Larry McMurtry’s new novel The Last Kind Words Saloon takes the reader on an imagery ride into the sunset of the Old Wild West that he pictured so vividly in his previous classic Lonesome Dove. Don’t look for a traditional story line in this latest McMurtry offering. Rather, this is what I call a chapter book ,which moves very quickly through images of the fading lives and lifestyles of some of the Old West’s iconic figures.
Through short , crisp chapters, the reader glimpses days and nights with Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Jessie Earp the keeper of The Last Kind Words Saloon. You will be re-acquainted with Charlie Goodnight, the one-time Texas Ranger turned cattleman that was prominent in McMurtry’s fabulous novel Comanche Moon. The trail passes through McMurtry’s home Texas turf from Long Grass to Mobetie, then on to Tombstone, Arizona and of course the O.K. Corral. Men in search of a last frontier.
The Last Kind Words Saloon is a last watering hole, a lost way of life, a friend fading with age as the Old West disappears before the eyes of the very men who established the treasured folklore. With hope , they journey with a faded marquee, The Last Kind Words Saloon, seeking to find a new place, which time has now forever lost.
Search Gordonsgoodreads.com for other great McMurtry books including Lonesome Dove, Comanche Moon, Dead Man’s Walk, Streets of Laredo and The Last Picture Show.
An Article in today’s New York Times Deal book by Jenny Anderson summarizes the impact of the U.S. Justice Departments handling of the Credit Suisse settlement.
Credit Suisse Chief Executive Brady W. Dougan seems less than contrite.
Quoting the New York Times article:
” A day after Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to tax evasion in the United States, the Swiss bank says that it is able to conduct its business as normal despite its criminal conviction. Swiss officials and investors seemed to welcome the fact that the resolution allows the bank to put the matter behind it.
On Tuesday, the Credit Suisse top management spread out around the world to calm employees and clients after its felony conviction. Mr. Dougan was in New York while Urs Rohner, the chairman, was in Switzerland and David Mathers, the company’s chief financial officer, was in London.
In call with media and analysts, Mr. Dougan again said the bank took full responsibility for its actions, but emphasized that it had seen little business impact as a result of the plea.
“We have found no instances where clients cannot do business with us,” he said. “Our discussions with clients have been very reassuring and we haven’t seen very many issues at all.”
Adds the NYT Article, “Mr. Dougan also said that he never considered resigning over the incident, even as opposition politicians continue to call for his ouster. “
Am I wrong or did Dougan really say Credit Suisse Clients don’t give a dam about the banks felony conviction! A good follow-up question: Does Dougan care?
I wonder how Eric Holder enjoyed reading this story this morning?
The Sunday May 18th New York Times carried two wonderful overviews of two current books on the financial crisis. If you are following this odyssey both articles are most worthwhile. Gretchen Morgenson’s Fair Game column, Geithner Staying on Script dissected Geithner’s Stress Test self-defense book with precision! In my view no reporter is better than Morgenson in getting to the bottom of complex financial issues and her article is enlightening and the conclusions on point. Writes Morgenson,
“Mr. Geithner does do some introspection. “I did not view Wall Street as a cabal of idiots or crooks,” he writes. “My jobs mostly exposed me to talented senior bankers, and selection bias probably gave me an impression that the U.S. financial sector was more capable and ethical than it really was.” That’s as close as he gets to saying that he was wrong to trust — not question — bankers he encountered.
A final flaw: In his book, Mr. Geithner boasts that the bailouts he helped design have been profitable to taxpayers. But his calculations do not take into account the cost of capital that the taxpayers extended to the banks.
“As for the oversight mistakes that he and his regulatory colleagues made, Mr. Geithner essentially says “We were human.” But this fails to address head-on the possibility that he was a captured regulator, a man locked into the mind-set of the very bankers he was supposed to oversee.”
The second article, written by Binyamin Appelbaum, The Case Against The Bernanke-Obama Financial Rescue, reviews a new book by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi titled House of Debt. The authors flatly accuse Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke of focusing only on preserving the financial system ( the banks). From Appelbaum’s article ”
“If you actually look at the argument that people like Mr. Geithner make, they almost always point to financial metrics like risk spreads and interest rates,” he said. “But if you look at the real economy, it just tends to come out in our favor.” Millions of Americans remain unemployed almost five years after the formal end of the recession.”
I have not as yet read either Stress Test or House of Debt. These two overviews are great previews and set the table for two more good reads on this complex subject, a story which has no ending.