Weekly Review — October 21, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Caught in the Web, 1860]
Caught in the Web, 1860.

Governments around the world attempted to slow the global financial catastrophe. Der SpiegelNYTThe stock market in Iceland reopened after a three-day suspension and immediately plunged 77 percent.NYTBloombergReutersThe Economist via Seattle PIFTGuardianBloombergSwitzerland bought $60 billion in bad debt from the largest Swiss bank, while the second-largest Swiss bank sought aid from the government of Qatar.WPPresident George W. Bush announced a world financial summit, described by some as “Bretton Woods II,” to be held at Camp David after the November 4 elections,TelegraphWSJBBCWPNYTWPBloombergCSMand the United States partially nationalized nine of its major banks. “Bush is to the left of me now,” said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who also referred to Bush as “comrade.” The Dow jumped 936 points, or 11 percent, on the news that the bailout had begun–its fifth-largest gain in history, surpassed only by records set in the early days of the Great Depression. Reports were released showing weak consumer spending, and the Dow plummeted again, for its worst day since Black Monday in 1987. BBCPawnshop profits were up as much as 50 percent over last year,MSNBCand “Capital Gains,” a program to pay middle school students in Washington, D.C., for good grades and behavior, disbursed $137,813, but underpaid some students due to computer errors. “I only got $10,” said seventh-grader Tarae Graham. “I should have gotten way more.” “Yeah,” said classmate Dominique Watson, who was paid $28. “This whole thing is really messed up.” WP

Taliban militants attacked Lashkar Gah, in the opium-rich Helmand province of Afghanistan. NATO responded with airstrikes that killed 62 insurgents, and 40 more were killed in another battle in the region. Villagers in Nad Ali, six miles away, claimed the airstrikes had also killed civilians, and they protested by carrying 12 corpses to the home of the local governor. The Taliban then seized a bus that they said was en route to Lashkar Gah, executed at least 24 passengers, and beheaded at least six. LATLATLATLATA classified National Intelligence Estimate showed sharply increased militant activity in Pakistan, and also noted food shortages, rising fuel costs, and a sudden flight of foreign capital. An anonymous official summarized conditions in the nuclear-armed country as “no money, no energy, no government.” McClatchyIt was revealed that the National Security Council had given the CIA written approval of waterboarding, WPand the Republican Party in Sacramento, California, removed the words “Waterboard Barack Obama” from their official website. “Some people find it offensive,” said county chairman Craig MacGlashan. “Others do not. I cannot comment on how people interpret things.”Sacramento BeeGeneral Colin Powell endorsed Obama for president. “I’d have difficulty,” said Powell, “with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court.” He also attended an African culture festival in London, appearing onstage to do the finger-pointing dance to “Yahoozee,” a Nigerian rap song about Internet fraud. YahooBBCIt was revealed that the online market Intrade, which trades bets on the outcome of the presidential election, had been manipulated by a single trader to favor John McCain. “If the investor did this as investment,” said financial researcher David Rothschild, “he is one of the most foolish investors in the world.”CQ

A House investigative committee presented evidence that military contractor Harry Sargeant III, a top McCain fund-raiser, overcharged by tens of millions of dollars for fuel deliveries to American bases in Iraq.NYTSenior officials of Russian energy company Gazprom, including personal associates of Vladimir Putin, met in Anchorage with Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources to discuss investing in energy projects in the state. Governor Sarah Palin said that she did not know about the meeting.IHTCNNNYTPutin’s black labrador was given a satellite-monitoring collar. “She looks sad,” said Russian Deputy Minister Sergei Ivanov. “Her free life is over.” “She is wagging her tail,” said Putin. “That means she likes it.”ReutersDavid Moore, a former Air Force mechanic in Connecticut who is building a flying bat-suit, admitted that he had “failed miserably” this year. “It looks,” he said of his crumpled nylon contraption, which he calls The Fletcher, “like a pile of spaghetti right now.”Hartford CourantJazz trumpeter and big-band arranger Neal Hefti, who wrote the “Batman” theme song, died at age 85. “He told me he tore up more paper on ‘Batman’ than on any other work he ever did,” said his son. “He had to find something that worked with the lowest common denominator, so it would appeal to kids, yet wouldn’t sound stupid.” “Nananana, nananana, nananana, nananana,” went the song, a 12-bar blues that won Hefti his only Grammy, “Batman!” NYT

Share
Single Page

More from Sam Stark:

Commentary January 21, 2011, 3:43 pm

United We Brand!

Weekly Review September 28, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review June 29, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today