Friday, November 21

James And Stephen

From the RA, I walk to the Portrait Gallery to meet James for an afternoon with the impressionists (my favorite freebie). James and I met in the early Internet epoch when he was CEO of, a promising directory business that eventually bit the dust. He then spent six years at Yahoo and became part of the founding team of Skype which was famously sold to eBay in September '05 for $2.6 billion, half of it in cash which presumably found its way to James's pocket. Today he advises venture funds and start-ups and we lament the lameness of the venture culture in Britain, which probably offers the most forward tech market in Europe. If it was bad then it is worse now - raising money for anything webby is nigh impossible. I used to follow the action, and the people, closely but the community has been decimated no doubt. In the go-go years I started a poker club which included a number of the new media luminaries - founders of sexy companies and their financiers. From about 2004 we lost momentum as the moribund tech market dragged on (and on) and the ex-pats repatriated. Our last game was in '07. I think of this because Sonnet and I have dinner with Jenn and Stephen, who was part of the cards table and a super quant jock so not too surprising that he thrives in the hedge fund world. Here he is pictured at Thanksgiving four years ago - he just looks like somebody who studied maths at Columbia and Chicago... which he did.

The average British teenager on the street is wearing clothes and carrying gadgets worth £655. (Daily Mail)

The Bank of England's base rate is expected to fall below 2% for the first time since the Bank was foremd in 1694. (Financial Times)

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
W., Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000