Portland day 2

We decided to check out the Chinese Garden on Friday. It was a cool mix of urban and tranquil. When I looked ahead I could see beautiful water features and bonsai trees. Look up and there’s beautiful density. Pix here.

Then, high off Chernobyl and slightly hungry we hit up Kachka for a vodka flight and some Olivier salad. When ordering, I’m imagining the flight like you get at Russia House in DC. My memories are hazy but it definitely involved more vodka than is safe to consume and pickles.

Unless you’re trying to get fucked up, vodka flights are bullshit. They all taste like hairspray.

Nick came down with a flu-like something Saturday morning, so we’ve been hanging out at the Airbnb. Highly recommend the show Barry. God, it’s so good. Nick wanted to watch Wall Street. No thank you. It was so bad. Reminded me of the Madoff story.

After Harry Markopolos literally told the SEC that Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, Meaghan Cheung opened an investigation. She brought Madoff in for questioning and he offered to let her look at his records at the DTC.

In an interview Bernie Madoff said he was “astonished” that Cheung declined his offer. “It would’ve been easy for them to see,” Madoff said. “If you’re looking at a Ponzi scheme, it’s the first thing you do.”

Cheung’s response? “If someone provides you with the wrong set of books, I don’t know how you find the real books.”

The SEC’s response? “Ms. Cheung and her colleagues were hamstrung by a lack of resources and personnel and the lack of responsiveness of other offices within the SEC that could have assisted in the investigation. Some of these findings are contrary to the public impression that has developed since Madoff’s crimes were revealed. Sonie of these findings may help in improving the SEC’s practices going forward. All of them, however, support a conclusion that Ms. Cheung and her colleagues acted appropriately, even if they did not successfUlly uncover Madoff’s crimes.”

Very reassuring!

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