Friday, September 17, 2010

Oliver Stone Inadvertently Sheds Light on New York Groupthink

Here is Andrew Ross Sorkin's account of a lunch with Oliver Stone in the Grill Room of the Four Seasons restaurant in Midtown Manhattan [menu pdf].

Before leaving the restaurant, Mr. Schwarzman stopped by our table, and when he realized Mr. Stone was there, the conversation seemed to awkwardly fizzle out. After Mr. Schwarzman left, Mr. Stone looked down. [Stephen Schwarzman is the chairman of the Blackstone Group.]

“That’s the problem with these places. If you had Henry Kissinger here,” he said gesturing over to his regular table. “What are you going to do? Not shake his hand? It’s a real problem. That’s the problem with New York society, it’s all an interlocking network.”
That makes sense. No wonder these people cannot think clearly. There was a time when having an investment operation based in Manhattan made sense. You were at a physical crossroads of information, which was really important before telecommunications advances like the internet.

Now information doesn't have to be printed and can be distributed instantly, so there's no advantage to concentrating operations on one tiny island. Instead, it has turned into a disadvantage: parasites have gathered to tax you, and there's no space for independent thought.

Also, these people just miss what is going on in the rest of the country. They don't see real estate agents in Las Vegas buying 10 houses with NINJNA loans, or people on food stamps, or people who have been unemployed for 99 weeks. They just don't know.

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