Roly-Poly

jonah

Even though it’s the middle of football season, I watched a baseball movie this weekend. “Moneyball” stars Brad Pitt and is based on the true story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who found a way to build a winning team on a shoestring budget.

The film also features Jonah Hill — anyone else like him? I think he’s terrific. Maybe it’s because I’m a skinny guy that I’ve always had a soft spot for rotund character actors with their own soft spot — right around the midsection.

Hill plays a Yale graduate with an economics degree who crunches numbers in a groundbreaking way. By the standards of Hollywood wardrobe departments, Hill looks pretty trad in khakis, blazer, emblematic tie and buttondown collar. It even rolls, but then so do most when the top button is unfastened. — CC

15 Comments on "Roly-Poly"

  1. I like Jonah Hill, too. He was very good in Moneyball. I thought he was excellent in The Wolf of Wall Street, where he played a prep-wannabe and was nominated for an Academy Award.

    Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball, and it’s an excellent book. The Red Sox used this same method of hiring statistically productive players (over scouting impressions) to finally win the World Series in 2004 (first time since 1918, I think), and again in 2007 and 2013. They probably have had the best success with the Moneyball method along, maybe, with the Mets.

  2. @Ward Agreed on both movies. Hill was great. Also, Michael Lewis went to Princeton and, although he isn’t all pure ivy style, he does seem to love OCBDs. There are few pictures where he isn’t wearing one.

    http://www.capitalnewyork.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/big_article_pic/a-author%20Michael%20Lewis%20_2.png

  3. Ward Wickers | November 23, 2015 at 4:05 pm |

    @rmp

    He wears it well. I saw him speak once. He was dressed pretty trad. I’ve read several of his books: Liar’s Poker, The Big Short, Flashboys, and Moneyball. All were very good.

  4. @ward loved liar’s poker. Lewis was a Princeton man, Art History and ended up in Finance.

  5. Ward Wickers | November 24, 2015 at 9:56 am |

    @WFBjr

    I liked Liar’s Poker, too. It is probably my favorite of all his books. I was appalled–though not really surprised–at how unskilled the traders were and how the firm used clients to clean up the mistakes of the traders. Although I am generally for less governmental regulation, that account (and the Big Short and Flashboys) made me feel that more regulation–much more–is needed.

    I am glad he ended up in Finance. I doubt I would be reading him if his stories revolved around Art History.

  6. @Ward Wickers
    You’re glad he ended up in finance because you doubt you’d be reading him if his stories revolved around art history? Good grief! I fear I may have fallen among philistines!

  7. Sorry to disappoint you, Bags’, baby. To me finance is much more interesting than art history. Call me a Philistine if you like, but show me the money!

  8. Congrats, you’re a philistine in full standing.

  9. Do I get to put some initials after my name, as in Ward Wickers, FIFS? Kinda feels like I have an advanced degree.

  10. @Ward Wickers
    I did it for a living, baby, since when I regained a life, immersing myself in art.
    Art is all, forever and a day.

  11. Ward,

    I always liked your on-screen presence. Now I’m going to have to reconsider….:-)

    Seriously, think of it this way, art takes one out of the habitual patterns of everyday; it combines absorption and reflection; it is not instantly consumable; one experiences something new each time; and it lasts. What did the ancient poet say? Art is long, life is short.

  12. Ward,

    p.s. I share your admiration of Lewis’s Liar’s Poker. In fact, it was prophetic of what happened in 2008.

  13. Ward Wickers, FIFS | November 25, 2015 at 4:08 pm |

    @RJG

    I like art, very much. I was just tweaking Bags’, baby.

    Liar’s Poker was prophetic. The sad thing is that it will probably happen again. I thought one of the themes of the book was that the large Wall Street firms are trusted to handle the finances of the world, but they do so in such an unskilled, cavalier, and greed-soaked way. They don’t deserve our trust. I haven’t seen anything change since the book was published, nor has much changed since 2008. I think it just a matter of time before another crash occurs.

  14. @Ward

    Well, you got me good on that one.

    And, yes, I liked how Lewis exposed the personality of the successful trader, but also how, by going public, they relieved themselves of betting their own money while arranging for out-sized bonuses by manipulating short-term gains. Then there was the bond-trader, once part of a sleepy backwater, but now bragging about how he directly influenced Congress to benefit his business. Judge Rakoff is one of the few influential people who
    has called for the Justice Dept. to prosecute for fraud — but that boat has sailed.

    We are fortunate to have our virtual club hosted by CC. Happy Thanksgiving to All!

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