A captivating economic tale, both riveting and historically enlightening.

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SQUEEZING SILVER

PERU'S TRIAL AGAINST NELSON BUNKER HUNT

An attorney recollects his participation in a civil trial that resulted from a catastrophic meltdown of the global silver market in this debut book. 

In 1979, Nelson Bunker Hunt, an “infamous Texas oil tycoon,” concocted a plan as audacious as it was illegal. He organized a massive purchase of the world’s silver supply in order to manipulate the price for his own financial aggrandizement. In concert with a crowd of Arab investors that came to be known as the “Conti group,” which included the brother-in-law of the Saudi crown prince, Hunt and his cohorts bought more than 75 percent of the world’s silver supply, forcing prices to skyrocket astronomically. But when the bubble he created burst, the ensuing damage was vast, compelling Paul Volcker, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, to orchestrate a colossal bailout to forestall an economic collapse. Cymrot was the lead attorney that represented Minpeco SA, the “exclusive agent for Peru’s mineral sales abroad,” in a civil suit against Hunt. As a result of Hunt’s illicit dealings, the company lost $80 million in 10 days. The author lucidly recounts a complex but gripping tale largely through the examination and cross-examination of Hunt, who claimed he was an “ordinary kind of guy.” He was presented by his lawyer as the “victim” of global events beyond his control. Cymrot, a hard-nosed attorney who formerly worked for the Justice Department and “preferred facts to folksy stories,” depicted Hunt’s gambit as an “assault on world silver supplies.” The author’s remembrance is astonishingly detailed, a vivid chronicle of a trial that turned out to be of historical and economic significance. The financial particulars can be hyper-technical for those unfamiliar with the labyrinthine machinations of the metals markets, but Cymrot gracefully manages to render clear the naturally convoluted. This is more than a trial transcript—the author ably transforms the facts into a real story, a novelistic depiction of extraordinary fiscal subterfuge. Cymrot has produced something rare—a genuinely thrilling financial drama.

A captivating economic tale, both riveting and historically enlightening. 

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-946074-19-5

Page Count: 470

Publisher: Twelve Tables Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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