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Sunday Salon, Gidget Speaks in Tongues, and My Life in the High Finance biz

September 16, 2008

I’m heading this week to NYC to read at the Sunday Salon, September 21, 2008 with writers Tsipi Keller, born in Prague, raised in Israel; Dax-Devlon Ross, a commentator on popular culture and a student of African-American history; and Emily Helfgot, writer and performer with a professional background in elementary school teaching and literacy-based non-profit work. The readings usually start at 7-ish. Like the Sunday Salon website says: hop a plane, bus, train, or catch a ride with a political operative. After all, everyone needs a little art and literature in their lives. For more information and directions, click here.

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Last week I asked what would Sarah Palin’s highly imaginative confessions be as Gidget? This week, I’m answering:

“Moon Doggie was not my first love nor my last . . .”

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New York Stock Exchange Copyright 2007 flickr user HelicoThank goodness the buildings on Wall Street don’t have windows you can open or else I’m afraid that the employees of Bear Stearns, Inc., Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch Inc., [who can forget their slogan “Bullish on America”] might be throwing themselves out of them. Jeeze what a week they’re having. With the unemployment numbers rising to 6.1 percent, things are looking kind of bad–even for the suits.

I used to work for Paine Webber, Inc., back in the 1980s on the institutional side of securities investment. [Mortgaged-backed securities, U.S. treasuries, that kind of thing.] Our group traded Fannie Maes and Freddie Macs, the long bond, the five-year, junk bonds. I’ve written about the experience in “An American In New York” and “Moccasins Don’t Have High Heels.” At the time I was employed on Wall Street, I was the only democrat, or, the only one who would admit it. This was the Reagan era, and I was also the only American Indian working for a Wall Street firm in sales. I remember we had one client who would only drink Dom Perignon when she came to town. She was from St. Louis, MO and managed a $250 million dollar portfolio for the state teachers’ fund. It was a wild business and even wilder people worked in the industry. We took our client out and showed her the town. Got-er drunk. Made-er like us. However during one of her trips, our office staffer, a twenty-one-year-old female, passed out on our client’s lap as we were driving her around town . . . I know, I know, tame by today’s standards, especially after reading about the business parties held in Greece that some of these guys have hosted for their clients.

Yeah, it was a business full of excesses even 20 years ago, and it looks like the party is just now winding down . . . We’ll see.

New York Stock Exchange originally uploaded by Helico.

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