E Partial Closure

Forty years ago, when we lived in the 16th arrondissement of Paris and I was working for 60 Minutes, our son was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah with private lessons from a Yeshiva student at the reform Jewish synagogue near us on the Rue Copernic. One Friday night, a bomb was placed at the door of the synagogue as services neared their end. The bomber failed in his aim to kill Jews because there were too many Bar Mitzvah attendees hanging around chatting and eating at the Kiddush. They exited later without having to use the bombed out door. However four passersby, two on bicycles, were killed, and over 40 people wounded. Because my parents would have panicked when they learned about the bombing so near us, I called Mike Wallace to tell him we were safe and he called my parents, a great thrill for them.

The police failed to collect cigarette butts around the bomb site, which could have identified the bomber from his DNA. (Back then smoking was de rigueur.) But eventually, the likely bomber was identified, a Lebanese-born sociologist, who later a Canadian university professor, for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. His aim: to kill random Jews. Later tried by a French court years ago, the charges did not stick, despite his passport showing he was in Paris at the time of the bombing. He probably did not act alone. Right next to the synagogue was the Lebanese embassy officially uninvolved. Yesterday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a higher French court indicted the Canadian professor. In France, there is always another court that can overrule a mistrial. It is uncertain if Prof. Hassan D. will be extradited by Canada, but this is still a partial closure.

Business newspaper article

image source

Today we have good and bad news from the USA. The growth in Q4 was below the forecast for an annualized 4.3% rise, at only 4%. The number of new unemployment insurance applicants came in at 847,000, below the consensus forecast of 875,000.

My blog yesterday counts as a scoop because apart from Joe Shaefer, few other sources of stock information noticed the woods rather than the trees. Reporters are trained to look at the stocks gaining or losing without noticing the extraordinary size of movement. I might not have cottoned on to the pile-up of newbie stock buyers led on by social media had it not been for Nokia jumping up as if it was a US vendor of mechanical video games, rising 40% for no good reason. I think this was the first time a Finnish share was manipulated by the Reddit “Wall Street Beats” website stock pickers. 

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William K. 1 month ago Member's comment

Thanks for both the educational history and for the enlightening stock information.