see, I have a very simple rule. …