The Weekly Quill — Productivity Paralyzed

The Unknown of the Post-Stimulus U.S. Economy Encumbers Corporate America

Honorable men take full credit for their actions. Honorable men do not belittle, berate and bully. And honorable men shoot equines out of their misery, but only if they are fatally injured. But what of a man who commands his soldiers take no prisoners and later denies issuing such an order even as his subordinates’ reputations are destroyed? What of a man who callously shoots dead two mules and orders them pushed off a bridge because they’d slowed the progression of his armored convoy? And what of a man who encounters a soldier hospitalized with combat fatigue and proceeds to repeatedly slap, curse and threaten to either send him to the front lines or have him killed by a firing squad? Witnesses to such acts including members of the press were a huge distraction for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1943 as he hustled to call in favors to bury the incidents for the sake of the war effort.

Word eventually got out. It always does. In late November 1943, the incidents hit the headlines in the States causing such an uproar that many in the U.S. Congress lobbied for one George Smith Patton Jr. to be stripped of his rank. While this effort failed, the Senate nonetheless delayed Patton’s promotion to permanent major general. And though he never lost his job, the string of incidents cost him the prestigious and historic role of commanding ground forces in June 1944’s invasion of Normandy.

One might hastily conclude that Patton is the last paragon of leadership to emulate. Nothing could be further from the truth. For many, their knowledge of the great general was conveyed in Patton, the 1970 powerhouse film that swept the Oscars earning Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Editing, among others. That’s not such a bad thing as the movie was true to both the military genius and equally his dark side that made him who he was.

George C. Scott, whose status as a Hollywood icon was solidified with that one role, said this of Patton’s persona of which he masterfully took possession: “I believe this man was an individual in the deepest sense of the word. If that is the only message, it’s the goddamndest finest one we’ve had come along in a long time. It is my conviction that had Patton been in charge, the war would have been perceptibly shorter, with thousands less casualties…our position today would have been different in regards to Russia. He possessed qualities and elements in his personality that are sadly lacking in men today.”

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For Whom the Trade Bell Tolls — The U.S. Claims Permanent International Immunity

Being a visionary, Chief Engineer Alfred Noble knew that two tunnels could never carry the burden of traffic that would demand four. And so, beginning in 1904, as lead man representing S. Pearson & Son, Noble directed the doubling of the originally conceived plans and the simultaneous construction of four tunnels under the East River. On March 18, 1908, the engineering marvel, four tubes each measuring 23 feet in diameter were completed. These byways that remain in use to this day went into operation on September 8, 1910 coincident with the opening of New York’s Penn Station. This busiest travel hub in the Western Hemisphere welcomes 600,000 travelers every day.

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website —  www.DiMartinoBooth.com

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Stress Testing the Fed — Passing the Liquidity Baton

A dozen years before Great Britain boasted Harold Abrahams, Lord David Burghley and Eric Liddell at the 1924 Paris Olympics, the United States had Edward Lindberg, Ted Meredith, Charles Reidpath and Mel Sheppard. This four-man team ran for gold in the inaugural 4×400 relay at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. At 3:16.6 minutes, the Americans set the first Olympics Record and smashed the prior world record by nearly two seconds. As extraordinary a film as Chariots of Fire is, the powerful story line does play fast and loose with history. While Liddell does refuse to run on Sunday and in so doing, truly makes history, Abrahams never competes to win the court race at Cambridge University and it isn’t until 1935 that he meets the hauntingly beautiful opera singer he will later marry.

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website MoneyStrong at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

Click Here to buy Fed Up:  An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.

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From Prussia with Dove — The ECB’s Mettle Put to the Test

Desmond Llewelyn knew how to make an entrance. In his 1964 debut as Q, a role he would play for 36 years, he armed 007 with an attaché case that concealed a throwing knife, gold sovereigns, a nifty tear-gas booby trap connected to the lock mechanism and ammunition for an Armalite AR-7 folding sniper rifle with an infrared night scope. Whether any of these cool spy toys were as menacing as the poison-tipped shoes donned by the ex-KGB agent in pursuit of James Bond in From Russia with Love is debatable. But what difference does that make? In the end, Bond outwits the bad guys on behalf of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and of course, gets his Bond Girl.

 

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website MoneyStrong at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

Click Here to buy Fed Up:  An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.

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Famous Last Words — Handicapping the Next Economic Tragedy

Dionysus would seem to be the least likely suspect to instigate a pity party. And yet, legend has it that the god we most associate with pleasure was tasked with summoning pain. And so he did with a young impressionable Aeschylus. Fortunately, for the world of tragedy, Aeschylus’ early career was in a place the god of wine would reign. As an oenophile shepherding his family’s vineyards, Aeschylus naturally revered the mighty lord of the vine and heeded the counsel given when Dionysus finds the young vintner slumbering. There among the grapes, the god who put revelry on the map bade the future tragedian to turn his talents to the art of despair. Delighted to discover his penchant for the dramatic, Aeschylus composed his first tragedy in 499 B.C. He was all of 26 years old. Contriving calamity with full credibility did not, however, come naturally to the young man. Suffering, it would seem, would have to come first hand.

 

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website MoneyStrong at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

Click Here to buy Fed Up:  An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.

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Pressing Perfection’s Bounds — The Quest for Value in Recoupling Markets

Even the best can be bested. One of the happiest endings following both World Wars started with an Italian Marchese and two horses. After fighting in the cavalry, the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta enrolled in the faculty of Agriculture in Pisa, beloved war horse in tow. Naturally drawn to the local equestrian community, he met one Clarise della Gherardesca and fell in love. In 1930, the couple married in the old church in Bolgheri and moved to Rome where they restored a family property and raised thoroughbreds. Enter Ribot, Italy’s most famous racehorse who triumphed in Paris’ Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1954 and again in 1955 against a stiffer field in his fourth year of racing. Neither France’s Sea-Bird nor Secretariat raced for more than three years making Ribot the highest-rated horse in history (Stud fees understandably commanded a premium.)

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website MoneyStrong at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

Click Here to buy Fed Up:  An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.

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The Rats Pack It In — The Heisting of Public Pensions

Hollywood is a great place to rewrite history, even its own. A 1958 case in point has a gas station attendant sharing a far-fetched story with film director Gilbert Kay. Kay proceeded to relay the story to Peter Lawford who bought the rights to the tale. When Rat Pack leader Frank Sinatra eventually got wind of the story, he joked, “Forget the movie, let’s pull off the job!” Sinatra may have been on to something as the original 1960 Ocean’s 11 fell flat. How a group of World War II 82nd Airborne veterans morphed into miscreants intent on pulling off the heist of a lifetime was something of a mystery to filmgoers. Sinatra, Martin et al would have portrayed more credible actors by being themselves. Some critics noted they did just that, too self-absorbed to even feign character. And then there’s the ending. Victory in hand – five Las Vegas casinos robbed in a single night, on New Year’s Eve, no less, the film goes up in smoke in a twisted ending that leaves one unsettlingly unsatisfied.

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence LLC

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website Money Strong LLC at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

Click Here to buy Fed Up:  An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America

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DiMartino Booth, Quill Intelligence JONESING FOR NORMALITY

Jonesing for Normality — The Economy Goes Off Script

Ah, but to have come of age oblivious to John, Paul, George and Ringo and be too young to have partaken of that muddy, druggy rite of passage in Woodstock, NY. There was no draft and your father was likely not a World War II veteran. You may have had older brothers or sisters who protested Vietnam, but you were not burdened with that internal conflict. Your scars also differ. You cannot tell people where you were the day JFK or MLK was assassinated. And you don’t consider yourself to be “old.” That is reserved for the first wave baby boomers, who are entering their 70s at a rapid clip.

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence LLC

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website Money Strong LLC at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

Click Here to buy Fed Up:  An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America

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Fulfilling the Forecast, Danielle Dimartino Booth

Fulfilling the Forecast — The Chimera of Nirvana in Price Controls

‘Tis better to attain or fulfill? A wise man in the Ghandara region of Pakistan, along its northern border with Afghanistan, once asked himself that very question. His answer was yes. Having heard Alexander the Great had reached his homeland, the king of Taxila wisely chose to attain survival, and in doing so, fulfill his Buddhist dream of achieving nirvana. Travelers to the remote region today can attest to the astonishing cultural fusion that took place beginning in the autumn of 327 BC as Alexander’s Macedonian army conquered even the most distant provinces of the Persian Empire.

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence

For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website MoneyStrong at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

Click Here to buy Fed Up:  An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.

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DiMartino Booth, Money Strong, Quill Intelligence, Federal Reserve, Economy,MISLEADING BY EXAMPLE1

Misleading by Example — Foiling the Figment of Forward Guidance

Ah, but to be suspended on tenterhooks, suspense pulsing through your veins as so much adrenaline. Or not… Time has glamorized few words more than it has “tenterhooks.” It all started with freshly woven wool and an aggravated 14th century fuller, a craftsman tasked with its cleaning. Removing the oil and dirt required wetting the cloth which all but guaranteed shrinkage, the arch enemy of fullers. To the rescue rode the tenter, (from the Latin tendere, to stretch) a simple wooden frame, often in the form of a double-sided fence. Securing the cloth using hooked nails driven into the tenter’s perimeter and stretching it to the other side ensured both shape and size were retained during the drying process and the fuller’s coffers plump.


Danielle DiMartino Booth is CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence LLC.

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For a full archive of my writing, please visit my website Money Strong LLC at www.DiMartinoBooth.com

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