Thursday, December 18, 2008

Your homework assignment

A couple of things from the paper I would recommend to my readers (none of them all that schlubby -- but, hey, it's my blog so I'll recommend what I want!):

The biggest story this week (and last week), of course, has been the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme that has swallowed an estimated $50 billion.

The Times has a truly fabulous story on page one by Christine Haughney about how the Madoff scandal is effecting New York real estate. (The kind of story you read and say, "Gee... I wish I had written that.") People who were invested with the guy are already having to put their apartments on the market because their mortgage payments were tied up to Madoff investments. Moreover, a great deal of development will be unable to move forward. Definitely worth a read.

Speaking of Bernie Madoff, this is one of those times I really wish I was back at the Forward (and it might be the only time I wish I had the Jewish philanthropy beat -- which I can testify is a very boring beat). Because this week we really might have seen the death of Jewish Philanthropy. Anthony Weiss and Gabrielle Birkner have a story in the Forward about some of the charities who were invested with Madoff. But I fear this story only scratches the surface; a lot of hospitals, schools and charities will be closed because of this reckless man.

Speaking of greed and recklessness, the Times has another great story on page one by Louise Story about just how big a crock all the Wall Street bonuses were over the last few years.

In other news, Time Magazine's man of the year is Barack Obama. (What a shock.)

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff has a really terrific piece about Thomas Tamm, the heretofore unknown whistleblower on the Bush Administration's domestic spying program.

George Packer tears Sean Penn a new one on his blog. (You go George! No matter how good an actor Sean Penn is, listening to him talk about politics makes liberals like me really, really cringe.)

And for my schlubs out there: Burger King (yes that Burger King) is offering a new cologne called "Flame."