…asleep at the switch [DOT 5/10/21]

nodding out...

…so before I get to that heartwarming header image

Facebook on Monday again asked a federal judge to throw out the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit, arguing that the agency still has “no valid factual basis” showing that the social network is an illegal monopolist, in one of the most high-profile competition cases in decades.
Facebook on Monday sought to challenge the agency’s argument that the company dominates a narrow market of social networks. Facebook called the FTC’s argument “a litigation-driven fiction at odds with the commercial reality of intense competition,” citing TikTok’s recent rise.
Meanwhile, Facebook is still responding to the antitrust lawsuit, which amounts to perhaps the most existential regulatory threat to Facebook’s business in the company’s 17-year history. If the FTC is successful in court, Facebook could be forced to sell off competitors it has acquired that have been key to its success, including its fast-growing WhatsApp and Instagram services. The agency has argued that Facebook sought to neutralize nascent competitors by gobbling them up through an “anticompetitive acquisition strategy.”
The Facebook complaint comes amid a broader debate in Washington over whether existing competition laws can adequately address the unique market dynamics in the tech industry, where companies often offer their services for free. The House Judiciary Committee advanced a package of tech-focused antitrust bills in June, and senators are working on introducing similar bills.


…there was a lot that happened yesterday

A company that is a critical part of the global telecommunications infrastructure used by AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and several others around the world such as Vodafone and China Mobile, quietly disclosed that hackers were inside its systems for years, impacting more than 200 of its clients and potentially millions of cellphone users worldwide.


…some of it less than expected

Donald Trump has again demanded the Pulitzer prize board rescind the prize for national reporting awarded to the New York Times and Washington Post in 2018, for exposing Russian election interference and links between Trump and Moscow.
Nonetheless, in a letter to the Pulitzer prize interim administrator, Bud Kliment, the former president repeated a demand first made in 2019.

Alleging “false reporting of a non-existent link between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign” and calling the papers’ work “a politically motivated farce”, Trump, whose administration never managed to stop a stream of leaks, also complained about anonymous sourcing.


…& some that begs seemingly obvious questions

It has become a ubiquitous question in our politics: How close did Donald Trump come to pulling off an actual coup?

The revelations about Mike Pence’s role in Jan. 6 keep getting worse

…& the answers don’t seem great

The GOP has become the stupid party — and proud of it [WaPo]

‘The coup didn’t work’ is not a reassuring argument [WaPo]

…whereas some stuff seems arguably all too predictable

California deploys national guard to hospitals overwhelmed by Covid [Guardian]

Crews race to avert ‘ecological disaster’ after California oil spill [NBC]

…or familiar sounding

DEA agent killed, 2 law enforcement officers injured in shooting on Amtrak train in Tucson [NBC]

A Pennsylvania electrician accused of murdering three co-workers in Florida allegedly beat two of them with a baseball bat while they slept and stabbed a third when he fought back, authorities said Monday.


…some maybe indicative

The Biden administration on Monday reversed a contentious policy set under President Donald J. Trump that barred organizations that provide abortion referrals from receiving federal family planning money.

The new rule, set to take effect on Nov. 8, deals with what is known as the Title X family planning program, which was created in 1970 and subsidizes birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings and related preventive care for millions of predominantly low-income patients.
As a result of the Trump rule, Planned Parenthood, which had received roughly $60 million annually through the Title X program, withdrew from it rather than comply. Before 2019, Planned Parenthood health centers each year served roughly 40 percent of the four million people who used the Title X program, the organization said on Monday.
Six states currently have no Title X services, and seven others have “limited Title X capacity,” the health and human services department said.


…or potentially predictive

The Brexit minister, David Frost, said he expected the EU to issue its formal response to the UK’s demand for renegotiation of the Northern Ireland protocol within the next 10 days, as he outlined fresh detail on the timeline for talks.

It means a November crunch time for the Democratic Unionist party, which on Monday repeated its threat to quit Northern Ireland’s power-sharing administration and force fresh Stormont elections if substantial progress on ditching the protocol is not made.
Speaking at a Centre for Brexit Policy event at the Conservative party conference, Frost also warned that if no agreement could be reached, the UK would be “robust” if the EU retaliated by imposing tariffs or other barriers to trade flow between Great Britain and the EU.
Earlier on Monday, the leader of the DUP gave Boris Johnson until the end of October to solve the Northern Ireland protocol row, just hours after the UK issued a veiled threat to the EU that it would pull the plug on the Brexit arrangements.


With liabilities equal to 2% of China’s GDP, Evergrande has sparked concerns its woes could spread through the financial system and reverberate around the world.


…though…of what exactly is still mostly guesswork

The negotiations have intensified in recent days. Biden told Democrats the initial $3.5 trillion price tag would have to fall, and that the talks ranged up to $2.3 trillion, a source familiar with the meeting said. Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., floated a $1.5 trillion counteroffer that some decried as being too small. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has declined to say publicly what she’d back, frustrating her colleagues.


In 2003, Joe Lieberman, at the time one of the worst Democratic senators, traveled to Arizona to campaign for his party’s presidential nomination and was regularly greeted by antiwar demonstrators. “He’s a shame to Democrats,” said the organizer of a protest outside a Tucson hotel, a left-wing social worker named Kyrsten Sinema. “I don’t even know why he’s running. He seems to want to get Republicans voting for him — what kind of strategy is that?”

It was a good question, and one that many people would like to ask Sinema herself these days. People sometimes describe the Arizona senator as a centrist, but that seems the wrong term for someone who’s been working to derail some of the most broadly popular parts of Joe Biden’s agenda, corporate tax increases and reforms to lower prescription drug prices. Instead, she’s just acting as an obstructionist, seeming to bask in the approbation of Republicans who will probably never vote for her.

What’s Wrong With Kyrsten Sinema? [NYT]

…but then who knows what the future will bring?

Australia’s proposed nuclear-powered submarines could be obsolete by the time they hit the water in the 2040s due to new technologies making underwater vessels “visible”, some experts argue.
The report found “future technologies will make the oceans broadly transparent and counter-detection technologies will not have the same salience in the decades ahead as they have had previously”.


…of course there were also some things that didn’t exactly happen recently…but look like they might be headed in a not-great direction


As the court begins a new term, regrettably, its recent history suggests that it lacks a majority of justices with sufficient concern about the basic continuity and integrity of the law or the ability of government to function.

The evidence has been growing quietly in recent years — and then, last summer, quite loudly, when the court decided to twiddle its thumbs while Texas enacted an abortion law that practically bans nearly all procedures while evading timely judicial review.
My concerns about what the Supreme Court might do now are fed by its actions in the recent past. Last term was marked by a number of radical departures from precedent and existing law to elevate certain constitutional rights of individuals in a way that can stop government at all levels in its tracks.
In their general direction and thrust, these cases from the last term do not differ materially from the approaches that the court’s most conservative justices have been pursuing for years. What is new is the court’s frequency and brashness in achieving these radical outcomes and its willingness to do so too often without an honest explanation and acknowledgment of what is actually going on.

The Supreme Court Has Gone Off the Rails [NYT]

About 14% of the world’s coral has been lost in less than a decade, a study of the health of coral reefs has found.

In the largest analysis of coral reef health ever undertaken, scientists found that between 2009 and 2018 the world lost about 11,700 sq km of coral – the equivalent of more than all the living coral in Australia.
The study, which analysed 10 regions with coral reefs, showed that coral bleaching events caused by raised sea surface temperatures were the biggest factor behind coral loss. It found that one such mass bleaching event in 1998 led to the loss of 8% of the world’s coral, or about 6,500 sq km, with the biggest impact observed in the Indian Ocean, Japan and the Caribbean.
However, the report also offers signs of hope. Scientists found that despite the stresses reefs were under, many remained resilient and had the potential to recover under the right conditions, particularly if action was taken immediately to halt global heating.
Coral reefs cover just 0.2% of the ocean floor but are home to at least a quarter of all marine species. They provide a vital habitat, as well as an important source of protein, medicines, food and jobs as well as protection from storms and erosion for millions of people.


…about some of which there’s been a lot of talk of late

A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and — in 14 cases involving current country leaders — citizens around the world.

Billions hidden beyond reach [WaPo]

The Pandora papers are a leaked cache of 11.9m files from companies that specialise in creating offshore companies and trusts. They are the latest major data leak to expose an alternative financial world where the super-rich can hide their assets and pay little or no tax, following on from the Panama papers in 2016 and the Paradise papers in 2017.


The files suggest the US midwestern state now rivals Switzerland, Panama, the Cayman Islands and other famous tax havens as a premier venue for the international rich seeking to protect their assets from local taxes or the authorities.
The US has previously faced international criticism over the ease with which shell companies – which can be used to perpetrate tax fraud and financial crimes – can be incorporated in the state of Delaware.


Foreign money secretly floods U.S. tax havens. Some of it is tainted.

Pandora Papers: tax avoidance revelations prompt outraged denials [Guardian]

…which, in a roundabout way reminds me of this question

Can a post office be a bank? New services test a progressive priority [NBC]

…& based on the way the royal mail version of a post office system ran when I was a kid…I’m going to say that the answer is basically yes it can…but…well I think we can probably agree that both the royal mail & the USPS have seen better days


…oh, yeah…& then there was that whole facebook SNAFU

After whistleblower Frances Haugen unleashed a torrent of unflattering revelations about Facebook in the Wall Street Journal and on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” the social media giant pledged to “tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content.” But as long as the social network makes money off such garbage, such a promise comes across as a sick joke rather than reassurance.
Haugen worked at Facebook as part of a team that was supposed to figure out how to stop the platform from being used to interfere in elections. She left after two years, disappointed and disillusioned. After reading the Journal’s series of articles and watching the “60 Minutes” interview, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that “misinformation and harmful content” are a feature of the platform, not a bug.
“There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen said on “60 Minutes.” “And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”


…no…you know…the other one

After four years of almost continuous scandal, Facebook is approaching its latest controversy over political polarization and the toxic effects of social media in a more aggressive and defiant way than it has previously, say current and former employees, including executives who helped shape the company’s earlier responses.

Gone is the familiar script in which chief executive Mark Zuckerberg issues a formal apology — sometimes in long blogs on his personal Facebook page or over live-streamed video for a Congressional hearing — then takes responsibility and promises change.

In its place, the company has deployed a slate of executives to mount a public defense while quibbling with the details of allegations from Frances Haugen, the former project manager who left Facebook with tens of thousands of documents. Those documents detail the company’s research into how it spreads hate, incites violence, and, through its Instagram subsidiary, contributes to teenage girls’ negative body images and suicidal thoughts.
Fueling the approach, say the former employees — who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive matters — is a desire by Zuckerberg to distance himself from the social network’s problems as he focuses on virtual reality and his ambitions to make Facebook a major player in hardware production.


…anyway…then there was…well…the thing that prompted this kind of thing


…so…what was up with that?

…now…despite the part where it gets technical…this is objectively funny

…it’s tempting to call it poetic justice

…well…technically I guess it seems it was BGP

…but if you have a problem with that…particularly if you’re facebook…the two are all sorts of connected

The old network troubleshooting saying is, when anything goes wrong, “It’s DNS.” This time Domain Name Server (DNS) appears to be the symptom of the root cause of the Facebook global failure. The true cause is that there are no working Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes into Facebook’s sites.

BGP is the standardized exterior gateway protocol used to exchange routing and reachability information between the internet top-level autonomous systems (AS). Most people, indeed most network administrators, never need to deal with BGP.

Many people spotted that Facebook was no longer listed on DNS. Indeed, there were joke posts offering to sell you the Facebook.com domain.


…facebook is…huge…we know this…& for much of its existence it’s been..well…everywhere…

It won’t come as much of a surprise that Facebook tracks you on its platform—that’s why it can resurface your birthday photos from five years ago—but you might not yet realize the scope and the depth of its tracking all across the internet. Facebook’s tentacles stretch out across other websites and services, into the various apps you’re using on your phone, and to the places you physically visit in the real world—especially if you decide to check in on Facebook while you’re there.

All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It [Wired]

…it only takes a pixel


…or sometimes even less…but for a frankly astonishing amount of time…facebook & all its toys…like instagram…& it turns out whatsapp…were not at home to the world…they just took the phone off the hook & checked out…because they live in an ecosystem that might as well be facebook’s internal network…they didn’t so much take their ball & go home as teleport their entire playground into an alternate dimension…which – in a variety of ways…was funny…but it’s also pretty instructive in a not fun way…so before I start sounding like the voice of doom (again?) here’s that heartwarming header image in context

…& if you happen to have a taste for tinfoil millinery…the timing is probably giving you a lot to think about

Facebook putting profit before public good, says whistleblower Frances Haugen [Guardian]

The Facebook whistleblower, who will be testifying before Congress on Tuesday, identified herself publicly during an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday.


…& if you’re maybe not so hard to point in the direction of a dire implication or two you could lose a decent chunk of time over what it means to be able to screw up so much simply by scrambling something analogous to facebook’s phonebook

Facebook’s network infrastructure needs to constantly scale and evolve, rapidly adapting to our application needs. The amount of traffic from Facebook to Internet – we call it “machine to user” traffic – is large and ever increasing, as more people connect and as we create new products and services. However, this type of traffic is only the tip of the iceberg. What happens inside the Facebook data centers – “machine to machine” traffic – is several orders of magnitude larger than what goes out to the Internet.

Our back-end service tiers and applications are distributed and logically interconnected. They rely on extensive real-time “cooperation” with each other to deliver a fast and seamless experience on the front end, customized for each person using our apps and our site. We are constantly optimizing internal application efficiency, but nonetheless the rate of our machine-to-machine traffic growth remains exponential, and the volume has been doubling at an interval of less than a year.
For our next-generation data center network design we challenged ourselves to make the entire data center building one high-performance network, instead of a hierarchically oversubscribed system of clusters. We also wanted a clear and easy path for rapid network deployment and performance scalability without ripping out or customizing massive previous infrastructures every time we need to build more capacity.
To implement building-wide connectivity, we created four independent “planes” of spine switches, each scalable up to 48 independent devices within a plane. Each fabric switch of each pod connects to each spine switch within its local plane. Together, pods and planes form a modular network topology capable of accommodating hundreds of thousands of 10G-connected servers, scaling to multi-petabit bisection bandwidth, and covering our data center buildings with non-oversubscribed rack-to-rack performance.
When we first thought about building the fabric, it seemed complicated and intimidating because of the number of devices and links. However, what we were able to achieve ended up being more simple, elegant, and operationally efficient than our customary cluster designs. Here’s how we got there.
We were able to build our fabric using standard BGP4 as the only routing protocol. To keep things simple, we used only the minimum necessary protocol features. This enabled us to leverage the performance and scalability of a distributed control plane for convergence, while offering tight and granular routing propagation management and ensuring compatibility with a broad range of existing systems and software. At the same time, we developed a centralized BGP controller that is able to override any routing paths on the fabric by pure software decisions. We call this flexible hybrid approach “distributed control, centralized override.”
To expedite provisioning and changes, we’ve established simple and robust mechanisms to automatically deploy configurations on the devices and discover any new devices’ roles in the fabric. This allows us to efficiently deploy large sets of fabric components in parallel, in a virtually unattended mode.


[…emphasis mine & all that sort of thing]

…though…well…there’s obviously a lot more to it in a lot of ways


…but how deep you want to get into the weeds about it is probably a matter of perspective

One possible way to read “The Facebook Files,” The Wall Street Journal’s excellent series of reports based on leaked internal Facebook research, is as a story about an unstoppable juggernaut bulldozing society on its way to the ban
But there’s another way to read the series, and it’s the interpretation that has reverberated louder inside my brain as each new installment has landed.

Which is: Facebook is in trouble.

Not financial trouble, or legal trouble, or even senators-yelling-at-Mark-Zuckerberg trouble. What I’m talking about is a kind of slow, steady decline that anyone who has ever seen a dying company up close can recognize. It’s a cloud of existential dread that hangs over an organization whose best days are behind it, influencing every managerial priority and product decision and leading to increasingly desperate attempts to find a way out. This kind of decline is not necessarily visible from the outside, but insiders see a hundred small, disquieting signs of it every day — user-hostile growth hacks, frenetic pivots, executive paranoia, the gradual attrition of talented colleagues.

[…]if these leaked documents proved anything, it is how un-Godzilla-like Facebook feels. The documents, shared with The Journal by Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, reveal a company worried that it is losing power and influence, not gaining it, with its own research showing that many of its products aren’t thriving organically. Instead, it is going to increasingly extreme lengths to improve its toxic image, and to stop users from abandoning its apps in favor of more compelling alternatives.

You can see this vulnerability on display in an installment of The Journal’s series that landed last week. The article, which cited internal Facebook research, revealed that the company has been strategizing about how to market itself to children, referring to preteens as a “valuable but untapped audience.” The article contained plenty of fodder for outrage, including a presentation in which Facebook researchers asked if there was “a way to leverage playdates to drive word of hand/growth among kids?”

It’s a crazy-sounding question, but it’s also revealing. Would a confident, thriving social media app need to “leverage playdates,” or concoct elaborate growth strategies aimed at 10-year-olds? If Facebook is so unstoppable, would it really be promoting itself to tweens as — and please read this in the voice of the Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme — a “Life Coach for Adulting?”

The truth is that Facebook’s thirst for young users is less about dominating a new market and more about staving off irrelevance. Facebook use among teenagers in the United States has been declining for years, and is expected to plummet even further soon — internal researchers predicted that daily use would decline 45 percent by 2023. The researchers also revealed that Instagram, whose growth offset declining interest in Facebook’s core app for years, is losing market share to faster-growing rivals like TikTok, and younger users aren’t posting as much content as they used to.
A good way to think about Facebook’s problems is that they come in two primary flavors: problems caused by having too many users, and problems caused by having too few of the kinds of users it wants — culture-creating, trendsetting, advertiser-coveted young Americans.

[…]The second type of problem — when tastemakers abandon your platforms en masse — is the one that kills you. And it appears to be the one that Facebook executives are most worried about.
It’s far too early to declare Facebook dead. The company’s stock price has risen nearly 30 percent in the past year, lifted by strong advertising revenue and a spike in use of some products during the pandemic. Facebook is still growing in countries outside the United States, and could succeed there even if it stumbles domestically. And the company has invested heavily in newer initiatives, like augmented and virtual reality products, that could turn the tide if they’re successful.
Facebook’s declining relevance with young people shouldn’t necessarily make its critics optimistic. History teaches us that social networks rarely age gracefully, and that tech companies can do a lot of damage on the way down. (I’m thinking of MySpace, which grew increasingly seedy and spam-filled as it became a ghost town, and ended up selling off user data to advertising firms. But you could find similarly ignoble stories from the annals of most failed apps.) Facebook’s next few years could be uglier than its last few, especially if it decides to scale back its internal research and integrity efforts in the wake of the leaks.

Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew [NYT]

…much like what the repercussions might be of things finally moving fast enough for facebook to wind up being one of the things that break

…but…if you really want to go full on “go ask alice” about the whole thing…facebook wants us all to embrace the metaverse


…which…if you ever read snow crash might sound like something out of a dystopian future…but maybe your tastes run more to the player piano end of the spectrum…& alternate &/or virtual realities are surplus to your requirements &/or concerns


…but shake it up with a little of this sort of thing

The device works by detecting patterns of brain activity linked to depression and automatically interrupting them using tiny pulses of electrical stimulation delivered deep inside the brain.
Although the therapy has been tested in only one patient – and would only ever be suitable for those with severe illness – the success is seen as hugely significant. It is the first demonstration that the brain activity underlying the symptoms of mental illness can be reliably detected and reveals that these brain circuits can be nudged back into a healthy state, even in a patient who has been unwell for years.


…mix with a few parts “move fast & break things”…&…well…I’m not saying you’ve got a recipe for the matrix…but I’m not not saying that?



  1. …by the by…I was late to congratulate @lymond on the new gig…but I did see this somewhere

    …which I’m hoping means their slice of the entertainment strata has some interests being attended to…but I failed to find a spot for it up above

  2. One of the weirder takes about the Facebook outage is the people who talk about the apps that went down stopping work, and use that helplessness to defend Facebook.

    I could see this kind of defense if a mob had taken monkey wrenchs to Facebook’s servers, but this kind of reactionary take when Facebook does this to itself is ridiculous.

    The urge to “well actually” should never jump ahead of the most basic understanding of a situation.

    • …I don’t know about the defending facebook part…but I did see a few remarks made to the effect that the impact of whatsapp going down in places like india was largely lost on the people looking at the situation from a US-centric perspective

      …so I’d be lying if I claimed I didn’t fall in among the number of people that thought yesterday’s downtime was a pretty stark illustration of how profoundly interwoven that ecosystem is into the day to day experience of vast numbers of people in a bewildering amount of the globe?

      • It’s fine to note that FB apps have such huge reach that when FB goes down a lot of people are hurt — if someone goes on to use this as yet another strike against FB. A fair number if people took this path.

        What’s nuts were the people who tried to spin this as a reason why FB is so good.

        They saw a ton of people rightfully unloading on FB and then decided to go into contrarian wiseman chin stroking mode. It’s Stockholm Syndrome time.

        The way this manipulation has worked on so many people is that by finding an area of small disagreement the manipulator elevates that to a central argument, and in the name of providing perspective kills all perspective.

        Keep the argument focused on, say, a six hour outage of messaging and you can distract how Modi’s party uses FB extensively to carry out repressive attacks on human rights 365 days a year.

        Repeating 100 times “I’m just saying, a lot of people in India use WhatsApp” has the allure of sounding wise and expansive, but it is in fact reductive and ignorant of what’s really happening in India at large.

        • …the straw man approach is ever rife online…particularly where your performatively contrarian types are concerned…but I think a fair chunk of what I ran across was more by way of saying “there are a lot of ways you might look at the ways facebook & its services normally crop up that were conspicuous by their absence & conclude it might be for the best if they never came back online…but that might be oversimplifying what that looks like for a lot of people in a lot of different places”

          …don’t doubt for a moment there was plenty of the other kind of thing doing the rounds had I looked in different places…or taken more time…but I never got around to seeing what nick clegg had to say about it so it’s fair to say I didn’t go as far as seeing what all sides had to say for themselves, as it were?

          • I don’t even want to know what Clegg had to say, but I thought it was funny when a British person pointed out that Americans were learning to hate Clegg for all of the same reasons the British hated Clegg in a completely different context.

            What drives me crazy about the subset of everyday people who run to defend FB is the same mentality of everyday people who run to defend NFL owners in a fight over taxpayer subsidies.

            I mean, if someone really wants they could put together a string of facts that vaguely look like an argument in favor of a ghoul. But why bother? Nobody is even paying them, and it’s embarrassing to watch when it falls apart. Feel free to develop unique ways to add to the hate for Stan Kroenke or Zuck, but there is no honor in serving them.

  3. For a guy who helped create the garbage political world we live in circa 2010-now, Zuck seems kind of upset.

    Among my circle of people I know and connected to on FB, I know who gets most of their news feed from the troll Zuck.  Only one.  The same one who adamantly defended Trump and still claims that Biden lost.  The same guy who I defriended several months ago because of his constant use of RW bullshit talking points. He claims that he’s suffered from brain damage from concussions (okay) but still imagines himself as the smartest guy in the room–major disconnect.


  4. it was pretty funny watching people at work lose their shit about facebook and whatsapp being down

    ermagerd i cant contact anyone with muh phone now!

    we are doomed if the interwebs ever goes down completely……

    • Ha my stupid brain spent the first few hours of it thinking my phone was the problem and then I eventually heard coworkers talking about it being an outage.

      I will say, I think stupid Facebook needs to have a specific outage page post when shit’s broken. Something like “Zuckerberg doesn’t have tear glands but if he did, he’d be crying right now because he’s sad that Facebook is down. Don’t worry, we’re desperately trying to fix it because we don’t want to lose that sweet, sweet advertising revenue.”

  5. Some sad news for the media-obsessed person we know only too well:


    I take this with two huge grains of salt.

    1.) The thought that this person has a net worth of $2.5 billion is laughable on its face, since he’s mortgaged up to his eyeballs at Deutsche Bank and various insalubrious “Russian entities” and none of those play around. His staggering debts may be shielded from us but they know of them, to the penny, or the euro, or the ruble. Now that this person can’t really do anything for them, and he certainly can’t pay them back, I’m not really sure we have to worry about a 2024 comeback.

    2.) This is actually sad: Forbes used to be a well-respected news source, with a Manhattan HQ in its own building on lower Fifth Avenue. In it was a museum/galleries with items from Malcolm Forbes’s personal collection, including the famous Fabergé eggs. All that was auctioned off long ago and what’s left of the staff works out of Jersey City, NJ. The former HQ is/was some kind of failed “event space.”

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