When some angry white male Kansans got tired of Somali refugees living in their little town in “God’s country,” they did the least God-like thing and decided to blow up their place of worship, to stop Islam’s destruction of America. These are men, mind you, who read Breitbart and believe Sandy Hook was a hoax, and they targeted refugees from crisis zones who now work at meat-packing facilities.
How director Adam McKay, best known for producing a series of “hugely popular bromantic comedies” with Will Ferrell, is making a comedy out of the biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression.
A look at the highly competitive world of laundry startups:
In early October, Washio opened up shop in San Francisco. Not surprisingly, the area around Silicon Valley was already awash in laundry disrupters. In addition to Prim, there was Laundry Locker, along with three other locker-technology-enabled businesses: Sudzee, Drop Locker, and Bizzie Box. There was Sfwash, which offered ecofriendly cleaning on top of pickup and delivery. There was even, briefly, a service called Your Hero Delivery, whose driver-founders dressed like superheroes. (“At the end of the day, did we really want to spend our whole lives schlepping dirty laundry?” one of them told PandoDaily of their decision to fold. “No.”) Another upstart was about to launch: Rinse, whose founders described their business to a Dartmouth alumni newsletter as “an ‘Uber’ for dry cleaning and laundry.”
Metzner knew someone in common with the founders of Rinse, so he decided to give its CEO, Ajay Prakash, a call. Just to let him know his company was coming to San Francisco. And so forth. “It was, you know, a perfectly civil conversation,” says Prakash, which may have been what Alan Arkin termed a “business lie.”
A profile of Tim Bergling, a 23-year-old Swede who has risen to fame as a DJ the club scene as Avicii:
“Another black car to another greenroom, another show: The Lights All Night festival is a blur of kids in Fun Fur and neon going, ‘Are you rolling?,’ mesmerizing one another with light-up gloves. Tim has never taken the Drug Formerly Known As Ecstasy, which is sort of odd since MDMA is to EDM what cocaine was to disco. ‘I mean, I want to take it,’ he says the next day, eating a layover hamburger on the way to Vegas. ‘But I’m sort of afraid of anything that makes you feel out of control.’ Even though the kids in Dallas are his age, it’s hard to imagine him among them crowd-surfing in a neon tankini. ‘Yeah, I kind of missed all that,’ he says. ‘Because when I was 18, I couldn’t go out, and then when I could go out…’ he trails off.
“‘He gets mobbed,’ Felix says.”
[Not single-page] A trip to a Croatian vineyard to see Bob Benmosche, the former CEO of MetLife who came out of retirement to run AIG post-bailout:
“Next, Benmosche went to rally the troops at Financial Products in Wilton, Connecticut, who were still salty about Liddy’s appearance in front of Congress and the law subsequently passed by the House taxing 90 percent of AIG pay (it never made it any further). ‘I want you to understand that what happened will not happen again,’ he told them. Then he flew to Houston, where he spoke at a town-hall meeting with 3,000 employees. After that, he headed back to Croatia. ‘It was the first Zinfandel harvest,’ he explains.
“He’d informed Treasury when he’d taken the job that he needed to be in Croatia for two weeks in August, for the celebration accompanying the inaugural reaping of his vines. But they were not prepared for the image of Benmosche that flashed on their screens two weeks after he’d been hired to run one of the most troubled companies in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, showing off his villa while a British-accented voice-over noted its ‘palatial’ proportions and queried, in serious-sounding tones, whether the CEO should be so overtly relaxed.
“‘I mean, I had just hired this guy,’ Millstein says now, choking back the slightly hysterical laugh that tends to bubble out of him when he talks about Benmosche. ‘And there he is, in his shorts and his polo shirt. It was just …’ he trails off. ‘You couldn’t make it up.'”
[Not single-page] Tory Burch’s ex-husband Christopher Burch has a new fashion line called C. Wonder. But some in her circle wonder if it draws a little too much inspiration from her own brand:
“To Chris Burch, C. Wonder is the realization of a long-held dream to provide low-to-mid-price retail in a luxury setting. To Tory Burch, he might as well have erected a giant lacquered middle finger in the front window, directly facing the orange-lacquered doors of her eponymous store a few blocks away. ‘It’s a rip-off, Tory knows it, and everyone knows it,’ says someone we will refer to as a Friend of Tory. ‘The interior is blatantly plagiarized. Then there’s the snap bracelets. The wallets. The buttons … '”
He can write about these kinds of people with such skill in part because he is one of them. At a time of peril for his industry, Lewis has managed to build what amounts to a personal empire of long-form journalism, with a Warren Buffett-like collection of brands and eye for the next big thing. “He’s got good instincts for the individual story and for the broader picture of where that story belongs,” says Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. “The big story of the day is the world financial crisis, and he’s the most kick-ass business writer out there.” His aptitude for translating and enlivening financial concepts has made him an indispensable observer of the crisis: In May 2010, Politico reported that The Big Short had been name-checked on the official Senate record at least fifteen times since its publication just two months before, and that Hill staffers had been calling Lewis at home for advice.