The Week Unpeeled
So 2012 comes to a close in a year that saw “Fifty Shades” and “Gangnam Style” break all kinds of records, suggesting the nation fell off the cultural cliff well before the fiscal cliff, which has not surprisingly dominated headlines the last few days. President Obama appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday (taped Saturday), where he reportedly said he did not see an agreement yet, although he was “modestly optimistic.” More certain is some stop-gap short-term measure merely to prolong the cliff hang. No matter, markets did fall over edge over the unknown outcome with the Dow sliding for five straight days, ending down 1.2 percent on Friday alone to end at 12,938.
- Private-equity firm Carlyle is buying Duff & Phelps for approximately $600 million;
- William Rees-Mogg, editor of The Times of London from 1967 to 1981 died, who was attributed to bring the paper into the “modern era”;
- The Queen bestowed knighthoods and other honors last week to a list that was dominated by many sports figures from the Olympics, including Bradley Wiggins, cyclist, and Ben Ainslie, sailor;
- Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, US Commander in the Gulf War, died at 78, with an interesting obit in The New York Times that described a man fluent in French and German and raised in five countries before becoming “Stormin’ Norman”; and
- Death Valley was named the hottest place on earth, knocking a spot in Syria off its Hades perch and making the California desert officially hell on earth.