Challenges, Lagarde said, are low growth, rising inequality, and falling numbers of jobs. Resolve these three stumbling blocks and we may get the world to work better. The IMF alone cannot do it, nor even the IMF, World Bank, U.S. Government, OECD, European Union, United Nations together. We can’t channel the human mind to a higher level anytime soon, but we’d better tackle those three bugbears or we’re all sunk. The wealthy with the others.
The day I went to pick up the ambassador at his residence, I saw he was smarter than most: he understood he’d have to wear jeans and a T-shirt if he were to get anything out of the meeting on the mountain. I was impressed that he caught onto this without needing to be told.
We got in back of his armored SUV and headed up the mountain at sunset. He would have asked me how to make the most of this, but he already got it: Listen, don’t talk. Just this once.
Madrid puts together immodesty and grace as few other capitals do. Everywhere are reminders that this was once an empire that vied with all others. These blend with the charm of a thousand little eateries and places to while away a spring or summer afternoon, some of them still sparkling with decorative tiles from the nineteenth century.
America does have culture and a great number of graceful architectural achievements in its Homeland. It saves its horrors for export, like tobacco and DDT. We shouldn’t do this to friends.
He’s not registered to vote. He’s not even a real person. But on June 23, the deciding vote on “Brexit”—the referendum on whether Britain will remain within or exit the EC—may well be cast by an anonymous chap known only as the Rolling English Drunkard.
There were nature trails. They weren’t labeled so. The walking was good, so I did a lot of it. On my second hike up the hill from the Centre Climatique, I noticed a young boy following me, so I thought my privacy might be breached. I don’t mind being followed as long as the ulterior motives are clear. I put some small bills in my shirt pocket, and considered giving the boy some money and asking him if I might continue on my own.