My Long Night With Fidel Castro

Had I just witnessed a miracle? In the world of politics, this is about as close as you get to an apology. Was Fidel apologizing for his use of force during the revolution? For acting as a pawn of the Russians during the missile crisis? For the mistreatment of political dissidents? For all of the above and more?

He didn’t say outright that he was sorry—he didn’t say he regretted any of his past actions—but it sure felt like it. History hasn’t absolved him of his crimes and missteps, and it appears he might be acknowledging as much.

After the round of handshakes, I expected Fidel to make some brief remarks and then say his goodbyes—it was incredibly late—but, again, he surprised us all.

→ Pacific Standard

Bill Gross Gets Personal: ‘I Just Wanted to Run Money and Be Famous’

But make no mistake: This Bill Gross, the one eying the French crullers, isn’t that Bill Gross, the one who bent markets to his will at Pacific Investment Management Co., who built one of the most enduring track records in bond management history, who moved markets with his pronouncements. That old Gross wanted fame more than power and riches, and he wanted it with a hot eagerness that made enemies. By the time Pimco cast him out, he was considered by colleagues—there’s no way to sugarcoat this—to be a world-class jerk who’d lost his touch.

→ Bloomberg

Interview : Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez on the solitude of writers and dictators :

The writer’s very attempt to portray reality often leads him to a distorted view of it. In trying to transpose reality he can end up losing contact with it, in an ivory tower, as they say. Journalism is a very good guard against that. That’s why I have always tried to keep on doing journalism, because it keeps me in contact with the real world, particularly political journalism and politics. The solitude that threatened me after One Hundred Years of Solitude wasn’t the solitude of the writer; it was the solitude of fame, which resembles the solitude of power much more. My friends defended me from that one, my friends who are always there.

→ The Paris Review

The Man Who Got America High

He concludes that he spent his life on the run, and his pursuits all followed a common theme: Escape. There were planes, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, but they were all just means of getting higher, faster and richer than the rest. He ran from the domestic boredom of New Rochelle, becoming a modern-day Peter Pan: He refused to grow up and instead flew to mysterious islands, battled pirates, lost his Wendy.

→ Narratively

What Timothy Geithner Really Thinks

Geithner paused for a moment. “Can you design a system ever that allows you to be indifferent to the failure of any institution, in any state of the world?” he asked aloud before answering his own question. “You can design a system, and I think we have, that allows you to be indifferent in most states of the world: the five-year flood, the 15-year flood, the 30-year flood, maybe even the 50-year flood,” he said. “But there are constellations of storms, of panics, of fires that are so bad that it’s very hard to imagine that you could be indifferent to the failure of the financial system.”

→ The New York Times Magazine