Yeah, I turned fifty last week. Might as well memorialize it here in my journal. Below is the photo I took that day as I walked into town for a glass of wine and a stop at the food hall. Which, I guess, looks as bleak as most of the photos I take. But the air was crisp and clean, and the sky was nigh cloudless and the sun was bright and hard. Reminded of that line (and many others) from Cohen’s “Tower Of Song” – standing by the window, where the light is strong. It’s a song I identify with more and more as I age. Or, at least, understand more.
Fifty doesn’t feel too bad. Although I feel compelled to mention the extremely mild barely-there recurring headache I’ve had for a couple of weeks, to strike that doomy foreshadowing note if it turns out to be a brain tumour.
See? I can still make jokes. Not dead yet.
Or, as the other guy said “Well… yes, and here we go again.”
BLACK EDGE, by Sheelah Kolhatkar, is the story of Steve Cohen, financial wizard and insider-trading pirate, his weird life and the strange, damaged people who fell into his wake because of the riches he brought with him. And the fucked-up financial policing system in America.
Ever watch that show BILLIONS? You know, the one which opened with Paul Giamatti being pissed on by his dominatrix? This is the real story. It is both less lurid – no obvious piss play — and more fucked up. Yes, it’s fun to see Paul Giamatti looking for new things to shout at while Damien Lewis smiles his weird little smile, but there is nothing in that show like the howling human void that is trader Matthew Martoma, whose story becomes the centre stone of this carefully assembled liar’s house.
With clear explanations of the financial shenanigans for people like me who are all but mathematically bind, and exquisite pen-portraits of all the characters involved – the brief sketch of the demented informant known as “Winnie The Pooh” was an especial favourite — BLACK EDGE manages to be entertaining as well as rich and, of course, quite chilling. Totally recommended.
BLACK EDGE, Sheelah Kolhatkar (UK) (US)