2009 Hate Crime Report

The F.B.I. released its 2008 data on hate crimes in the U.S. The figures suggest that American hatred is on the rise, but not my much: only about 2 percent. The highest upticks occurred for hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation (up 11 percent) and religion (up 9 percent).

Feeding the Local Shark

I wrote a book on the underground economy a few years ago. For about a decade, I observed activity in Chicago’s South Side — our current president’s backyard. I was surprised to learn about the importance of “creditors” — otherwise affectionately known as “loansharks” — who operated an informal lending network in the area. (These […]

Got Clawbacks? Thugz on the Bailout

Dear Secretary Geithner, I’ve been out of touch. Sorry. I spent the last month on grand jury duty, putting Manhattan’s poor minorities behind bars. I needed a little time to recover. As promised, this is the first in a series of friendly dispatches. Advice, if you will. Learned counsel. Wisdom from the streets (as opposed […]

A Letter From the Thugz

Dear Mr. Geithner, I have been on jury duty recently. Nevertheless, I have been observing your first few weeks in office. I figured you could use a little help. I, personally, don’t have the expertise, so I thought I’d lean on a few acquaintances who have weathered several economic storms. What’s that? You say you […]

The Market is Dead! Long Live the Market!

Sudhir Venkatesh‘s book “Gang Leader for a Day,” originally published last January, is now out in paperback. You can read reviews of it here, here, and here; and The Economist named it a book of the year. Robert Rosenkranz has proposed means of financial market regulation. His Wall Street Journal op-ed offers redress for the […]

What Should South Asians Do With Their Wealth?

I have been posting on this site about the trials and tribulations of young donors. I’m in the middle of chronicling the life of Michael, an heir to a trust, who must soon begin giving away $78 million (U.S.). More on his philanthropic journey in the next post. Another group is stumbling into the American […]

Is France Due for Riots?

Photo: cicilief In my last post, I offered several reasons why the urban riot has gone out of style in the U.S. However, France will not be spared the sword. I predict that the world will watch French cities light up in youth unrest in 2009, 2010 at the latest … 2011 for sure. I […]

Whither the Riot?

Photo: Mika Hiironniemi I have been struck by the absence of collective protest over the actions of those in the financial industry. Free market advocates have been rendered impotent; why aren’t they up in arms that their belief system has been forever invalidated? Leftists watch as our elected leaders hand over the oversight function to […]

Michael, Meet Curtis: Philanthropy Gets Personal

This past weekend I had the opportunity to bring two ends of the American income spectrum together. I introduced Michael, the blue-blood New Yorker who plans to start a family foundation (see earlier posts), to Curtis, a squatter in Chicago who moves from one abandoned apartment to another. Michael, a multi-millionaire with a team of […]

The Price of Advice: Chronicles of a Young Philanthropist, Part III

Readers of this blog might recall my earlier posts about Michael, a young man who is expecting to donate about $70 million over the coming decade. In the last six months, Michael has committed himself to understanding both the responsibilities and challenges of philanthropy. There was some interest in his progress among Freakonomics readers, so […]