December 4, 2016
For decades, the United States and Britain shaped the global order. Now what? By Ian Buruma
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NYTM_16_1204_SWD2.pgs 11.22.2016 17:21
December 4, 2016
Touching Base Nothing sounds quite so noble as preaching ‘‘empathy’’ for those with whom we disagree. But are we trying to relate to other people for their good or for ours?
By Amanda Hess
Special Arrangements Taryn Simon’s photographs — canny, unsentimental and meticulously made — attend to the details of how power works.
By Teju Cole
Speak or Roll Over Should you out your friend’s ‘‘service dog’’ scam?
By Kwame Anthony Appiah
Letter of Recommendation
‘Primitive Technology’ For all the virtuosic craftsmanship on display in these YouTube videos, the real draw may be the absorbing peace of watching a man go about his work.
By Jennifer Kahn
Shamelessly French Chicken in cider, a startling flame — and just a dash of Brooklyn.
By Francis Lam
At the Threshold Recalling the moment when immigration agents knocked on the door.
By Krystal A. Sital
Iggy Pop The singer, musician and actor traded in his sports car.
Interview by Dave Itzkoﬀ
Behind the Cover Jake Silverstein, editor in chief: ‘‘Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari’s image has a sort-of-demented 1950s tone, subtly locating us in the postwar period and the Pax Americana — an era to which, as Ian Buruma argues, Trump and Brexit augur an end.’’ Photo illustration by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari. Map: Rand McNally.
10 12 21 22
Contributors The Thread Poem Judge John Hodgman
25 Tip 66 Puzzles 68 Puzzles (Puzzle answers on Page 69)
Continued on Page 6
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Sea of Money
When a globe-trotting millionaire left his wife, their fortune also seemed to vanish. It took her divorce lawyer to find it — and to reveal the depths of a hidden $21 trillion financial system.
By Nicholas Confessore
For seven decades, the United States and Britain defined and defended a vision of democracy and freedom that shaped the world. What happens when their own citizens opt out of it?
By Ian Buruma
‘We Are Orphans Here’
Life and death in East Jerusalem’s Palestinian refugee camp.
By Rachel Kushner
‘Even if they have to bring them from India, we need police here. We cannot handle the disputes on our own.’ PAGE 44
Copyright © 2016 The New York Times
A wall in East Jerusalem dividing Shuafat Refugee Camp, left, from a Jewish settlement. Photograph by Luca Locatelli/Institute, for The New York Times.
December 4, 2016
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Stand in the midst of conďŹ‚ict. Walk through the aftermath of a deadly airstrike in war-torn Yemen, where more than 100 people were killed during a funeral reception. The New York Times is using Samsung Gear 360 cameras to place you in the moment, right at the center of our stories. Experience it at www.nytimes.com/thedaily360 Also available to view in Samsung VR.
‘‘Sea of Money,’’ Page 30
Editor in Chief Deputy Editors
JAKE SILVERSTEIN JESSICA LUSTIG, BILL WASIK
Photographed by Kathy Ryan at The New York Times on Nov. 17, 2016, at 10:48 a.m.
Nicholas Confessore is a national political reporter for The Times. His articles from the 2016 campaign trail explored the forces remaking American politics: the revolt against elites of both major political parties, the rise of the ‘‘alt-right’’ and the power of money to shape policy. For this week’s article, he plumbed a domain where wealth arguably has more power than anywhere else: the offshore financial system designed by and for the rich. ‘‘I was drawn to the subject because offshore finance, this esoteric and basically synthetic world, turns out to be an important driver of economic inequality in the real world,’’ Confessore said. ‘‘But most people are only vaguely aware of how it works.’’
Managing Editor Design Director Director of Photography Features Editor Politics Editor Story Editors
ERIKA SOMMER GAIL BICHLER KATHY RYAN ILENA SILVERMAN CHARLES HOMANS NITSUH ABEBE, MICHAEL BENOIST, SHEILA GLASER, CLAIRE GUTIERREZ, LUKE MITCHELL, DEAN ROBINSON, WILLY STALEY, SASHA WEISS
Special Projects Editor
JEANNIE CHOI, JAZMINE HUGHES
Chief National Correspondent
SAM ANDERSON, EMILY BAZELON, SUSAN DOMINUS,
‘‘Last Exit,’’ Page 38
Ian Buruma is a professor at Bard College. His most recent book, ‘‘Their Promised Land,’’ will come out in paperback in January.
NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, WESLEY MORRIS, JENNA WORTHAM
Writers at Large
First Words, Page 15
Amanda Hess is a David Carr fellow at The New York Times.
David Carr Fellow Art Director
Letter of Recommendation, Page 24
Jennifer Kahn teaches at the graduate school of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a contributing writer for the magazine.
Deputy Art Director Designers
‘‘ ‘We Are Orphans Here,’ ’’ Page 44
Rachel Kushner is the author of two novels, ‘‘The Flamethrowers’’ and ‘‘Telex from Cuba,’’ and a book of short stories, ‘‘The Strange Case of Rachel K.’’
Dear Reader: Would You Gain Weight if You’d Still Be Loved? Every week the magazine publishes the results of a study conducted online in June by The New York Times’s researchand-analytics department, reﬂecting the opinions of 2,563 subscribers who chose to participate. This week’s question: If you knew your partner would still love you, would you weigh more than you do now?
GREG HOWARD MATT WILLEY JASON SFETKO FRANK AUGUGLIARO, BEN GRANDGENETT, CHLOE SCHEFFE
Digital Designer Associate Photo Editors
C. J. CHIVERS,
LINSEY FIELDS STACEY BAKER, AMY KELLNER, CHRISTINE WALSH
Virtual-Reality Editor Photo Assistant
JENNA PIROG KAREN HANLEY
HARVEY DICKSON, DANIEL FROMSON, MARGARET PREBULA,
77% I’d weigh about the same.
Head of Research Research Editors
NANDI RODRIGO DAN KAUFMAN, ROBERT LIGUORI,
6% I don’t know.
14% I don’t currently have a partner.
RENÉE MICHAEL, LIA MILLER, STEVEN STERN, MARK VAN DE WALLE
1% I definitely would weigh more.
2% I’d probably weigh more.
LIZ GERECITANO BRINN
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RE: THIS LAND
The cover story featured an array of reﬂections about America in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.
These portraits are both fascinating and frightening, especially those from Maine, a state that admits to being a study in contrasts, as the reporter described. Black and white, rural and coastal, on and on and on. But the portrait of the women in Pennsylvania who voted for Donald Trump is the one that remains with me, because of their almost surreal faith and hope in Trump’s potential, as only they can see it. Case in point: ‘‘Other women called themselves pro- choice but backed Trump because they didn’t think he really opposed abortion or thought the law in states like theirs wouldn’t change even if he chose future Supreme Court justices with an eye to overturning Roe v. Wade.’’ They should have had the luxury of waiting a few more days, given Trump’s insistence — today at least — that gay marriage is ‘‘already settled’’ but Roe v. Wade is not. A campaign built around the devil you know versus the devil you don’t seems to be the thread running through all these studies, interviews, photos and portraits. The common denominator seems to be novelty: Without a political record to evaluate him, Trump supporters seemed very willing to project onto Trump their deepest political hopes. Such a tremendous ‘‘leap of faith,’’ from jobs to social issues to foreign policy! For some reason, voters took Hillary Clinton on the words of others while becoming enamored by Trump despite his own words. Christine McMorrow, Waltham, Mass.
Trump successfully positioned himself as the change candidate. Reading these interviews makes it clear that there is not a consistent perception of who Trump is or who he will be once he is in oﬃce. These voters are hopeful that Trump will do what they want — because they heard something they liked in one of the variations in his positions. Each reads the light bouncing back in their direction — ﬁltered through ‘‘their’’ media outlets. If you go to the websites of Fox News and The New York Times after a news event like the Bridgegate convictions, you see totally diﬀerent coverage and placement on their sites (minimized on Fox versus headlined on The Times) with radically diﬀerent spins. People have become entitled to their own facts. Ultimately, though, we will have a common future. We all need to build bridges and increase understanding across borders — state borders. I am contacting relatives and friends from Ohio and listening, but I’m also challenging misperceptions and misrepresentations of facts. We need to increase communication between red and blue areas to reach together for a better country and a more common understanding — breaking through the Orwellian narrowcast self-determining realities. J. Stanton, New York
THE STORY, ON TWITTER
The pleasure has gone out of my Sunday treat of reading @nytimes over coffee given the news, but I have to admire this @NYTmag cover design. @cindygallop
If the positions we take and the hard feelings many now have are not aired, how are we to explain ourselves or consider the basis for the other person’s point of view? In other words, if the 130 million and counting voters who disagreed on the choice for president don’t talk, how can we lift ourselves out of this sour place we are in? Atlantic and Paciﬁc residents may not be able to talk with a Midwest farmer or a laid-oﬀ steelworker, but they can certainly engage in a discussion with people they know who hold opposing views on immigration, trade, social issues, whatever. If ordinary folks can ﬁnd a way to restore a measure of respect for opposing views, maybe we can inﬂuence our leaders and achieve a better understanding of ‘‘who we are.’’ Jerry Sheinbach, Baltimore
RE: FIRST WORDS
Wesley Morris, in considering ‘‘We the People,’’ wonders who ‘‘we’’ really are.
An article on Nov. 27 about the future of libel law in the Trump era misidentiﬁed Clara Jeffery. She is the editor in chief of Mother Jones magazine, not the co-editor.
Wesley Morris suggests that the recent vote raises questions about ‘‘who we are.’’ My daughter recently said, before a family dinner, ‘‘Don’t talk politics,’’ i.e., avoid controversy for the sake of harmony.
‘People have become entitled to their own facts.’ Illustrations by Giacomo Gambineri
An article on Nov. 27 about Martin Scorsese referred incorrectly to his involvement with ‘‘Woodstock,’’ the 1970 documentary about the 1969 music festival. He was one of several editors on the ﬁlm, not the sole editor. The article also misidentiﬁed the company that released the 1986 drama ‘‘The Color of Money.’’ It was released by Touchstone Pictures in association with Silver Screen Partners II, not Universal Pictures. The article also referred incorrectly to the title of a ﬁlm. It is ‘‘The Bridge on the River Kwai,’’ not ‘‘Bridge Over the River Kwai.’’ The article also misstated the given name of a Jesuit poet. He was Gerard Manley Hopkins, not Gerald. Send your thoughts to email@example.com.
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Readers respond to the 11.20.2016 issue.
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Nothing sounds quite so noble as preaching ‘empathy’ for those with whom we disagree. But are we trying to relate to other people for their good or for ours? By Amanda Hess
Touching Base Two days after Donald Trump was elected president, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, sat onstage at a Ritz-Carlton outside San Francisco and spoke of his deep understanding of the feelings of American voters. He was appearing at Techonomy’s annual retreat, a meeting of thought leaders in the worlds of technology, government, academia and business, and he was responding to a common criticism — the notion that Trump’s unconventional path to victory had beneﬁted from a detour through Facebook, where a ‘‘ﬁlter bubble’’ distorts the ﬂow of information and fake news stories loom large. ‘‘There is a certain profound lack of empathy,’’ he said, ‘‘in asserting that the only reason why someone could have voted the way they did is because they saw some fake news. If you believe that, then I don’t think you have internalized the message that Trump supporters are trying to send in this election.’’ When asked to articulate that message, he dodged the question. ¶ ‘‘Empathy’’ is one of Facebook’s all-time favorite buzzwords. For years, Zuckerberg has hopped from conference to conference in a selection of muted hoodies and 12.4.16
T-shirts, delivering variations on the same pitch. ‘‘More people are using Facebook to share more stuﬀ,’’ he said in 2010. ‘‘That means that if we want, there’s more out there that we can go look at and research and understand what’s going on with the people around us. And I just think that leads to broader empathy, understanding — just a lot of good, core, human things that make society function better.’’ If you think Facebook may have had a hand in tipping popular opinion toward Trump, Zuckerberg seemed to suggest at the Ritz, then something was wrong with you — something that could be ﬁxed by spending more time on Facebook. He is not the only one shopping empathy as a cure for what ails us. In recent months, the Inspired Life blog of The Washington Post suggested ‘‘empathy for Trump voters.’’ In a Times Op-Ed article, Glenn Beck wrote, ‘‘Wouldn’t we all beneﬁt from trying to empathize with people we disagree with?’’ It all feels like a bit of a throwback: Just as many of our modern, scientiﬁc mechanisms for gauging the national mood — things like public-opinion polling and data journalism — failed to predict Trump’s victory, there has been a call for Americans to reach out and touch one another more directly. But there is a curiously strategic underpinning to these calls for empathy, too. Empathy, after all, is not sympathy. Sympathy encourages a close aﬃnity with other people: You feel their pain. Empathy suggests something more technical — a dispassionate approach to understanding the emotions of others. And these days, it often seems to mean understanding their pain just enough to get something out of it — to manipulate political, technological and consumerist outcomes in our own favor. ‘‘Empathy’’ ﬁrst arose to explain our relationship to objects, not to other human beings. The word comes from the German einfühlung (ein for ‘‘in’’ and fühlung for ‘‘feeling’’), a concept in 19th-century aesthetics. Einfühlung described the act of ‘‘feeling into’’ art and nature, or projecting yourself into an aesthetic object. Soon ‘‘empathy’’ came to describe how human beings related to one another as objects: Like modern neuroscience, it looked for the roots of human emotions in ‘‘the material body and the interworking of its parts,’’ in the study of ‘‘muscles and nerves.’’ This
turn toward ‘‘empathy’’ let people cast oﬀ the cultural baggage of ‘‘sympathy,’’ a word suddenly seen as soaked in sentimentality, tied up with ideas of Christian virtue, moral obligation and pity. The Indiana University professor Rae Greiner, author of a book about sympathy in 19th-century ﬁction, has written that by the dawn of the 20th century, ‘‘sympathy seemed to belong to the Victorians, empathy to us.’’ A century later, the rise of social networking means our interactions are once again mediated through our relationship with objects. The theorist Marshall McLuhan once assumed this computerization of culture would lead to a rise in empathetic connection. ‘‘The aspiration of our time for wholeness, empathy and depth of awareness is a natural adjunct of electric technology,’’ he wrote in ‘‘Understanding Media,’’ published in 1964; the computer promised a ‘‘Pentecostal condition of universal understanding and unity.’’ But it wound up oﬀering something else too: a convenient alternative
Illustration by Javier Jaén
These days, empathy often seems to mean understanding people’s pain just enough to get something out of it.
to costly, messy interactions with human beings. What social networks like Facebook really oﬀer is empathy in the aggregate — an illusion of having captured the mood of entire families and friend networks from a safe, neutral distance. Then they turn around and oﬀer advertisers a read on more than a billion users at once. Buzz Andersen — a tech veteran who has worked for Apple, Tumblr and Square — told me that in Silicon Valley, ‘‘empathy is basically a more altruistic-sounding way of saying ‘market research.’ ’’ And in a marketplace, you’re not trying to understand other people out of altruism or moral responsibility; you’re doing it out of self-interest. In the days after the election, many commenters chafed at the idea that they ought to perform the work of empathizing with Trump’s supporters. Shouldn’t they — the people who elected him — try a little empathy for the lives that stand to be crushed by his policies? The market’s answer to this question is ‘‘no.’’ There is no movement for
right-wing Americans to be more empathetic because they won. The nation has already bought what they were selling. The call for blue-staters to cultivate empathy isn’t about ﬁnding instructive truths in others’ worldviews; it’s about understanding their motivations well enough to persuade them to vote diﬀerently. Empathy is naturally irrational, cautions the Yale psychology professor Paul Bloom, author of a new book titled ‘‘Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion.’’ It’s more likely to activate in the face of one sad story than on the scale of widespread human tragedy. It’s manipulative too: Directing a crowd’s empathy toward one victim can cultivate anger and aggression toward other targets, even if they’re not responsible for the victim’s suﬀering. In a case like Zuckerberg’s, empathy can be a strategy for avoiding responsibility. On a recent rainy day, I left my oﬃce to see empathy leveraged in yet another way. Upworthy, a purveyor of feel-good viral content, had constructed a pop-up ‘‘empathy lab’’ in a nearby park. A black curtain was pulled around a chair and a computer outﬁtted with software that could map the face at 500 points and analyze its emotional expressions. Participants watched a video — in my case, a short clip about a young boy with Down syndrome. Outside, a crowd watched a Jumbotron, on which squiggly lines tracked the participant’s empathetic expressions against the average reaction. At the video’s conclusion, an ‘‘empathy score’’ ﬂashed on the screen. Upworthy is invested in empathy because it has found that emotionally engaging content shares well on Facebook — but also, its reps say, because it can prompt real-world action. Upworthy’s business model relies mainly on the former. Shortly after I arrived, a woman emerged from behind the curtain to spontaneous applause. She had received an empathy rating of 98 — the day’s high score. It was an odd image, like Facebook projected into real life: A woman lauded for sitting alone, watching a video. In the Victorian era, some critics worried that moralistic novels would channel people’s sympathy into books instead of out into the world. Facebook takes it a step further, rerouting our attempts at empathetic connection back at us. When we reach out to one another, we’re often just feeling ourselves.
Taryn Simon’s photographs — canny, unsentimental and meticulously made — attend to the details of how power works.
Photograph by Taryn Simon
A few weeks ago, I stepped into a gallery in Brussels to see an exhibition by the American photographer Taryn Simon. The walls were covered with large color photographs of ﬂower arrangements, 13 in all. Each photograph was framed in wood, and embedded in each frame was a long caption. One began: ‘‘Agreement establishing the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Al-Bayan Palace, Kuwait City, Kuwait, May 30, 2006.’’ Another: ‘‘Framework agreement for economic cooperation. Quito, Ecuador, Jan. 12, 2012.’’ It was these captions that made the arrangements legible, conﬁrming that, far from being merely decorative, the ﬂowers were charged with historical meaning. I saw this new exhibition — which has the intriguing title ‘‘Paperwork and the Will of Capital’’ — in late October, and decided to write an essay about it. When I returned to the United States in early November, I was caught up in the presidential campaign and too distracted to write anything; I ﬁgured I’d get to it on Nov. 9. The shock of that morning’s election result was not mine alone. I lay in bed in grief and confusion. I was not merely ‘‘sad.’’ I was derailed. All my work suddenly seemed pointless. It was so diﬃcult for me to organize thoughts into language that I felt as if I’d had a stroke. It wasn’t until late on Nov. 10 that language slowly returned. The return of the ability to write felt like resistance, the reclamation of an insight: Even at the worst of times, there is nothing pointless about the work we do as critics or artists. So I looked at Taryn Simon again. Take, for instance, her photograph of an arrangement of spray rose and lisianthus. The ﬂowers are piled on a chartreuse table or plinth; the wall behind them is the color of raw linen. The caption begins: ‘‘Comprehensive claims settlement agreement between Libya and the United States.’’ What could a ﬂower arrangement have to do with an agreement to settle claims between two nations? ‘‘Paperwork and the Will of Capital’’ originates in the press and oﬃcial photographs made at signings of agreements, declarations, memorandums, treaties, communiqués, conventions, contracts and other formalized moments of accord. Simon noticed the ubiquity of ﬂoral displays at these occasions. To refocus attention on the workings of power at these signings, she took an oblique approach: a re-creation of the ﬂower
In two weeks: On Money, by John Lanchester
On Photography By Teju Cole
arrangements. The ﬂowers were originally a decorative note, a reﬂex to signal the importance of the occasion. Reconstructed, they are not mere decorations. The people are gone. The documents are absent. The isolated arrangements are like secrets that can be parsed only with the help of their captions. The caption to the spray rose and lisianthus continues, with punctilious oﬃcial language: ‘‘United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Aﬀairs David Welch and head of U.S. aﬀairs in the Libyan Foreign Ministry Ahmed al-Fatouri signed an agreement settling all outstanding lawsuits to provide compensation for damages claimed by their respective nationals.’’ The text goes on, oﬀering details about claims made in the 1986 bombing of a Berlin discothèque, the bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi by
American forces the same year and the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The photograph looks innocent (what could be more innocent than ﬂowers?), but the caption is a whirlwind of actions and consequences, of decisions and their political fallout. Similar tensions propelled Simon’s earlier projects. ‘‘An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar’’ (2007) was about secret sites in the United States, from a nuclear-waste facility to a deliberation room for jury simulations. For ‘‘Contraband’’ (2010), Simon spent a working week at John F. Kennedy International Airport, making over a thousand photographs of items that had been seized by customs oﬃcials, from dead animals and exotic fruit to a parade of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and luxury items. In the most complex of her projects, ‘‘A Living Man
Previous photograph: Comprehensive claims settlement agreement between Libya and the United States. Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 14, 2008, from ‘‘Paperwork and the Will of Capital,’’ 2015. Above: Source image with botanist’s identifications.
Teju Cole is the author, most recently, of the essay collection ‘‘Known and Strange Things.’’
Declared Dead and Other Chapters I – XVIII’’ (2008-11), she used portraits and captions to look at families in several diﬀerent countries. In each ‘‘chapter,’’ the story was woven around one individual, to whom all the others were related. The project was systematic at the same time that it revealed the impossibility of systematic accounts of human experience: The more detail Simon supplied, the more the observer became aware of how many more details could be piled on. Photojournalists give us images that work by themselves, or seem to. A photograph in a work by Simon is diﬀerent: It veriﬁes, or purports to verify, the claim made in its caption, rather than the other way around. The photograph is reduced to the status of evidence: It is there to testify to something that is not a photograph, something that predated its making. But
Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
matters are not so simple, because this ‘‘evidence’’ is itself carefully made and lushly presented. Simon’s art is ambidextrous, catching us with both its narrative and its technique. If ‘‘A Living Man Declared Dead’’ was about the nature of personal fate, ‘‘Paperwork and the Will of Capital’’ uses a different set of tools to think about political fate. Powerful men (it is usually men) meet to sign some papers. Afterward, the world is not the same. And yet few of those whose lives are altered by whatever was signed could conceivably trace their circumstances to that event. All they know — all most of us know — is that there are powerful forces in the world that shape our day-to-day realities. Simon’s project brings the scattered light of those forces to clear points of attention. Consider another arrangement. Beside an assortment of spray carnation, baby’s breath, cornﬂower and oxeye daisy is the caption: ‘‘Classiﬁed ‘Spare Parts’ deal. Oval Oﬃce, White House, Washington, D.C., United States, May 16, 1975.’’ This one is especially opaque, so I read the next paragraph. ‘‘United States President Gerald R. Ford, United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, held a classiﬁed meeting in which they discussed a plan to provide material support to Turkey by funneling supplies through Iran.’’ A longer paragraph describes how Ford and the shah circumvented the arms embargo Congress imposed on Turkey. Simon’s project evokes 17th-century Dutch still-life paintings in its crisp attention to detail and in the impossibility of the bouquets it presents: ﬂowers that bloom in diﬀerent seasons, or that would never be found growing in the same terrain. And just like those baroque paintings, ‘‘Paperwork and the Will of Capital’’ is made possible by the global ﬂow of goods and money. God is in the details, it is said. Or just as often: The Devil is in the details. Perhaps we should leave theology out of it and simply say that what is human is in the details. Turkey, Iran, Kissinger, Ford: It all seems so long ago. But we don’t turn to history because it is demonstrably relevant, and we don’t look at art only because it is monumental or beautiful. Taryn Simon’s work happens to be relevant, monumental and beautiful. But the
greater consolation in thinking about this work at this moment lies in its details. It is in the deadpan meticulousness it embeds, its unruﬀled testimony about the highways and byways of history. On those immediate postelection mornings in November when I lay in bed aphasic and estranged from myself, whatever did not address the current predicament seemed unworthy. But what became clear was that ‘‘the current predicament’’ was
The isolated arrangements are like secrets that can be parsed only with the help of their captions.
precisely this condemnation of detail. This erasure of historical nuance can be the anteroom to hopelessness. Sure, clear and direct opposition to bad policies has to be part of the response to the coming years. Marching will be important, and there might be a need to shout slogans. But no less necessary will be our commitment to detail, to meticulousness, to all the accumulated forms of patience that guarantee, rather than merely decorate, our lives.
Poem Selected by Matthew Zapruder
In 2009, President Obama signed a congressional resolution of apology to Native Americans. In her ﬁrst book, ‘‘Whereas,’’ Layli Long Soldier responds to that apology in a masterful long prose poem, ‘‘Whereas Statements.’’ The poem is at various times personal, historical, legalistic, intuitive, argumentative, angry, despairing, hopeful and loving. As a dual citizen of the United States and the Oglala Lakota Nation, she writes, ‘‘I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.’’
From ‘‘Whereas Statements’’ By Layli Long Soldier WHEREAS my eyes land on the shoreline of ‘‘the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples.’’ Because in others, I hate the act
of laughing when hurt injured or in cases of danger. That bitter hiding. My daughter picks up new habits from friends. She’d been running, tripped, slid on knees and palms onto asphalt. They carried her into the kitchen, she just fell, she’s bleeding! Deep red streams down her arms and legs, trails on white tile. I looked at her face. A smile quivered her. A laugh, a nervous. Doing as her friends do, she braved new behavior, feigned a grin — I couldn’t name it but I could spot it. Stop, my girl. If you’re hurting, cry. Like that. She let it out, a ﬂood from living room to bathroom. Then a soft water pour I washed carefully light touch clean cotton to bandage. I faced her I reminded, In our home in our family we are ourselves, real feelings. Be true. Yet I’m serious when I say I laugh reading the phrase, ‘‘opened a new chapter.’’ I can’t help my body. I shake. The realization that it took this phrase to show. My daughter’s quiver isn’t new — but a deep practice very old she’s watching me;
Matthew Zapruder is the author of four poetry collections, most recently ‘‘Sun Bear.’’ He teaches poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California and is editor at large at Wave Books. Layli Long Soldier won a 2016 Whiting Award. Her debut collection of poetry will be published in March by Graywolf Press.
Illustration by R. O. Blechman
The Ethicist By Kwame Anthony Appiah
To submit a query: Send an email to ethicist@nytimes .com; or send mail to The Ethicist, The New York Times Magazine, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018. (Include a daytime phone number.)
My friend got a service dog solely to circumvent the ‘‘no pets’’ policy in her building. She does have the disability this dog is trained to help with, but she doesn’t use him for this purpose and even jokes about how long it took her to ‘‘deprogram’’ him. But she takes full advantage of his service-dog status, taking him with her to restaurants and stores that otherwise don’t permit dogs. This seems unethical on many levels: the time and money the nonproﬁt spent to train the dog and the additional wait time for disabled people who needed a service dog. I think she has wronged her landlord as well. I talked to my friend about this, and she justiﬁed her behavior by saying that this was the only way she could get a dog and that the aﬀection she gets is more valuable to her than the duties the dog was trained for. I feel that I ought to do something, but I have no idea what. I could let the nonproﬁt know, but that wouldn’t allow them to recoup what they’ve lost. I could cut oﬀ my relationship with my friend, but that wouldn’t help the other disabled people. I have to decide whether or not to continue this friendship — she does tend to do things that I ﬁnd sketchy — but I can ﬁgure that out for myself. My question is: Do I have an ethical responsibility in a larger sense? Relatively speaking, misappropriating a service dog is pretty minor. Even so, it really bothers me. Claudia, New York, N.Y.
It might be worth trying to identify the harm here. Your friend is entitled to the dog, even if she’s not using him for the intended purpose. And there are worse oﬀenses. But you’re right to be bothered.
Illustration by Tomi Um
of the system. As more and more people take advantage, genuinely disabled people with real service animals will face increasing skepticism. (This isn’t likely to happen with seeing-eye dogs, because it’s not so easy to fake being blind.) And support for the statutory accommodations may wane. You could point some of this out to your friend. It might at least discourage her from boasting about her bad behavior. Of course, she might also resent the reproach, in which case she may be the one to end the friendship, not you. My friend supervises 100 employees at a factory, mostly Latino immigrants working for minimum or near-minimum wage, who speak little if any English. She is a native speaker of Spanish herself and is rising in the company, earning good wages. However, she despises one of her tasks: She is asked to speak to the workers she supervises only in English, and to reprimand them if they speak Spanish on the job. I let her know that such an English-only workplace requirement is quite possibly illegal on both the state and the federal levels. So now she’s in an ethical dilemma. Is she ethically obligated to confront her bosses? Would it be O.K. to contact a local newspaper or a state or federal agency? And if she doesn’t want to be implicated, can I do it for her? If she asks me not to do anything, is it ethical for me to remain silent? There is no union at the workplace. Lisa, Amherst, Mass.
Bonus Advice From Judge John Hodgman Kat writes: Some of my co-workers insist that dragons are real. I’m no paleontologist, but I think the myth of dragons came about when people found dinosaur bones. My coworkers, particularly one person named Stephanie, insist that I can’t prove dragons never existed. If I’m right, please order her to stop bringing up dragons at work. ---My favorite thing about your petition is that it was written the morning after Election Day. I find it cheering that this is all you have to think about right now! But alas: 2016 is still cruel, and so this court must affirm that there is no magic creature you can slay to save the village. Plus, Stephanie, who needs a dragon when the actual fossil record already includes an eight-foot millipede (Arthropleura), not to mention the undeniable existence of real human monsters today?
Illustration by Kyle Hilton
Should I Out My Friend’s ‘Service Dog’ Scam?
As a rule, we think it’s morally acceptable, and sometimes desirable, for buildings, restaurants and other public establishments to exclude animal companions. Federal law carves out an exception to the rule, which seems fair when you think of a seeing-eye dog, or a trained service animal helping someone with severe psychological diﬃculties participate in social life. Still, the system is wide open to abuse. There’s no national method for certifying service animals or for identifying them: You’re not required to prove you’ve got a service animal to buy special harnesses or tags. A business is legally entitled to get answers to just two questions: Is this animal required because of a disability? What work or task is it trained to do? But most restaurants and landlords aren’t likely to ask even these questions; they rightly don’t want to oﬀend people with disabilities. Airlines aren’t any stricter. The relevant Department of Transportation regulation says: ‘‘Carriers shall accept as evidence that an animal is a service animal identiﬁcation cards, other written documentation, presence of harnesses or markings on harnesses, tags or the credible verbal assurances of the qualiﬁed individual.’’ This eﬀectively means that airlines must accept most animals with a ‘‘service animal’’ harness. Given the needs of the genuinely disabled, there’s good reason to have a presumption in favor of allowing service animals. But people who abuse the privilege are breaking a fundamental social principle: They’re taking unfair advantage of the compliance of others. In doing so, they undermine the legitimacy
One way that legal protections are abused, we’ve seen, is by being claimed by those who aren’t entitled to them — by being overapplied. The more typical way that protections are abused, though, is by being neglected or ineﬀectively enforced — by being underapplied. That’s the case here. What to do? Let’s start with your last question. You shouldn’t proceed without your friend’s consent, if there’s any chance she’ll be blamed for the revelation. When she shared her concerns, she assumed that you wouldn’t pass them on without her permission. If you are, as you say, writing on her behalf, you should protect her interests. Still, some action ought to be taken, and you two need to agree on a strategy. You’ve informed your friend that these demands could be illegal. Even if they weren’t, it would be wrong to impose this burden on these workers. There’s no apparent business necessity here; the workers’ speaking Spanish to one another doesn’t get in the way of their doing their job properly. Insisting that they don’t is therefore exploitative: The company is using their vulnerability (they are easily ﬁred) to get them to do something it has no moral right to require. One question is whether the bosses would penalize your friend for telling them she has discovered that what they’ve asked her to do may be unlawful. Any supervisor with the company’s interests at heart would have reason to alert her bosses to the legal risks. If an employee were to ﬁle a complaint, the company could ﬁnd itself pursued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Nonetheless, given the realities of her workplace, such counsel may not be welcome. If your friend thinks that even raising the issue will get her into trouble, there’s no reason not to take the steps you mention (provided, again, you can protect her). She would be able to say truthfully, if asked, that she wasn’t the person who revealed what was going on. See what you and your friend can ﬁgure out. We do civil rights no favors by stretching them beyond their proper bounds, but nothing weakens them faster than a lack of exercise. Kwame Anthony Appiah teaches philosophy at N.Y.U. He is the author of ‘‘Cosmopolitanism’’ and ‘‘The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen.’’
Letter of Recommendation
‘Primitive Technology’ By Jennifer Kahn
Somewhere in an unidentiﬁable patch of scrubby forest, a nameless man labors to make something — an ax, a forge, an entire hut — using only materials that he has collected from the surrounding wilderness. It’s a patient process. Working without tools means that every ﬁre has to be started by hand, without matches, using a straight stick spun against another piece of wood, the ember gently edged into a handful of dry duﬀ until it kindles. Chopping down a sapling means ﬁrst ﬂaking a stone into an adz, then
hammering the adz into the trunk until the tree can be wrenched down. This is the unlikely premise of the YouTube series ‘‘Primitive Technology.’’ By the time I started watching, my husband, Nick, had been talking about it for weeks. The videos were simple, he said, but strangely captivating, almost beautiful. Still, I never quite found time to take a look. One video, Nick told me, was entirely about making charcoal. Charcoal! How could I possibly want to watch that? Amazingly, it turned out that
Photograph by Mauricio Alejo
For all the virtuosic craftsmanship on display in these YouTube videos, the real draw may be the absorbing peace of watching the Man quietly go about his work.
I did want to watch it. And so did a lot of people. (As of this writing, the charcoal segment has been viewed more than nine million times.) The series’s popularity is all the more surprising given that the videos don’t actually try very hard to pull you in. Unlike most of the stuﬀ thrown at us online (the narcissistic makeup tutorials, the angry news clips, the high-gloss cooking porn, the didactic home-repair instructionals), ‘‘Primitive Technology’’ doesn’t chatter at you or otherwise demand your attention.
The videos are virtually silent, for one thing — no talking, no explaining — so the only sound is ambient: the rustle of leaves being gathered; the muﬀled sound of a sharp stone biting into green wood; the occasional clear piping of bird song. Compared with most internet stars, the Man is also unusually reticent. He never gives his name. (I think of him simply as the Man.) And a close reading of the comments section reveals only that he lives in Queensland, Australia; that he built his ﬁrst hut when he was 11; and that he used to make a living mowing lawns. His diﬃdence is oddly exhilarating. Shots often start midaction, so watching them feels a bit like playing detective. A scene might open with the Man gathering leaves, then cut to him chipping a hole through the center of a stick. In the absence of narration, we can only guess at where any of this is heading. Gradually, though, some sort of meaning emerges — and the process is oddly suspenseful. Watching the Man head into the forest to yank up some kind of tough, ﬁbrous plant, you wonder: What’s he going to do with that? Later, when the plant has been stripped and woven into a cord that powers a surprisingly eﬀective drill, the moment feels gratifying, like a small magic. The cumulative effect of these moments can be staggering, especially with the most extraordinary projects — like the one in which the Man builds an entire wood-framed hut from scratch, complete with mud walls, a door and a window and elegant, Spanish-style clay rooﬁng tiles that have been ﬁred in a kiln, also built from scratch. I’ve watched the video half a dozen times now, and with each viewing I’m nearly overcome by some new intricacy: the cleverly perforated clay disk that becomes the ﬂoor of the kiln, suspending the leather-hard tiles neatly above the ﬁre; the small tabs that allow the tiles to be hooked onto the roof beams, so they don’t slide out of place. Taken as a whole, the project seems mystifying, impossible. Seeing all the component steps only makes it exponentially more miraculous. Of the 22 videos posted since ‘‘Primitive Technology’’ began in May 2015, the tiled hut remains the most popular, with more than 19 million views. But for all the virtuosic craftsmanship, the real draw, I think, is the absorbing peace of watching the Man work: the quiet focus
Discussions on Reddit’s ‘Primitive Technology’ Board What exactly makes good clay? Can you make a Thermos using primitive methods? Finding and using iron ore Is spider-web cordage feasible? Make your own bioplastic Personal hygiene in the Stone Age
as he weaves a basket from thin strips of palm leaves or patiently gathers ﬂat stones to stack into a hearth. Barefoot and pale, he wears navy cargo shorts and no shirt, and doesn’t speak or look at the camera. We seem to be catching him unawares. As an approach, this comes as a surprising relief. Fans often describe the videos as meditative, or even therapeutic. (‘‘Your videos are the most beautiful thing I have seen on the internet,’’ one person writes. ‘‘They make me feel serene. No talking and no rubbish — just plain, simple work.’’) Watching them, especially amid the clamor of YouTube, can feel like leaving a crowded party and stepping out into the cool night air. You could argue that ‘‘Primitive Technology’’ is just another case of living by proxy through the internet: Rather than
actually doing the hard work of making an adz or digging clay out of a riverbank, we sit on our sofas and absorb it passively, as entertainment. No doubt that’s true. But the real joy of ‘‘Primitive Technology’’ isn’t that it won’t give us blisters, but that it gives us a refuge. In a time of exhausting demands on our attention — not least the enervating drama of the postelection news cycle — ‘‘Primitive Technology’’ acts as a quiet corrective, an escape from a surfeit of vanity and strife. The Man isn’t out for our attention. He’s more like the gruﬀ neighbor who let you hang around his workshop when you were a kid, provided you didn’t talk too much. It’s a way to share, vicariously, the rewards of patience and focus. The companionable satisfaction of process.
Tip By Jaime Lowe
It all starts with a package. ‘‘The post oﬃce only ships a few kinds of animals — things like honeybees and baby chicks,’’ says Kim Flottum, the editor of Bee Culture magazine. Buy your insects from an association that raises bees, typically in Southeastern states or California. Flottum suggests beginning beekeepers order a small colony, or ‘‘nuc,’’ before the end of the year if they want it in time for spring. It will come in a parcel about the size of a shoe box that holds 1.5 pounds or so of bees, or roughly 5,000 bees and a queen. You’ll need a suit with gloves and a hood, as well as two boxes to house the hive. Flottum says bees aren’t fussy about their habitat — they could live on the side of your house or on your grill. ‘‘But you
have to be able to inspect them,’’ he says. ‘‘I have to be able to take the cover oﬀ and lift up a comb of honey and have it inspected for disease by a government oﬃcial.’’ The boxes can be made of plastic or wood; each kind has advantages and disadvantages, including cost and durability. ‘‘One thing to consider is how much you can lift,’’ Flottum says. Make sure to provide ample water. (‘‘If anybody in your neighborhood has a swimming pool, that’s a great big neon light for the bees.’’) By early spring, the bees will be responding to the change in seasons. ‘‘Pay attention to the weather, and feed them enough supplements so that they survive,’’ Flottum says. A sugar solution and a protein substitute will help — but if the bees can’t leave the hive, ‘‘like from multiple days of rain in a row, they can starve.’’ By about mid-June, your bee population should reach its maximum; full hives usually contain 70,000 to 80,000 insects. Then you can start harvesting the honey. ‘‘We take the combs and put them in an extractor to get the honey out through centrifugal force,’’ Flottum says. The reason that bees and people work so well together, according to Flottum, is that beekeepers can take advantage of bees’ instinct to hoard honey for winter. ‘‘They need 100 pounds to get through the winter,’’ he says, ‘‘and they hoard double that. We bottle the honey and give it to our friends and families for the holidays.’’ Once you get them going, he adds, ‘‘they should pay for themselves.’’
Illustration by Radio
How to Keep Bees
Eat By Francis Lam
Shamelessly French Chicken in cider, a startling ďŹ‚ame â€” and just a dash of Brooklyn.
Photograph by Gentl and Hyers
Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Jerrie-Joy.
‘Americans give you credit for trying things. Everything doesn’t have to be ‘‘correct. ’’ ’
‘‘Ah, they are not rising!’’ Marianne Tober cried, in a near panic over her gougères. They weren’t just cheese puﬀs; they were her Burgundian birthright, well-salted dairy fat given airy form, and her mother’s recipe had never failed her before. But it was true: The gougères in her oven were lying stubbornly ﬂat, browning pungently into something you might call savory Gruyère cookies. Which, as you can imagine, were still pretty delicious. ‘‘But they’re not the way they’re supposed to be,’’ she lamented. I assured her that the tray of gougères would not survive the night. She managed a smile, then said: ‘‘You know, Americans give you credit for trying things. Everything doesn’t have to be ‘correct.’ That’s one reason French people like being here so much.’’ Weeks later, it occurred to me how gratifyingly unremarkable it was that I, an Asian, embodied the American spirit for Tober. But right then, I felt just a little pang of patriotic pride and thought about the French fondness for the American Revolution, about Tocqueville’s belief in our democracy, and asked Tober why she came to this country. ‘‘I met an American man and married him,’’ she said. History happens big and small, I guess. She settled in Brooklyn just over 14 years ago, gravitating toward Carroll Gardens, where hundreds of French families have gathered, many drawn over the past decade by one of the city’s ﬁrst public schools to oﬀer a French dual-language program. ‘‘Europeans hate paying for school,’’ Tober said, laughing. ‘‘So lots of French people live here now — there’s a holiday market at a church where you can buy boudin blanc, and you can even vote in French elections without going to the consulate.’’ We were cooking in her home, a few of her French friends on their way to join us, as two pans of chicken sizzled in duck fat. She uncorked a bottle of Calvados, warmed it in a saucepan and, with a nonchalant gesture, tipped it into the stove’s ﬂame, igniting, then holding, a ﬁreball at the end of her arm with barely a ﬂinch. I stared, stunned, as she poured pure ﬁre onto the chicken, the liquor jumping out of the hot fat and sending ﬂames well above our heads. Tober moved on to cutting some apples. The inferno raged on. She was making a dish she called poulet à la normande — chicken in the style of Normandy, braised in yeasty, sweetly funky
hard cider with fresh apples and cream. But when her friend Constance, who is in fact from Normandy, arrived, I was intrigued to hear Tober refer to it as poulet au cidre — chicken in cider. ‘‘When we talk about food as French people, we get so passionate,’’ Tober said to me. ‘‘Everyone, every region has such speciﬁc recipes.’’ In a cuisine with a canon, with commonly understood characteristics and expectations, dishes belong to places and they belong to people. So if you’re from Normandy, you don’t have to call this dish by the name outsiders know it by, because it’s a part of you, and you can just refer to it casually, by nickname, like an old neighbor. As the chicken came to doneness in the pot, Tober ﬁnishing it with a smooth slick of crème fraîche, Constance oﬀered to make the salad. Tober accepted, saying, ‘‘Every French person has the same recipe for vinaigrette.’’ Everyone then proceeded to argue for ﬁve minutes about whether there should be garlic in the vinaigrette, or what kind of mustard to use, or whether to whisk it enough to emulsify it. When it was settled, we ate that chicken, tender and infused with the beautiful ﬂavor of fermented apples. There was that salad after the main course, there was cheese, there were baguettes. It was delicious, and all so French, performatively French. ‘‘We’re obnoxious, we’re pretentious, we know that, but we love our food shamelessly,’’ Tober said. ‘‘This is our identity.’’ Then there were soft, milk-poached meringues for dessert, the white puﬀs falling apart a bit, dissolving in places where Tober meant for them to be set. She frowned, muttering another apology to her mother, but again I assured her, American-style, that they were delicious all the same. ‘‘I don’t always cook French food,’’ she said. ‘‘I love Vietnamese food, I love cooking whatever comes into season in the market here. I even make peanut butter and jelly.’’ I laughed: Europeans may hate paying for school, but they deﬁnitely hate peanut butter and jelly. ‘‘Really! That was something I never thought possible. But New York is home to me,’’ she said. ‘‘My boys, they play soccer in Queens. And every time we drive home, going down the B.Q.E. back to Brooklyn, when we see the Manhattan skyline . . . every time, it takes our breath away, and I think, I’m a New Yorker.’’
Poulet à la Normande Time: 1 hour 1
3-4 pound chicken, cut into 8 bone-in pieces
tablespoons olive oil, duck fat or chicken fat
Salt and black pepper
½ 1¼ 15 1½
cup Calvados or cognac cups hard cider, preferably a yeasty French one pearl onions, peeled (frozen is ﬁne) pounds honeycrisp apples, or any variety that doesn’t melt when cooked
tablespoons crème fraîche (see note)
Note: If you can’t find crème fraîche, replace it with sour cream or, in a pinch, use heavy cream and add a little squeeze of lemon. 1. Pat the chicken very dry with paper towels, and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the fat in a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Brown the chicken, in batches if necessary, skin side down until deep golden, 6 to 8 minutes, then flip, and sear the other side until golden, another 3 minutes. 2. If flambéing: Make sure there is nothing flammable near or above your stove. Gently warm the Calvados in a saucepan over medium heat. When the chicken is well browned, protect your hand, and use a long kitchen match to light the liquor on fire, then carefully pour it into the chicken pan. The flame can shoot over 2 feet high, so be careful. Cook until the flame subsides. If not flambéing: Once the chicken is browned, turn off the heat, and add the Calvados. When the sizzling subsides, turn the heat on to medium low, bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. 3. Add the cider and onions, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer. Quickly peel and core the apples, and cut them into 1½-inch chunks, and place them on top of the chicken. Cover the pan, and cook, checking occasionally to ensure the liquid is maintaining a gentle simmer, not boiling, until the chicken is just cooked through, 35-40 minutes. 4. Remove the chicken, onions and apples to a platter, and cover. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of cold water. Stir this into the braising liquid, and bring to a simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Stir in the crème fraîche, and season the sauce with salt to taste, replace the chicken, onions and apples in the sauce and serve with crusty bread and a salad. Serves 4. Adapted from Marianne Tober.
At the Threshold Recalling the moment when immigration agents knocked on the door. By Krystal A. Sital
Sital became a permanent resident in 2010 and a U.S. citizen this year. She was a finalist for the PEN/Fusion
Name: Krystal A. Sital Age: 29 Location: Bayonne, N.J.
Emerging Writers Prize for the manuscript of her memoir, which will be published by W. W. Norton.
On that particular evening back in 2003, my parents were in the car together returning home from work — my mother was a babysitter, my father an electrician — when they noticed three men in suits reading the labels on the mailboxes in front of our building. This was on the urban streets of New Jersey, against a backdrop of dilapidated buildings, and they immediately assumed who it was. ‘‘Go in your bedroom and hide,’’ my mother hissed over the phone. ‘‘Immigration is here. Do not open the door.’’ My younger sister, Kim, was only 12, and I was 16, a junior in high school. When I relayed the message to her, we both grinned. Our family had a dark sense of humor, and even though we were residing in the United States illegally, this sounded like just the kind of prank she would play on us. ‘‘Krys,’’ she said, ‘‘this is not a joke! I am sitting outside with your father. They are going upstairs right now. Hide!’’ Her voice was too serious, too worried. Not a tremor of a laugh vibrated in her words. So I shut my sister in our bedroom, turned oﬀ all the lights and locked the windows. We lived in a third ﬂoor walk-up in Bayonne. It would take them a couple of minutes to get up there, so I stood behind the door of our apartment and peered through the peephole. I could hear footsteps on the wooden stairs — not the weary ascension of the old Egyptian lady and her husband who lived across the hallway or the skip of the little Puerto Rican boy below us or the cheerful whistle of the African-American woman on the ﬁrst ﬂoor. It was when the tops of their heads ﬂoated above the railing that I really believed my mother’s words. Having gone through the motions of locking the apartment down, I was still hoping it was all an elaborate gag. I felt the unlawfulness of our status in this country acutely. As far as I knew, they could, and had every right to, remove us from our apartment and send us back to our country, Trinidad and Tobago. The three came one behind the other down the narrow corridor. I trapped a breath in my chest and stepped away from the door just as the one in front raised a ﬁst to rap his knuckles where my face had been. I had heard stories of immigration oﬃcers not even bothering to knock but kicking down the door and sweeping every family member into an unmarked white van. I was terriﬁed that would happen now.
Illustration by Melinda Josie
My back was against the wall of the kitchen, and I wanted so desperately to close the short distance between me and the locked door of my bedroom, but I knew a creaking board could signal our presence. I yearned to be next to my sister, our shoulders touching and heads inclining toward each other in our dark closet. Instead I stood next to the door, letting air out of my chest one miniature puﬀ at a time. Although the apartment’s imperfections were many, from the lack of space to the falling plaster, we called it home. My mother sewed curtains, glued wallpaper and repaired the ceiling; my father rebuilt cupboards, ran new lights and retiled the bathroom. Under normal circumstances, these updates would fall on the landlord’s shoulders, but we ﬂew under the radar, so it was done on our own. Each knock on the door sent a cold stab through my body. I clutched my belly, feeling the sharpness of my nails, something to ground me. Having ﬁnally succeeded somewhat in assimilating into American culture, we weren’t sure what would happen if we were sent back. My parents brought us to the United States knowing this could happen once our visas expired. We had abandoned the tangerine skies of the islands for New Jersey at a violent time in our country. My father, a police oﬃcer there, believed it was worth the risk to live in the safety of the States. At one point, I heard the men step away, and I braced myself for the crashing of the door. But all I heard was the familiar creaking of stairs as they descended. I listened till the door of the building slammed closed behind them before I checked the peephole and released a trembled breath. An empty corridor. I dug my sister out of our room, held onto her and cried until our parents came and gathered us up. We left the apartment, but there was really nowhere else for us to go, so we returned that evening. For a long time we waited in fear for them to come back. We were always cognizant of our surroundings, always vigilant in a way that was just below the surface. Eventually we would gain legal status, and over time the fear was layered over by everyday life — worrying about grades, fencing practice, the attention of boys — until a knock at the door was ﬁnally transformed into a joke. ‘‘Be careful,’’ my mother said, ‘‘it might be Immigration.’’ The fear was still there, but we had to move on.
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SEA OF MONEY When a globe-trotting millionaire left his wife, their fortune also seemed to vanish. It would take her divorce lawyer to find it â€” and to reveal the depths of a hidden $21 trillion financial system. By Nicholas Confessore Illustrations By R. Kikuo Johnson
few weeks after she realized her husband was ﬁnally leaving her, Sarah Pursglove ﬂew down to the Bahamas to ﬁgure out how much money he really had. Like many women married to very wealthy men, she didn’t know much about the family accounts. Her husband, a Finnish entrepreneur named Robert Oesterlund, had sworn to a Canadian court that his immediately calculable ‘‘net family property’’ totaled just a few million dollars. Pursglove was skeptical. She could come up with several family purchases worth more than that oﬀ the top of her head. There was the 165-foot yacht, Déjà Vu — that cost a few million dollars a year just to keep on the water. There was the $30 million penthouse at the Toronto Four Seasons, which was still being renovated. It wasn’t their only home. The Déjà Vu wasn’t even their only yacht. Pursglove grew up in a working-class family. She did not consider herself to be a complicated person, or a greedy one. Recent events in her life had, however, inculcated a newfound habit of suspicion. Her husband’s tirades, his frequent absences and threats to leave, had led inexorably to the day when she tailed him through the streets of Toronto and caught him picking up an interior designer for what appeared to be a romantic ski getaway. She had been with Oesterlund since she was 25 and scraping by as a cruise ship’s photographer. Now, as she assessed her crumbling marriage and girded for divorce, she wondered what else she didn’t know. Her ﬁrst answers came that morning in the Bahamas, as she quickly riﬂed through papers in their soon-to-be-former vacation home. She didn’t have long: The caretaker, Pursglove suspected, was loyal to her husband and would soon alert him that she was there. In a pile of mail was a statement from a bank in Luxembourg showing an account with at least $30 million in cash. She had never seen it before. There were two laptops — one with baby photos of their younger daughter, which she set aside. In a cupboard were documents concerning not only Xacti, the internet company she and Oesterlund had built, but also oddly named corporations in other states and countries. Finally, there was a statement from their accounting ﬁrm. She had never seen that before, either. The accountants seemed to think her husband was worth at least $300 million.
But even as Pursglove was repacking her suitcase for the ﬂight home, her family’s fortune was vanishing into an almost impenetrable array of shell companies, bank accounts and trusts, part of a worldwide ﬁnancial system catering exclusively to the very wealthy. In recent decades, this system has become astonishingly eﬀective at ‘‘oﬀshoring’’ wealth — detaching assets, through complex layers of ownership and legal planning, from their actual owners, often by hiding them in another country. Created by lawyers, accountants and private bankers and operating out of a global archipelago of European principalities, former British colonies and Asian city-states, the system has one main purpose: to make the richest people in the world appear to own as little as possible. Pursglove would soon learn, however, that navigating this oﬀshore archipelago is not easy. In any given year, trillions of dollars sit safely in the oﬀshore ﬁnancial world, eﬀectively stateless, protected by legions of well-compensated defenders and a tangle of laws deliberately designed to impede creditors and tax collectors. Even the United States government ﬁnds it challenging: A special Internal Revenue Service division known as the ‘‘wealth squad,’’ set up in 2010 to crack down on high-end tax evaders with multinational holdings, today has enough manpower to assess only about 200 cases a year. Pursglove would rely on her own wealth squad: a pair of highly creative lawyers, using Pursglove herself as the ultimate informant. It would take them more than two years and millions of dollars to breach the defenses of the oﬀshore ﬁnancial world. Their eﬀorts would leave a trail of thousands of pages of court documents through Canada and the United States, revealing the inner workings of a system exquisitely engineered to repel scrutiny. But much of her family’s ﬁnancial situation was still a mystery when she ﬁrst saw the bank statement on her husband’s desk in the Bahamas, Pursglove later told me. She packed the laptop and documents, left her suitcase near the front door and went for one last walk on their beach. When she returned to the house, the caretaker was nowhere to be seen. A diﬀerent member of the household staﬀ, a kindly older man who tended to the landscaping and washed the family boats, had already put her suitcase into a waiting taxicab. She hugged him goodbye and drove to the airport. When she opened her suitcase at the security line, there was no laptop. No paperwork. It was all gone. born rich, either. When Pursglove ﬁrst met him, on a cruise ship oﬀ Helsinki in the ’90s, he ran a struggling ﬂower-import business. He was tall, with piercing blue eyes and a boyish charisma that outlasted his initial awkwardness. Pursglove, who grew up in Wales, found him charming. They ROBERT OESTERLUND WASN’T
married in 1998, on the Caribbean island Dominica, and settled in the United States. Living in Florida and New York, they started a series of companies. Oesterlund came up with most of the ideas, Pursglove would later state in court ﬁlings, and ran the companies day to day. Pursglove hired the employees, trained them and helped manage the oﬃces. Their earliest success was a direct-mail ﬁrm called Credit Key Express, which promised credit cards to people with bad credit. Later they started Columbia House-style online membership clubs that sold discounted movie posters, books, DVDs, even dietary supplements. Xacti, which came to enfold most of their ventures, sold banner ads, video games and various other kinds of software, including ‘‘toolbars’’ that promised to clean viruses oﬀ your computer or free up space on your hard drive. The businesses threw oﬀ enormous amounts of cash, and by the mid-2000s, Oesterlund and his wife had become wildly rich. They bought a $5 million house back in Finland and their ﬁrst yacht, a 48-foot cruiser. Pursglove is 47, with a round, watchful face and well-kept brown hair. I ﬁrst met her in the spring of 2015, over coﬀee in New York. She rarely smiled, and I found her unexpectedly reserved for the wife of a jet-setting, large-living entrepreneur. She explained that Oesterlund was the ﬂamboyant one, an insecure man ruined by his sudden wealth. ‘‘I was his stop button — ‘No, we don’t need it,’ ’’ Pursglove told me. ‘‘He was kind of never content. He always needed to buy the next thing.’’ In 2007, they bought their ﬁrst private jet, and then a bigger boat, an 82-footer that Pursglove named Integrity. She liked the name, she explained. ‘‘At the time, Robert was — I thought he had integrity.’’ Not everyone agreed. In 1999, the Florida attorney general sued to shut down Credit Key Express, saying that it misled customers into thinking they would receive preapproved credit cards. (In fact, all they got for their money was a list of banks that might give them credit cards.) Some years after Credit Key Express shut down, the Florida attorney general came after Xacti’s club businesses, claiming that Oesterlund’s companies had again misled customers. According to court ﬁlings, they had abused what are known as ‘‘negative options’’: Customers would provide their credit card number for a ‘‘trial oﬀer,’’ only to be charged a monthly fee, disclosed in the ﬁne print and diﬃcult to cancel. In 2010, Oesterlund, on behalf of his companies, signed an agreement with the Florida attorney general promising to abstain from deceptive marketing practices. But oﬃcials in Iowa and Oregon also began scrutinizing the businesses. Despite Oesterlund’s promises, consumer complaints continued to pile up, and in 2013, Florida’s attorney general ﬁnally sued Xacti and its club businesses, extracting a $500,000 settlement.
When the investigations began, in 2009, Pursglove was living with the two children in Boca Raton, but Oesterlund lived on Integrity in the Bahamas, unable to join them. He had overstayed an earlier visa, and the United States denied him a green card. The denial and the investigations enraged him, Pursglove told me. He employed dozens of people in Florida, he fumed, and had provided the United States millions of dollars in tax revenue. He told his wife their businesses were being unfairly harassed by bureaucrats. Going forward, Pursglove explained, ‘‘he wanted to pay as little taxes as possible to the U.S.’’ In 2011, they went into contract on the penthouse in Toronto, hoping to unite the family eventually in Canada and establish residency for Oesterlund there. While it was being renovated, they bought yet another boat, the 165-foot yacht they named Déjà Vu, and spent a year sailing around Europe and the Caribbean, with tutors for the kids. But their relationship would soon
Illustration by R. Kikuo Johnson
grow strained. Oesterlund later testiﬁed that their marriage was a ‘‘rocky ride ever since the start,’’ but Pursglove blamed their new lifestyle. Somewhere along the way, she told me, Oesterlund had fallen in with a tribe of wealthy globe-trotting nomads and minor celebrities. He befriended Kevin O’Leary, a judge from ‘‘Shark Tank,’’ she says, and partied at the Maya-themed Lyford Cay estate of Peter Nygard, the Finnish-Canadian retail mogul. Oesterlund’s money and his boat attracted hangers-on and women, Pursglove says. By his wife’s account, some of Oesterlund’s new friends also began tutoring him in how to minimize his taxes. (Oesterlund himself declined to comment for this article, as did most of the lawyers, accountants and ﬁnancial advisers named in court records.) He traveled constantly, Pursglove says, in part to reduce the amount of taxes he would be required to pay to any of the countries where he owned a home. At the time, Pursglove told me, she regarded these eﬀorts
— spearheaded by a well-known Florida accounting ﬁrm, Daszkal Bolton — as aboveboard ‘‘tax planning.’’ But court records suggest that Oesterlund had begun exploring how to structure his business to insulate himself not just from taxes but also from future civil litigation. ‘‘I want to have in writing a statement,’’ he wrote to his lawyers in 2011, ‘‘that I can no longer be subject to Florida or U.S. law.’’ Take every step necessary, he added, to ‘‘remove myself from the country of Evil.’’ In 2012, Oesterlund and Pursglove moved with the children to Toronto; at the end of the year, Oesterlund raised the idea of separating, Pursglove says, and at the beginning of 2013 he ﬂew to Dubai to party with friends. ‘‘He was backward and forward that year in Toronto,’’ Pursglove says. ‘‘I would ask, So, are we getting divorced? And he wouldn’t do anything.’’ It was in early 2013, when she learned that her husband had sought to sell oﬀ Xacti, Pursglove
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told me, that she started to think about hiring lawyers of her own. ‘‘You want to throw me away like I was a piece of [expletive] and then take everything too,’’ she emailed him one night. ‘‘Women get 10 percent in Russia by law,’’ Oesterlund wrote back. ‘‘In Dubai they get 0 percent.’’ When she asked for copies of documents related to the potential sale, her husband was livid. ‘‘I am closing out all checking accounts on you now,’’ he texted her. ‘‘You aren’t going to use my funds to pay some Jewish lawyer.’’ That night, he cut oﬀ her Xacti email account. ‘‘We will ﬁle papers and as I no longer own anything of value you get nothing then I can start a new company later in life,’’ he wrote. ‘‘Was it really worth it?’’ One divorce attorney urged her to settle with her husband as soon as possible or else risk losing everything. Another told her the case would be too daunting for a normal family lawyer, even in South Florida, where high-priced divorces are common. Eventually, she found herself in the oﬃces of Jeﬀrey Fisher. FISHER WAS NOT a normal family lawyer. Early in
his career, at the height of the South Florida drug wars, he worked for the United States attorney’s oﬃce in Miami, prosecuting cocaine smugglers and money launderers. When he opened his own ﬁrm with a partner in West Palm Beach in the late 1980s, he began specializing in cases that were equal parts divorce and white-collar litigation,
representing the discarded wives of rich men with complex business concerns. I ﬁrst began hearing about Fisher a few years ago, when he approached a college friend of mine, Zachary Potter, to join his practice. Potter was working at one of the country’s largest law ﬁrms, advising Fortune 500 companies. He enjoyed the challenge, but the work could be stodgy: When Fisher called him, Potter was working a seven-year, $100 million case that hinged on federal leasing rules for long-haul trucking companies. Around the same time Potter moved to Palm Beach to join Fisher’s ﬁrm, I began writing for The Times about the political activism of the very wealthy, much of it oriented around defending their fortunes from the predations of government. Our professional interests soon converged. We joked about spending our days trading phone calls with the same class of handlers, consultants and lawyers, hired by the rich to guard their wealth and privacy. One day last year, we caught up over drinks at a Palm Beach hotel. Potter was easy to spot: In a town of pastels and prints, he still favored charcoal suits and crisp white shirts. All around us was the chatter of lithe women and their expensively tailored, somewhat older male companions — inhabitants of a world at once ostentatious and opaque. As we sat down, Potter slid a neatly stapled stack of papers down the bar toward me. It was a court brief, Potter explained, one of hundreds he and Fisher had ﬁled in a particularly knotty case
involving a man named Robert Oesterlund. If I truly wanted to peer inside the hidden world of the superrich, Potter told me — and if I really wanted to understand how extremely wealthy people protected that wealth — I ought to read the case’s public court ﬁle and judge for myself. Not long after, I met Fisher at his oﬃce in Florida, a modest fourth-ﬂoor space equipped with plush leather chairs and a sweeping view across the water to client-rich Palm Beach. At 61, Fisher is short and wiry, with thinning gray hair swept back over a high and gently tanned forehead. In a cross-examination, he stands erect, chest cocked, as if to ﬁll the courtroom. When Fisher talks about working the Florida divorce circuit, he makes it sound almost fun. ‘‘The beauty of high-end divorce law it is that it is usually handled on an expedited basis,’’ Fisher says. ‘‘If you’re a person like me, who doesn’t want a ﬁve-year-long case, there’s nothing better.’’ Pursglove hired him about a year earlier, not long after seeing her husband with the interior designer. Oesterlund responded by ﬁling for divorce in Canada — where Fisher could not personally represent Pursglove — and threatened to cut oﬀ his wife. She had $90,000 in the bank, not enough for a protracted legal battle. But she also had cellphone pictures of documents concerning something called a Cook Islands asset-protection trust, which she found a few months earlier. Oesterlund was listed as the ‘‘settlor,’’ the person who ‘‘donates’’ property to a trust. The Cook trust was a bad sign. A typical estate-planning trust is designed to allow someone to beneﬁt from a property — a car, a home, a plane, a bank account — without technically owning it or controlling it. An independent trustee, sometimes an individual, sometimes a specialized ﬁrm, is assigned to make decisions about the best use of the assets. That independence can, for example, provide a tax advantage or prevent a spendthrift beneﬁciary from plowing through an inheritance. But in some cases, the claim of independence is a sham. The trustees are puppets; the settlor still controls the asset in practice. And trusts organized in the Cook Islands, a self-governing state associated with New Zealand, are particularly diﬃcult to investigate. Cook courts typically do not recognize American court orders, including divorce judgments. To sue a Cook trust, you have to actually ﬂy to the Cook Islands, in the middle of the South Paciﬁc, roughly 6,000 miles southwest of Florida. ‘‘It’s like Switzerland used to be, but squared,’’ Fisher told me. Once assets were hidden inside a Cook trust, he had learned, it was almost impossible to get them out. Emails in Pursglove’s possession hinted at why Oesterlund might have found a Cook trust appealing. Searching through the trash folder on Pursglove’s laptop, Fisher’s paralegal found that the 2011 email she had been copied on — the
Illustration by R. Kikuo Johnson
one in which Oesterlund had asked his lawyers to remove him from ‘‘the country of Evil’’ — also contained a reply from Xacti’s corporate counsel, Jennifer Miller. She wrote that if Oesterlund created ‘‘a parallel corporate structure of companies outside the U.S,’’ moved his operations oﬀshore and ‘‘implemented a personal asset protection strategy,’’ he could become almost untouchable. Any money spent to sue him in the United States, Miller assured him, ‘‘would probably be wasted.’’ needed to act very quickly. He didn’t know where Oesterlund had put the family’s money, exactly. He didn’t have any direct evidence of fraud. But the longer the case dragged on, the more opportunity Oesterlund might have to drain assets out of the country and into untouchable accounts overseas. The documents in Pursglove’s cellphone pictures showed corporations in the Caymans and Nevis, both well-known oﬀshore ﬁnancial centers. But she didn’t know exactly what these companies did. Oesterlund had stopped making mortgage payments on the house in Boca Raton, she later said in court ﬁlings, and threatened to evict her mother and disabled aunt from a house they had bought in Wales. He warned Pursglove that he wouldn’t pay any bills until she agreed to a settlement. ‘‘Your mortgage of $20,000 was due on the ﬁrst,’’ he texted to Pursglove. ‘‘Late fee $500 on Friday. Bad credit in 30 days. I recommend you pay it!’’ Fisher had to freeze Oesterlund’s transactions in place until he could gather more evidence. The only way to do that, Fisher concluded, was to hit him from two sides at once. In late March 2014, Fisher ﬁled a divorce action on behalf of Pursglove in Palm Beach County, hoping to wrest the divorce proceeding back to Florida from Canada. But he also prepared a related civil complaint, citing the Cook trust and Oesterlund’s threatening emails: Oesterlund, Fisher wrote in court papers, was using illegal asset transfers to defraud his wife, the co-owner of his companies. One set of claims would leverage Pursglove’s rights as a wife. The other, crucially, would leverage her rights as an owner. Within days, Fisher persuaded a judge in Palm Beach County, Jeﬀrey D. Gillen, to impose a sweeping asset injunction against Oesterlund, one that prohibited him from selling, merging or borrowing against any of his assets. The order would stop additional oﬀshoring — if Oesterlund complied. Fisher also obtained a 2012 tax return for the family’s holding company, RSOP. (The name is an anagram of Oesterlund and Pursglove’s initials.) The return showed that RSOP had grossed more than $73.5 million that year, an amount that Pursglove says she found astonishing. But when Fisher scrutinized the tax return, he found something even more shocking. Despite the impressive grosses, RSOP was reporting ordinary business FISHER KNEW HE
FISHER WAS CERTAIN THE PRIVILEGED DOCUMENTS WOULD CONTAIN A ‘SMOKING GUN.’ HE WOULDN’T JUST SEE WHERE THE MONEY WAS HIDDEN. HE WOULD SEE OESTERLUND PLOTTING HOW TO HIDE THE MONEY. THE WHOLE THING COULD BE LAID BARE. income of just $12,284. Virtually all the revenue had somehow evaporated. That was when — and why — Fisher dispatched Pursglove to the Bahamas: to gather clues about where the money went. When Pursglove returned to the house to confront the caretaker that day, she told me, the caretaker admitted removing the papers from her suitcase. Bahamian police took custody of the papers, but later, and for reasons they never explained, handed them over to Oesterlund. When Fisher tried to subpoena the papers back, Oesterlund’s lawyers said he could not ﬁnd any such documents; in any case, they wrote, Pursglove had no right to ‘‘stolen’’ materials. But back in Florida, Fisher’s legal blitz was having the intended eﬀect. In a rush to unfreeze his assets, Oesterlund invoked his right to an emergency hearing. That handed Fisher a crucial opening: Florida law now gave Fisher the right to demand documents, on a highly expedited basis, from any company or person who might have evidence relevant to the hearing. Shortly thereafter, Fisher’s detailed requests began arriving on the desks of Oesterlund’s bankers, his lawyers, his accountants and tax planners, his stockbroker and most of his senior executives. When the opposing parties ﬁnally met in Florida court in April 2014, the room was overﬂowing. Oesterlund had sent his divorce lawyers. The companies had their own lawyers. There were lawyers for the banks. There were lawyers for the accountants. Even some of the lawyers had lawyers. More important, some of these lawyers had brought thousands of pages of records with them to the hearing. Under normal discovery rules, Fisher might have spent months or years ﬁghting for them. Instead, it took four days: Potter
ﬂipped through the boxes in the courtroom, yanking out whatever seemed interesting, while Fisher cross-examined witnesses on the ﬂy. There were bank statements, emails between accountants and lawyers and a few organizational charts tantalizingly stamped ‘‘conﬁdential.’’ One piece of paper, from a lender called Fifth Third Bank, showed that Oesterlund had claimed a net worth of $400 million, even more than they thought. Other documents showed that Pursglove owned a third of RSOP. In Canadian court, Oesterlund accused his wife of making ‘‘wild accusations’’ and absconding with their two daughters to Florida. But Fisher now had a growing heap of evidence that not only bolstered Pursglove’s claims but also rooted them in the Florida jurisdiction where his client lived and he practiced. Seeing the danger, Oesterlund’s attorneys switched tactics, hoping to block the corporate fraud suit entirely and send Pursglove’s divorce back to a Canadian judge. She was a resident of Toronto, they argued to Judge Gillen, and a Florida court had no jurisdiction over the divorce. For Pursglove and her husband, as for many members of the global 1 percent, ‘‘residency’’ was an elusive and easily manipulated concept. Pursglove was a British citizen with a United States green card who now lived in Boca Raton. Oesterlund was a citizen of Finland who had also obtained a passport from Dominica. They had homes in at least four countries and spent a year living on their yacht. ‘‘These parties are global citizens of substantial means,’’ Judge Gillen mused from the bench. ‘‘Their situation is a blessing and a privilege for them, but for this court, their lifestyle creates a challenge.’’ Gillen decided to split the diﬀerence. The divorce would stay in Toronto. But the civil litigation — the corporate fraud lawsuit — could proceed in Florida, where many of the family’s companies were still run out of a Boca Raton oﬃce park. In late April, Fisher’s assistants began stacking boxes of ﬁles in the hallway outside his oﬃce. A similar pile grew next door, outside Potter’s oﬃce. In May, they started reading in depth. for the missing $73 million they had seen on the tax return. It turned out that most of RSOP’s revenue wasn’t missing at all. Instead, Fisher later argued in court papers, RSOP was transferring tens of millions of dollars to another company, this one called Omega Partners. Omega was based in the Bahamas, which has no corporate income tax. RSOP had two partners, but Omega had only one: Robert Oesterlund. Omega didn’t appear to have any employees. In fact, it seemed to consist of little more than a post oﬃce box in a government building in Nassau. But Omega did at one point have a lucrative contract with Oesterlund’s Florida company, Xacti L.L.C., to pay search engines to advertise FIRST THEY SEARCHED
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his websites. This contract appeared to be an extraordinarily bad deal for Xacti. For every dollar of advertising Xacti purchased, it also had to pay Omega — Oesterlund in corporate form — 58 cents. For this privilege, Xacti also paid Oesterlund another $200,000 each month, personally, for ‘‘management services.’’ Oesterlund appeared to be charging his own companies to pay their bills, Fisher argued in court papers. He was charging them so much, in fact, that RSOP was making almost no net income. Yet Omega was taking in millions of dollars a year. With the stroke of his signature on a few pieces of paper, it appeared to Fisher, Oesterlund had used Omega to make virtually all of his family’s United States tax liabilities disappear. What Oesterlund had done is known as ‘‘transfer pricing,’’ a practice that has come under growing criticism in recent years. Multinational corporations use it to shift their costs to high-tax countries and their proﬁts to low-tax countries. Often, there is little or no economic reality to these transactions. Apple, for example, is an American company headquartered in Cupertino, Calif. Most of the research and development that goes into an iPhone happens in California. But according to Apple, if you buy an iPhone in Europe or Asia, the intellectual-property rights contained in your phone actually belong to Apple subsidiaries in Ireland, where the company has negotiated for itself a special tax rate of around 2 percent. Apple charges those subsidiaries relatively little for the rights to this intellectual property, yet allows them to collect most of the money Apple makes from selling the phone. In 2011, the Irish subsidiaries — which conduct virtually none of Apple’s research and build few of its products — collected two-thirds of Apple’s 2011 worldwide pretax income. Fisher wondered whether Oesterlund’s transfers were really legal. He called Gregg D. Polsky, a law professor now at the University of Georgia, who occasionally worked for Fisher as an expert witness. Polsky knew a lot about tax law, but as he later explained to me, he did not have a satisfying answer for Fisher. In theory, Polsky says, federal rules require that related companies charge themselves the same price they would charge some other company. But in practice, the prices can be diﬃcult to second-guess. Who can really say exactly what Apple’s intellectual property is worth? ‘‘The sophisticated people will hire highpriced advisers who will come up with a study that will give them the value they want,’’ Polsky says. ‘‘The I.R.S. has to decide if they disagree with that value and if they can both challenge it and prevail in court.’’ (In August, European regulators ordered Ireland to collect $15 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple, charging that the company’s special tax rate violated European Union rules.) Fisher didn’t have time to wait for the I.R.S. to take an interest in Oesterlund. He needed some
other lever — a legal basis to look more closely into the myriad oﬀshore entities that appeared to be connected to the Oesterlund companies. A solution presented itself when Fisher, searching online for Oesterlund’s name one morning, learned about the long trail of consumer disputes Oesterlund’s companies had left behind. Until he saw the settlement with the Florida attorney general, Fisher had assumed Oesterlund was running a basically legitimate internet business. Now he realized not only that Xacti had come under investigation, but also that the investigation created an opening for Pursglove. Oesterlund had signed a binding agreement with the Florida attorney general just nine months earlier: To keep Xacti from skipping out on refunds, the agreement barred Oesterlund from implementing ‘‘any change in the form of doing business or organizational identity as a method of avoiding the terms and conditions set forth in this settlement agreement.’’ Fisher felt this was a pretty good description of what Oesterlund seemed to be doing with the oﬀshore companies. Moreover, papers turned over at the hearing showed that Pursglove was the sole owner of an Xacti subsidiary that was subject to the same settlement. That meant Pursglove was also bound by its terms. This gave Fisher an idea. In May, he opened a third front, one that would give Pursglove her most powerful legal tool to begin peeling back the layers of her husband’s ﬁnances. Intervening in the Florida attorney general’s dormant case, he claimed that Oesterlund had embroiled Pursglove’s company in a fraud against the people of Florida. The only way to stop it was for the court to drag the whole business — the Cook trust, the Nevis company and whatever else the court would let Fisher go ﬁnd — back to Florida. To put it another way, Pursglove sued herself. Oesterlund’s lawyers moved to toss this new lawsuit out of court too. Fisher thought he could become a kind of ‘‘private attorney general,’’ as he put it, pursuing Oesterlund for the public good. Oesterlund’s lawyers saw it diﬀerently. It was ‘‘unfounded, illogical, frivolous’’ for Pursglove to
FISHER’S LEGAL ASSAULT NOW PRESENTED OESTERLUND’S HELPERS WITH A PAINFUL CHOICE: PROTECT ONE CLIENT, OR PROTECT THE SYSTEM.
sue herself and her husband on behalf of the attorney general, they argued. Oesterlund’s personal lawyer, a veteran litigator named Gary Rosen, dismissed the lawsuit in court as ‘‘a leverage point’’ concocted by Fisher to pressure Oesterlund in the divorce. Oesterlund’s oﬀshore trust was not an elaborate scheme to defeat the settlement, the lawyers argued, but the normal estate planning of a wealthy and successful businessman. And Pursglove, they said, was no victim. She had been part of her husband’s planning from the very beginning. truth, hard to say where Pursglove’s involvement with the offshoring began and ended. In court ﬁlings, Oesterlund produced an email showing that on at least one occasion, Oesterlund’s advisers had discussed setting up a separate trust for Pursglove and for the couple’s United States properties. When I looked closely at the contracts between Xacti and Omega, I noticed that one of them bore not only Oesterlund’s signature, on behalf of Omega, but also that of Pursglove, on behalf of Xacti. She was also at one time a beneﬁciary of the Cook Islands trust, albeit only in the unlikely event that Oesterlund and both of their two daughters happened to predecease her. Indeed, because Pursglove was a United States resident with a large ownership stake in several proﬁtable United States businesses, she stood to pay far less in taxes if her husband could move the proﬁts oﬀshore. Moreover, both Pursglove and Fisher now stood to beneﬁt from his new legal strategy: Lawyers are barred from working on contingency in divorces, but in the civil lawsuits, Fisher would be allowed to charge Pursglove a percentage of whatever money he could ﬁnd and drag back to Florida. Strikingly, Pursglove didn’t seem to have much sympathy for the consumers who had ﬁled complaints against her family’s companies — the very basis of Fisher’s carefully plotted legal strategy. On more than one occasion, ﬁrst during a long meeting in New York and later over a candlelit Italian dinner with Fisher and Potter in Delray Beach, I asked Pursglove whether she had any reservations about how she and Oesterlund had made their money. Whatever regrets she had about her husband, I learned, did not extend to the family business. ‘‘Every time you click on an ad, someone gets money,’’ she told me, shrugging. ‘‘We were the people who got the money.’’ All this raised the possibility that Pursglove’s main objection to the oﬀshoring scheme was that her husband had decided to cut her out of it. Oesterlund himself insinuated as much. ‘‘Wow your Jeﬀ is desperate,’’ he texted her in May 2015, meaning Fisher, after a Canadian judge issued a further freeze of his assets. ‘‘Why would he want to expose you by trying to reopen the attorney general settlement? But ok we will throw you under the bus.’’ IT WAS, IN
Pursglove says she always knew Oesterlund was trying to minimize their taxes. But like many wealthy people who hire expensive help to execute complex tax transactions, Pursglove had considered herself to be avoiding taxes, not evading them — precisely the distinction wealthy people hire an accounting ﬁrm like Daszkal Bolton to observe on their behalf, however ﬁnely. Now, though, she was relying on Fisher to dismantle Daszkal Bolton’s handiwork. Fisher’s argument was that Oesterlund had begun oﬀshoring the companies to shield himself from consumer lawsuits, but then, as a divorce grew imminent, redeployed the same plan to shield assets from Pursglove. And that assertion was bolstered by a new discovery. Studying bank documents Fisher had subpoenaed, Fisher’s paralegal, Lindsey Crews, noticed that Pursglove’s stamped signature appeared on paperwork in early 2013 that gave an Xacti executive named Skip Middleton,
Illustration by R. Kikuo Johnson
Oesterlund’s right-hand man, authority over at least six Xacti-related bank accounts with Wells Fargo. A few months later, Middleton used his newfound authority to remove Pursglove from the accounts. Not long after, around the time Oesterlund created the Cook Islands trust, someone using Pursglove’s signature stamp had caused RSOP, the family holding company, to guarantee a $17.5 million loan from a Florida lender called C1 bank, using the Déjà Vu as collateral. The loan papers attested that Middleton had witnessed Pursglove signing for the loan in Florida. But Pursglove wasn’t in Florida on the date indicated: Her passport stamps proved that she was actually in Toronto. A clearer picture emerged as they studied documents subpoenaed from Daszkal Bolton. It turned out that in early 2013, after Pursglove asked Xacti’s executives to inform her of any large cash transfers or major business decisions, Oesterlund ordered Middleton to cut her oﬀ. Over email, he
told Middleton to ban her from their Boca Raton oﬃces and to remove Pursglove as a signatory to the company bank accounts. Middleton forwarded the email to a Daszkal Bolton accountant. ‘‘Umm, Houston, we have a problem,’’ Middleton wrote, referring to Oesterlund’s demands. The bank forms adding Middleton to the accounts — supposedly with Pursglove’s permission — were ﬁled two days later. A lawyer for Middleton did not reply to a request for comment. (When Fisher deposed him this past April, Middleton invoked his Fifth Amendment rights almost 300 times, including to the question of whether he had forged Pursglove’s signature.) A spokesman for Daszkal Bolton told me that the ﬁrm would not comment on litigation or client matters. But documents obtained by Fisher suggest that Oesterlund’s lawyers and accountants had indeed spent 2013 trying to make him untouchable, trading complex organizational charts, debating what (Continued on Page 52)
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Exit WOUNDS For S E V E N D E C A D E S , the U N I T E D S T A T E S and B R I T A I N D E F I N E D and D E F E N D E D a V I S I O N of D E M O C R A C Y and F R E E D O M T H A T P R O F O U N D L Y S H A P E D the G L O B A L O R D E R . W H A T H A P P E N S W H E N T H E I R O W N C I T I Z E N S O P T O U T of I T ?
By I A N B U R U M A Photo illustrations by M A U R I Z I O C A T T E L A N and P I E R P A O L O F E R R A R I
of the strangest episodes in Donald Trump’s very weird campaign was the appearance of an Englishman looking rather pleased with himself at a rally on Aug. 24 in Jackson, Miss. The Englishman was Nigel Farage, introduced by Trump as ‘‘the Man Behind Brexit.’’ Most people in the crowd probably didn’t have a clue who Farage — the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party — actually was. Yet there he stood, grinning and hollering about ‘‘our independence day’’ and the ‘‘real people,’’ the ‘‘decent people,’’ the ‘‘ordinary people’’ who took on the banks, the liberal media and the political establishment. Trump pulled his face into a crocodile smile, clapped his hands and promised, ‘‘Brexit plus plus plus!’’ Brexit itself — the decision to withdraw Britain from the European Union, notwithstanding the almost universal opposition from British banking, business, political and intellectual elites — was not the main point here. In his rasping delivery, Trump roared about Farage’s great victory, ‘‘despite horrible name-calling, despite all obstacles.’’ Quite what name-calling he had in mind was fuzzy, but the message was clear. His own victory would be like that of the Brexiteers, only more so. He even called himself Mr. Brexit. Many friends and experts I spoke to in Britain resisted the comparison between Trumpism and Brexit. In London, the distinguished conservative historian Noel Malcolm told me that his heart sank when I compared the two. Brexit, he said, was all about sovereignty. British democracy, in his view, would be undermined if the British had to abide by laws passed by foreigners they didn’t vote for. (He was referring to the European Union.) The Brexit vote, he maintained, had little to do with globalization or immigration or working-class people feeling left behind by the elites. It was primarily a matter of democratic principle. Malcolm seemed to think that Brexit voters, including former industrial workers in Britain’s rust-belt cities, were moved by the same high-minded principles that had made him a convinced Brexiteer. I had my doubts. Resentment about Polish, Romanian and other European Union citizens coming to Britain to work harder for less money played an important part. As did the desire to poke the eye of an unpopular elite, held responsible for the economic stagnation in busted industrial cities. And the simple dislike of foreigners in Britain should never be underestimated. In the United States, too, I found resistance to the idea that Brexit was a harbinger of a Trump victory. I was assured over and over by liberal friends that Trump would never be president. American voters were too sensible to fall for his hateful demagogy. Trump, I was told, was a product of peculiarly American strains of populism that ﬂare up periodically, like the anti-immigrant nativism in the 1920s or Huey P. Long in 1930s Louisiana, but would never reach as far as the White House. Traditional American populism of this kind, directed at the rich, bankers, immigrants or big business, could, in any case, not be usefully compared with English hostility to the European Union, because there was no supranational political union the United States belonged to. And yet Trump and Farage quickly recognized what they shared. In Scotland, where Trump happened to be reopening a golf resort the day after the Brexit vote, he pointed out the parallels. Brexit, Trump said to the Scots who voted overwhelmingly against it, was ‘‘a great thing’’: The British had ‘‘taken back their country.’’ Phrases like ‘‘sovereignty,’’ ‘‘control’’ and ‘‘greatness’’ ﬁred up the crowds in both Trump’s and Farage’s campaigns. You might think they meant something diﬀerent by those words. Farage and his allies, many of them English nationalists, wanted to wrest national sovereignty from the European Union. But from whom or what does Trump want to take his country back? Trump has gestured at the International 40
Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization as noxious elements run by international elites to the detriment of the American working man. But I can’t imagine that these institutions ﬁll most of his followers with rage. In fact, most international institutions, including the I.M.F. and NATO, were set up under American auspices, to promote the interests of the United States and its allies. European uniﬁcation, and the resulting European Union, too, have not only been approved of but also vociferously encouraged by American presidents before Trump. But his America First sentiments — for that is what they are at this point, more than a policy — are hostile to these organizations. And so, by and large, are the likes of Nigel Farage. So Farage and Trump were speaking about the same thing. But they have more in common than distaste for international or supranational institutions. When Farage, in his speech in Jackson, fulminated against the banks, the liberal media and the political establishment, he was not talking about foreign bodies but about the aliens in our midst, as it were, our own elites who are, by implication, not ‘‘real, ‘‘ordinary’’ or ‘‘decent.’’ And not only Farage. The British prime minister, Theresa May, not a Brexiteer before the referendum, called members of international-minded elites ‘‘citizens of nowhere.’’ When three High Court judges in Britain ruled that Parliament, and not just the prime minister’s cabinet, should decide when to trigger the legal mechanism for Brexit, they were denounced in a major British tabloid newspaper as ‘‘enemies of the people.’’ Trump deliberately tapped into the same animus against citizens who are not ‘‘real people.’’ He made oﬀensive remarks about Muslims, immigrants, refugees and Mexicans. But the deepest hostility was directed against those elitist traitors within America who supposedly coddle minorities and despise the ‘‘real people.’’ The last ad of the Trump campaign attacked what Joseph Stalin used to call ‘‘rootless cosmopolitans’’ in a particularly insidious manner. Incendiary references to a ‘‘global power structure’’ that was robbing honest working people of their wealth were illustrated by pictures of George Soros, Janet Yellen and Lloyd Blankfein. Perhaps not every Trump supporter realized that all three are Jewish. But those who did cannot have missed the implications. When Trump and Farage stood on that stage together in Mississippi, they spoke as though they were patriots reclaiming their great countries from foreign interests. No doubt they regard Britain and the United States as exceptional nations. But their success is dismaying precisely because it goes against a particular idea of Anglo-American exceptionalism. Not the traditional self-image of certain American and British jingoists who like to think of the United States as the City on the Hill or Britain as the sceptered isle splendidly aloof from the wicked Continent, but another kind of Anglo-American exception: the one shaped by World War II. The defeat of Germany and Japan resulted in a grand alliance, led by the United States, in the West and Asia. Pax Americana, along with a uniﬁed Europe, would keep the democratic world safe. If Trump and Farage get their way, much of that dream will be in tatters. n the years when most of Europe was overrun by the Nazis or fascist dictatorships, the Anglo-American allies were the last I hope of freedom, democracy and internationalism. I grew up in the world they shaped. My native country, the Netherlands, was freed in 1945, six years before I was born, by British and North American troops (with the help of some very brave Poles). Those of us with no direct memories of this had still seen movies like ‘‘The Longest Day,’’ about the Normandy landings. John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and Kenneth More and his bulldog were our liberating heroes. This was, of course, a childish conceit. For one thing, it left out the Soviet Red Army, which liberated my father, who was forced to work in a factory in Berlin along with other young men who, under German occupation, refused to sign a loyalty oath to the Nazis. But the victorious Anglo-Saxon nations, especially the United States, largely shaped the
postwar Western world we lived in. The words of the Atlantic Charter, drawn up by Churchill and Roosevelt in 1941, resonated deeply throughout a war-torn Europe: Trade barriers would be lowered, peoples would be free, social welfare would advance and global cooperation would ensue. Churchill called the charter ‘‘not a law, but a star.’’ Pax Americana, in which Britain played the role of special junior partner, whose specialness was perhaps more keenly felt in London than in Washington, was based on a liberal consensus. Not only NATO, set up to protect Western democracies, chieﬂy against the Soviet threat, but also the ideal of European uniﬁcation were born from the ashes of 1945. Many Europeans, liberals as well as conservatives, believed that only a united Europe would stop them from tearing their continent apart again. Even Winston Churchill, whose heart was more invested in Commonwealth and Empire, was in favor of it. The Cold War made the exceptional role of the victorious allies even more vital. The West, its freedoms protected by the United States, needed a plausible counternarrative to Soviet ideology. This included a promise of greater social and economic equality. Of course, neither the United States, with its long history of racial prejudice and occasional ﬁts of political hysteria, like McCarthyism, nor Britain, with its tenacious class system, ever quite lived up to the shining ideals they presented to the postwar world. Nonetheless, the image of exceptional Anglo-American liberty held up, not only in countries that had been occupied during the war but in the defeated nations, Germany (at least in the western half) and Japan, as well. America’s prestige was greatly bolstered not just by the soldiers who helped liberate Europe but also by the men and women back home who fought to make their society more equal and their democracy more inclusive. By struggling against the injustices in their own country, ﬁgures like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or the Freedom Riders or indeed President Obama kept the hope of American exceptionalism alive. As did the youth culture of the 1960s. When Vaclav Havel, the Czech dissident playwright and later president, hailed Frank Zappa, Lou Reed and the Rolling Stones as his political heroes, he was not being frivolous. Under communist oppression, the pop music of America and Britain represented freedom. Europeans born not long after World War II often professed to hate the United States, or at least its politics and wars, but the expressions of their hostility were almost entirely borrowed from America itself. Bob Dylan received this year’s Nobel Prize for literature, not least because the Swedish jury of baby boomers grew up with his words of protest. The ideal of exceptional Anglo-Saxon liberties obviously goes back much further than the aftermath of Hitler’s defeat, let alone Bob Dylan and the Stones. Alexis de Tocqueville’s admiring account of American democracy in the 1830s is well known. Much less famous are his writings on Britain in the same period. Born soon after the French Revolution, Tocqueville was haunted by the question of why Britain, with its mighty aristocracy, was spared such an upheaval. Why did the British people not rebel? His answer was that the social system in Britain was just open enough to allow a person to hope that with hard work, ingenuity and luck, he could rise in society. The British version of the American dream: ‘‘The Great Gatsby’’ may be the great American novel, but Gatsby could have existed in Britain too. In practice, there were probably not all that many rags-to-riches stories in 19th-century Britain. But the fact that Benjamin Disraeli, the son of Sephardic Jews, could become prime minister, and an earl, no less, provided the basis for many generations in Europe to believe in Britain as an exceptional country. Jews from Russia or Lithuania, or from Germany, like my own great-grandparents, ﬂocked to Britain as immigrants in the hope that they, too, could become English gentlemen. Anglophilia, like the American dream, may have been based on myths, but myths can be potent and long-lasting. The notion that suﬃcient eﬀort and talent can beat the odds has been especially important in Britain and the United States. Anglo-American capitalism can be harsh in many ways, but because free markets are receptive to new talent and cheap labor, they Photo illustration by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari
N O D O U B T T R U M P and F A R A G E R E G A R D B R I T A I N and T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S as E X C E P T I O N A L N AT I O N S . B U T T H E I R S U C C E S S is D I S M A Y I N G P R E C I S E L Y B E C A U S E it G O E S A G A I N S T a P A R T I C U L A R I D E A of A NG L O - A M E R ICA N E XC E P T IONA L I S M .
have spawned the kind of societies, pragmatic and relatively open, where immigrants can thrive, the very kind that rulers of more closed, communitarian, autocratic societies tend to despise. Wilhelm II, kaiser of Germany until 1918, when his country was defeated in the First World War, which he had done his best to unleash, was such a ﬁgure. Half English himself, he called England a nation of shopkeepers and described it as ‘‘Juda-England,’’ a country corrupted by sinister alien elites, where money counted more than the virtues of blood and soil. In later decades, this kind of anti-Semitic rhetoric was more often aimed at the United States. The Nazis were convinced that Jewish capitalists ruled America, not just in Hollywood but in Washington and, naturally, New York. This notion is still commonly held, though less in Europe than in the Middle East and some parts of Asia. But talk about ‘‘citizens of nowhere,’’ sinister cosmopolitan elites and conspiratorial bankers ﬁts precisely in the same tradition. A terrifying irony of contemporary The New York Times Magazine
‘ T A K I N G B A C K our C O U N T R Y ’ M E A N S a R E T R E A T F R O M the W O R L D that A N G L O - A M E R I C A N S E N V I S I O N E D A F T E R 1 9 4 5 . E N G L I S H N AT I O N A L I S T S
Anglo-American populism is the common use of phrases that were have O P T E D for a M O D E R N V E R S I O N of S P L E N D I D traditionally used by enemies of I S O L A T I O N . T R U M P W A N T S to P U T A M E R I C A F I R S T . the English-speaking countries. Yet even those who don’t go along with the kaiser’s loathsome words recognize that liberal economics, as practiced since the middle of the 19th century in Britain and the United States, has a darker side. It does not allow for much redistribution of wealth or protection of the most vulnerable citizens. There have been exceptions: Roosevelt’s New Deal, for instance, or Britain’s postwar Labor government under Clement Attlee, which created free national health care, built better public housing, improved education and guaranteed other blessings of the welfare state. British working-class men who risked their lives for their country during the war expected no less. On the whole, however, Britain and the United States have, compared with many Western countries, generally set greater store on individual economic freedom than on the ideal of egalitarianism. And nothing creates such swift and radical social change as unfettered free enterprise. The Reagan-Thatcher revolution in the 1980s — deregulating ﬁnancial services, closing down coal mines and manufacturing plants and hacking away at the beneﬁts of the New Deal and the British welfare state — was regarded by many conservatives, on both sides of the Atlantic, as a triumph for Anglo-American exceptionalism, a great coup for freedom. Europeans outside Britain were more skeptical. They tended to Radical economic liberalism did more to destroy traditional communities see Thatcherism and Reaganomics as ruthless forms of economic liberalism, than any social-democratic governments ever did. Thatcher’s most implacable making some people vastly richer but leaving many more out in the cold. enemies were the miners and industrial workers. The neoliberal rhetoric was Nonetheless, in order to compete, many governments began to emulate the all about prosperity ‘‘trickling down’’ from above. But it never quite worked out same economic system. that way. Those workers and their children, now languishing in impoverished That this happened at the end of the Cold War was no coincidence. rust-belt cities, received another blow in the banking crisis of 2008. Major The collapse of Soviet communism was celebrated, rightly, as the ﬁnal postwar institutions, like the I.M.F., which the United States set up in 1945 to liberation of Europe. Countries, left behind on the wrong side of the Iron secure a more stable world, no longer functioned properly. The I.M.F. did not Curtain after World War II, were free at last. The ﬁrst President Bush spoke even see the crisis coming. Large numbers of people, who never recovered about the ‘‘new world order,’’ led by the only superpower left standing. The from the crash, decided to rebel and voted for Brexit — and for Trump. Reagan-Thatcher revolution appeared to have triumphed. either Brexit nor Trump are likely to bring great beneﬁts to But the end of communism in the West also had other, less desirable these voters. But at least for a while, they can dream of taking consequences. The horrors of the Soviet empire tainted other forms of N their countries back to an imaginary, purer, more wholesome leftism, including social democratic ideals, which in fact had been antipast. This reaction is not only sweeping across the United States communist. Even as the ‘‘end of history’’ was declared and the AngloAmerican liberal democratic model was expected to be unrivaled for- and Britain. The same thing is happening in other countries, including some ever, many began to believe that all forms of collectivist idealism led with long liberal democratic traditions, like the Netherlands. Twenty years straight to the gulag. Thatcher once declared that there was no such ago, Amsterdam was seen as the capital of everything wild and progressive, thing as society, just individuals and families. People had to be forced the kind of place were cops openly smoke pot (another myth, but a telling one). The Dutch thought of themselves as the world champions of racial to take care of themselves. 42
Photo illustration by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari. Maps: Rand McNally.
and religious tolerance. Of all European countries, the Netherlands was the most ﬁrmly embedded in the Anglosphere. Now the most popular political party, according to the latest polls, is led practically as a one-man operation by Geert Wilders, an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-European Union ﬁrebrand who hailed Trump’s victory as the coming of a ‘‘patriotic spring.’’ In France, Marine Le Pen, who shares Wilders’s enthusiasm for Trump, might be the next president. Poland and Hungary are already ruled by populist autocrats who reject the kind of liberalism that Eastern European dissidents once struggled so hard to achieve. Norbert Hofer, a man of the far right, could become the next president of Austria. Does this mean that Britain and the United States are no longer exceptional? Perhaps. But I think it is also true to say that the very idea of AngloAmerican exceptionalism has made populism in those countries more potent. The self-ﬂattering notion that the Western victors in World War II are special, braver and freer than any other people, that the United States is the greatest nation in the history of man, that Great Britain — the country that stood alone against Hitler — is superior to any European let alone non-European country has not only led to some ill-conceived wars but also helped to paper over the inequalities built into Anglo-American capitalism. The notion of natural superiority, of the sheer luck of being born an American or a Briton, gave a sense of entitlement to people who, in terms of education or prosperity, were stuck in the lower ranks of society. This worked quite well until the last decades of the last century. Not only were the fortunes of working- or lower-middle-class people in Britain beginning to dwindle compared with those of the rich, who were steadily getting richer, but it gradually became clear even to the most insular Britons that they were doing much worse than the Germans, the Scandinavians and the Dutch, worse even than the French, Britain’s oldest rivals. One way of venting their rage was to ﬁght in soccer stadiums, taunting German fans by mimicking British bombers and bellowing slogans about winning the war. The so-called football hooligans remained an embarrassing minority, but there were other ways to express the same feelings. The European Union, for which most British people had never felt a great love, actually made many parts of Britain more prosperous. The blight of the old industrial cities and mining towns was not a result of European Union policies. But it was easy for ‘‘Euro-skeptics’’ to deﬂect popular attention from domestic problems by blaming foreigners who were supposedly running the show in Brussels. Europhobes liked to claim that ‘‘this was not why we fought the war.’’ The specter of not just Hitler but also Napoleon was sometimes evoked. Spitﬁres and talk of Britain’s ﬁnest hour made a rhetorical comeback in the UKIP campaign to leave Europe. Some pro-Brexit politicians even praised the greatness of the British Empire. ‘‘Taking back control’’ by leaving the European Union is not going to make most people in Britain more prosperous. The contrary is more likely to be true. But it takes the sting out of relative failure. It feeds the desire to feel exceptional, entitled, in short, to be great again. Something similar has happened in the United States. Not only were even the least privileged Americans told that they lived in God’s own country, but white Americans, however impoverished and undereducated, had the comforting sense that there was always a group beneath them, who did not share their entitlement, or claim to greatness, a class of people with a darker skin. With a Harvard-educated black president, this ﬁction became increasingly diﬃcult to sustain. Trump and the leaders of Brexit had a ﬁne instinct for these popular feelings. In a way, Trump is a Gatsby gone sour. He played on the wounded pride of large communities and inﬂamed the passions of people who fear the changes that make them feel abandoned. In the United States, this brought out old strains of nativism. In Britain, English nationalism is the main force behind Brexit. But in both cases, ‘‘taking back our country’’ means a retreat from the world that the Anglo-Americans envisaged after 1945. English nationalists have opted for a modern version of Splendid
Isolation (paradoxically, a term coined to describe British foreign policy under Benjamin Disraeli). Trump wants to put America First. rexit Britain and Trump’s America are linked in their desire to pull down the pillars of Pax Americana and European uniﬁcaB tion. In a perverse way, this may herald a revival of a ‘‘special relationship’’ between Britain and the United States, a case of history repeating itself not exactly as farce but as tragi-farce. Trump told Theresa May that he would like to have the same relationship with her that Ronald Reagan had with Margaret Thatcher. But the ﬁrst British politician to arrive at Trump Tower to congratulate the president-elect was not the prime minister or even the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, but Nigel Farage. Trump and Farage, beaming like schoolboys in front of Trump’s gilded elevator, gloated over their victories by repeating the same word that once made their respective countries exceptional: ‘‘freedom.’’ In the privacy of Trump’s home, Farage suggested that the new president should move Winston Churchill’s bust back into the Oval Oﬃce. Trump thought this a splendid idea. A month before Trump’s election and three months after the Brexit vote, I visited the great military historian Sir Michael Howard at his home in rural England. As a young man, Howard fought the Germans as an oﬃcer in the British Army. He landed in Italy in 1943 and took part in the decisive battle of Salerno, for which he was awarded the Military Cross. John Wayne and Kenneth More were a fantasy. Sir Michael was the real thing. He is 95 years old. After lunch at a local pub, just a few miles from where my grandparents used to live, we talked about Brexit, the war, American politics, Europe and our families. The setting could not have been more English, with the pale autumn sun setting over the rolling hills of Berkshire. Like my greatgrandparents, Sir Michael’s maternal grandparents were German Jews who moved to England, where they did very well. Like mine, his family of immigrants became utterly British. In addition to being Regius professor of history at Oxford University, Howard taught at Yale. He knows America well and has no illusions about the ‘‘special relationship,’’ which he believes was invented by Churchill and was always much overblown. Sitting in his drawing room, with books piled up around us, many of them about World War II, I wanted to hear his thoughts on Brexit. He replied in a tone of resigned melancholy more than outrage. Brexit, he said, ‘‘is accelerating the disintegration of the Western world.’’ Contemplating that world, so carefully constructed after the war he fought in, he said: ‘‘Perhaps it was just a bubble in an ocean.’’ I asked him about the special Anglo-American relationship. ‘‘Ah, ‘the special relationship,’ ’’ he said. ‘‘It was a necessary myth, a bit like Christianity. But now where do we go?’’ Where indeed? The last hope of the West might be Germany, the country that Michael Howard fought against and that I hated as a child. Angela Merkel’s message to Trump on the day after his victory was a perfect expression of Western values that are still worth defending. She would welcome a close cooperation with the United States, she said, but only on the basis of ‘‘democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views.’’ Merkel spoke as the true heiress of the Atlantic Charter. Germany, too, once thought it was the exceptional nation. This ended in a worldwide catastrophe. The Germans learned their lesson. They no longer wanted to be exceptional in any way, which is why they were so keen to be embedded in a uniﬁed Europe. The last thing Germans wanted was to lead other countries, especially in any military sense. This is the way Germany’s neighbors wished it as well. Pax Americana seemed vastly preferable to a revival of German exceptionalism. I still think so. But looking once more at that photograph of the Donald and Farage, baring their teeth in glee, thumbs held high, with the gold from the elevator door glinting in their hair, I wonder whether Germany might not be compelled to question a lesson it learned a little too well. The New York Times Magazine
‘WE ARE ORPHANS HERE’ LIFE AN PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMP. BY
AND DEATH IN EAST JERUSALEMâ€™S Y RACHEL KUSHNER PHOTOGRAPHS BY LUCA LOCATELLI
STANDING AT AN INTERSECTION IN SHUAFAT
Refugee Camp, in East Jerusalem, I watched as a boy, sunk down behind the steering wheel of a beatup sedan, zoomed through an intersection with his arm out the driver’s-side window, signaling like a Nascar driver pulling in for a pit stop. I was amazed. He looked about 12. ‘‘No one cares here,’’ my host, Baha Nababta, said, laughing at my astonishment. ‘‘Anyone can do anything they want.’’ As Baha and I walked around Shuafat this spring, teenagers fell in behind us, forming a kind of retinue. Among them were cool kids who looked like cool kids the world over, tuned in to that teenage frequency, a dog whistle with global reach. I noticed that white was a popular color. White slouchy, pegged jeans, white polo shirts, white high-tops. Maybe white has extra status in a place where many roads are unpaved and turn to mud, where garbage is everywhere, literally, and where water shortages make it exceedingly diﬃcult to keep peoOpening pages: ple and clothing clean. Palestinian So few nonresidents children enter Shuafat that waiting my appearance there inside the Shuafat seemed to be a highly Refugee unusual event, met with Camp for warm greetings verging buses to on hysteria, crowds of take them to school. kids following along. ‘‘Hello, America!’’ they Right: called excitedly. I was a A mural on the novelty, but also, I was separation with Baha Nababta, a wall between 29-year-old Palestinian the Shuafat community organizer Refugee Camp and beloved by the kids of the rest Shuafat. Those who of East followed us wanted Jerusalem. not just my attention but his. Baha had a rare kind of charisma. Camp-counselor charisma, you might call it. He was a natural leader of boys. Every kid we passed knew him and either waved or stopped to speak to him. Baha founded a community center so that older children would have a place to hang out, because there is no open space in Shuafat Refugee Camp, no park, not a single playground, nowhere for kids to go, not even a street, really, where they can play, because there are no sidewalks, most of the narrow roads barely ﬁtting the cars that ramble down them. Youngers kids tapped me on the arms and wanted to show me the mural they painted with Baha. The road they helped to pave with Baha, who supervised its completion. The plants they planted with Baha along a narrow strip. Baha, Baha, Baha. It was like that with the adults too. They all wanted his attention. His phone was blowing up in his pocket as we walked. He ﬁnally answered. There was a dispute between a man whose baby 46
died at a clinic and the doctor who treated the baby. The man whose baby died tried to burn the doctor alive, and now the doctor was in critical condition, in a hospital in Jerusalem. Throughout the two days I spent with Baha, I heard more stories like this that he was asked to help resolve. People relied on him. He had a vision for the Shuafat camp, where he was born and raised, that went beyond what could be imagined from within the very limited conﬁnes of the place. In an area of high-rise apartment buildings clustered around a mosque with spindly, futuristic minarets, a pudgy boy of 10 or 11 called over to us. ‘‘My dad is trying to reach you,’’ he said to Baha. Baha told me that the buildings in that part of the camp had no water and that everyone was contacting him about it. He had not been answering his phone, he confessed, because he didn’t have any good news yet for the residents. I got the
SHUAFAT REFUGEE CAMP IS INSIDE JERUSALEM
impression Baha was something like an informal mayor, on whom people depended to resolve disputes, build roads, put together volunteer committees and try to make Shuafat safe for children. The building next to us was 12 stories. Next to it was another 12-story building. High-rise apartments in the camp are built so close together that if a ﬁre should happen, the results would be devastating. There would be no way to put it out. The buildings were all built of stone blocks that featured, between blocks, wooden wedges that stuck out intermittently, as if the builders had never returned to ﬁll the gaps with mortar. I gazed up at a towering facade, with its strange wooden wedges, which made the building look like a model of a structure, except that it was occupied. The pudgy boy turned to me as I craned my neck. ‘‘This building is stupidly built,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s junk.’’ ‘‘Do you live here?’’ I asked him, and he said yes.
virtually no infrastructure of any kind. There is no adequate school system. Israeli emergency ﬁre and medical services do not enter the camp. The Israeli police enter only to make arrests; they provide no security for camp residents. There is chaotic land registration. While no one knows how many people really live in the Shuafat camp and its three surrounding neighborhoods, which is roughly one square kilometer, it’s estimated that the population is around 80,000. They live surrounded by a 25-foot concrete wall, a wall interspersed by guard towers and trapdoors that swing open when Israeli forces raid the camp, with reinforcements in the hundreds, or even, as in December 2015, over a thousand troops. Eﬀectively, there are no laws in the Shuafat Refugee Camp, despite its geographical location inside Jerusalem. The Shuafat camp’s original citizens were moved from the Old City, where they
proper, according to the municipal boundaries that Israel declared after the Six Day War in 1967. (Though the entire walled area is frequently referred to as the Shuafat Refugee Camp, the actual camp, run by the United Nation’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees, is only a small portion. Adjacent to the camp are three neighborhoods that are the responsibility of the city of Jerusalem.) The Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction there: The camp is, according to Israeli law, inside Israel, and the people who live there are Jerusalem residents, but they are refugees in their own city. Residents pay taxes to Israel, but the camp is barely serviced. There is very little legally supplied water, a scarcely functioning sewage system, essentially no garbage pickup, no road building, no mail service (the streets don’t even have names, much less addresses),
Photographs by Luca Locatelli/Institute, for The New York Times
sought asylum in 1948 during the Arab-Israeli War, to the camp’s boundaries starting in 1965, when the camp was under the control of the Jordanian government, with more arriving, in need of asylum, during and after the war in 1967. Now, 50 years after Israel’s 1967 boundaries were drawn, even Israeli security experts don’t quite know why the Shuafat Refugee Camp was placed inside the Jerusalem municipal boundaries. The population was much smaller then and surrounded by beautiful green, open forestland, which stretched to the land on which the Jewish settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev was later built. (The forestland is still there, visible beyond the separation wall, but inaccessible to camp residents, on account of the wall.) Perhaps the Israelis were hoping the camp’s residents could be relocated, because they numbered only a few thousand. Instead, the population of the camp exploded in the following decades into the tens of
who had walked me into the camp in order to make introductions between me and Baha and to serve as my Arabic interpreter. Moriel and the teenager from the ice-cream shop took turns. Moriel’s own beatbox was good but not quite up to the Shuafat Refugee Camp beatbox standard. We met an accountant named Fahed, who had just opened his shop in the mall to prepare taxes for residents. He was stunned to hear English being spoken and eager to use his own. The tax forms are in Hebrew, he explained, so most people in the camp must hire a bilingual accountant to complete them. Before the separation wall was constructed, the mall was bulldozed twice by the Israeli authorities, but the owner rebuilt both times. Since the wall has gone up, the Israelis have not tried to demolish any large buildings in Shuafat, though they have destroyed individual homes. Armed Palestinian gangsters could take away someone’s
land or apartment at any moment. A ﬁre or earthquake would be catastrophic. There are multiple risks to buying property in the Shuafat camp, but the cost of an apartment there can be less than a tenth of what an apartment would cost on the other side of the separation wall, in East Jerusalem. And living in Shuafat is a way to try to hold onto Jerusalem residency status. Jerusalem residents have a coveted blue ID card, meaning they can enter Israel in order to work and support their families, unlike Palestinians with green, or West Bank ID cards, who need many supporting documents in order to enter Israel — to work or for any other reason, and who also must pass through military checkpoints like Qalandiya, which can require waiting in hourslong lines. Jerusalem residency is, quite simply, a lifeline to employment, a matter of survival. There are also non-Jerusalemites in the camp. Since the wall went up, it became a sanctuary, a haven. I met people from Gaza, who cannot leave the square kilometer of the camp or they risk arrest, because it is illegal for Gazans to enter Israel or the occupied West Bank except with Israeli permission, Khalil Muhamad which is almost never Ismail, granted. I met a family of a teenager, Brazilian Palestinians has worn an artificial with long-expired passeye since ports who also cannot being hit by leave the camp, because a sponge they do not have West bullet fired by Israeli Bank green IDs nor forces in his Jerusalem blue IDs. neighborhood in 2015.
SHUAFAT CAMP IS
thousands. In 1980, Israel passed a law declaring Jerusalem the ‘‘complete and united’’ capital of Israel. In 2004, Israel began erecting the concrete wall around the camp, cutting inside Israel’s own declared boundaries, as if to stanch and cauterize the camp from ‘‘united’’ Jerusalem. IF HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS ARE NOT TYPICALLY
conjured by the term ‘‘refugee camp,’’ neither is an indoor shopping mall, but there is one in the Shuafat camp: two ﬂoors and a third that was under construction, an escalator up and down and a store called Fendi, which sells inexpensive women’s clothes. The mall owner greeted us with exuberance and pulled Baha aside to ask for advice of some kind. A teenager who worked at a mall ice-cream parlor, a hipster in a hoodie and eyeglass frames without lenses, did a world-class beatbox for me and Moriel Rothman-Zecher, a writer and organizer
WHAT I MOSTLY NOTICED WERE CHILDREN WORKING, BEING INDUSTRIOUS, TRYING TO FIND PRODUCTIVE WAYS TO LIVE IN A MISERABLE ENVIRONMENT AND TO SURVIVE.
Inside the Wall More photographs from the Shuafat Refugee Camp are at nytimes.com/magazine.
often depicted in the international media as the most dangerous place in Jerusalem, a crucible of crime, jihad and trash ﬁres. On the day that I arrived, garbage was indeed smoldering in great heaps just inside the checkpoint entrance, against the concrete separation wall, ﬂames jumping thinly in the strong morning sun. I had been to countries that burn their trash; it is a smell you get used to. My main concern, over the weekend I spent in the camp, was not getting my foot run over by a car. If you are seriously hurt in the camp, there isn’t much help. Ill or injured people are carried through the checkpoint, on foot or by car, and put in ambulances on the other side of the wall. According to residents of the camp, several people have unnecessarily died in this manner. As we walked, I began to understand how to face the traﬃc without ﬂinching, to expect that drivers are experienced at navigating such incredible The New York Times Magazine
human density. I asked Baha if people were ever run over by cars, assuming he would say no. ‘‘Yes, all the time,’’ he said. ‘‘A child was just killed this way,’’ he added. I hugged the walls of the apartment buildings as we strolled. Later that evening, I watched as a tiny boy riding a grown man’s bicycle was bumped by a car. He crashed in the road. I ran to help him. He was crying, holding out his abraded hands. I remembered how painful it is to scrape your palms, how many nerve endings there are in an open hand. A Palestinian man told the little boy he was O.K. and ruﬀled his hair. When I asked Baha if garbage was burned by the separation wall because it was safer — a way to contain a ﬁre, like a giant ﬁreplace — he shook his head. ‘‘It’s, aah, symbolic.’’ In other words, garbage is burned by the wall because the wall is Israeli. Drugs are sold along the wall by the Israeli checkpoint, not for symbolic reasons. The camp organizers, like Baha, cannot eﬀectively control the drug trade in a zone patrolled by the Israeli police and monitored by security cameras. Dealers are safe there from the means of popular justice exacted inside the camp. The most heavily militarized area of the camp is perhaps its most lawless. The popular drug the dealers sell is called Mr. Nice Guy, which is sometimes categorized as a ‘‘synthetic cannabinoid’’ — a meaningless nomenclature. It is highly toxic, and its eﬀects are nothing like cannabis. It can bring on psychosis. It damages brains and ruins lives. Baha told me that Mr. Nice Guy is popular with kids as young as 8. Empty packets of it sifted around at our feet as we crossed the large parking lot where buses pick up 6,000 children daily and transport them through the checkpoint for school, because the camp has only one public school, for elementary students. Every afternoon, children stream back into camp, passing the dealers and users who cluster near the checkpoint. I didn’t see the dealers, but I doubt Baha would have pointed them out. What I mostly noticed were children working, being industrious, trying to ﬁnd productive ways to live in a miserable environment and to survive. Across from Baha’s house, a group of kids run a carwash. We waved to them from Baha’s roof. Baha introduced me to a group of teenage boys who own their own mopedand-scooter-repair service. He took me to a barber shop, where kids in ﬂawless outﬁts with high-side fades were hanging out, listening to music, while a boy of about 13 gave a haircut to a boy of about 5. A young teenager in a pristine white polo shirt and delicate gold neck chain ﬂexed his baby potato of a biceps and announced his family name: ‘‘Alqam!’’ The children in the barbershop were all Alqam. They ran the shop. They were ecstatic to see Baha. We were all ecstatic. The language barrier between me and the boys only thickened our collective joy, as my interpreter Moriel was whisked into a barber chair for a playfully coerced beard trim, on the house. The boys and I shouldered up for selﬁes, put on our sunglasses and posed. Whenever men 48
shook my hand after Baha introduced me, I sensed — especially after Moriel left that afternoon — that men and boys would not get so physically close to a Palestinian woman who was a stranger. But I was an American woman, and I was with Baha, which made me something like an honorary man. Later I told myself and everyone else how wonderful it was in the Shuafat camp. How safe I felt. How positive Baha was. All of that still feels true to me. But I also insisted, to myself and everyone else, that Baha never expressed any fears for his own safety. In looking at my notes, I see now that my insistence on this point was sheer will. A ﬁction. It’s right there in the notes. He said he was nervous. He said he’d been threatened. Also in my notes, this: Baha says, two types 1. Those who want to help make a better life The 2. Those who want shopping to destroy everything mall And in parentheses: within the (Arms trade. Drugs refugee trade. Construction camp proﬁts. No oversight was bulldozed wanted.) twice ‘‘I wanted you to by Israeli meet the boys because authorities they are nice people,’’ before the Baha said, after we separation left the barbershop. wall was ‘‘But they do all carry built. guns.’’ It was only after I returned home to the United States that I learned, in the banal and cowardly way, with a few taps on my computer, that two Alqam boys, cousins who were 12 and 14, had been accused of stabbing, with a knife and scissors, an Israeli security guard on a tram in East Jerusalem. I still don’t know whether they were related to the boys in the barber shop. Several of the young assailants in what has been called the Knives Intifada have been from the Shuafat camp, which has
also been the site of huge and violent protests in which Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. In 2015, three children from the Shuafat Refugee Camp lost eyes from sponge bullets shot by Israeli forces. The other thing I suppressed, besides Baha’s admissions of fear, was his desire for police. I didn’t write that down. It wasn’t part of my hero narrative, because the police are not part of my Photograph by Luca Locatelli/Institute, for The New York Times
hero narrative. ‘‘Even if they have to bring them from India,’’ he said several times, ‘‘we need police here. We cannot handle the disputes on our own. People take revenge. They murder.’’ A MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT I MET IN THE
West Bank, hearing that I was going to spend the weekend in the Shuafat camp, asked me if I ‘‘planned to visit Shit Lake’’ while there. Apparently
that was his single image of the place. I assumed he was referring to a sewage dump, but Baha never mentioned it, and after seeing Baha’s pleasure in showing me the community center, the roads his committee had built, the mall, which was the only open gathering space, all things that, for him, were hopeful, I wasn’t going to ask him for Shit Lake. That correspondent had never stepped foot in the camp. I hadn’t expected to either, until I was
invited on an extensive tour of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and was asked to choose a subject to write about, for a book to be published next year. With no previous experience in the region, and little knowledge, I gravitated instinctually to Shuafat camp. From my own time there, the sustaining image is shimmering white. The kids, dressed in white. The buildings, a baked tone of dusty, smoke-stained white. The minarets, The New York Times Magazine
all white. And there was the 1972 Volkswagen Beetle in gleaming white, meticulously restored. It was on the shop ﬂoor of a garage run by Baha’s friend Adel. A classic-car enthusiast and owner myself, I wanted to talk to Adel about the car. He showed me his garage, his compressor, his lift. Like the escalator in the mall, these were things you would never expect to ﬁnd in a place without services. We sat, and Adel made coﬀee. He and Baha told me about the troubles with the drug Mr. Nice Guy. They said every family has an addict among its children and sometimes among the older people as well. A third of the population is strung out on it, they said. It makes people crazy, Adel and Baha agreed. Is there a link, I asked, between Mr. Nice Guy and the kids who decide, essentially, to end it all by running at an Israeli soldier with a knife? They each concurred that there was. Two years earlier, Baha said, by way of contrast, there was a man from the Shuafat camp who did a deadly car ramming. The Israelis came and blew up his house. He was older, Baha said, and out of work and he decided that he was finally ready to lose everything. With the kids, Baha said, it’s different. It’s an act of impulsive courage. The drug helps enormously with that. Adel kept making reference to his 9-yearStudents old daughter, who is returning physically disabled and to the refugee cannot attend school. camp I asked to meet her or after Adel asked if I wanted school. to meet her. Either way we ended up in Adel’s large apartment, and his daughter Mira was wheeled out to the living room. Mira was burned over most of her body and is missing part of one arm and a kneecap. Her face and scalp are disﬁgured. A school bus ﬁlled with children from the Shuafat camp were on a trip to Ramallah when their bus collided with a truck on wet roads. The bus overturned and burst into ﬂames. Five children and a teacher burned to death. Dozens were injured. Emergency services were delayed by confusion over who had jurisdiction. As a result, Mira and other children had to be taken in the cars of bystanders to the closest hospital. The accident took place between the Adam settlement and Qalandiya checkpoints, in what is called Area C of the West Bank, which is entirely under Israeli control. The likelihood of something like this occurring was well known. Later, a report from Ir Amim, an Israeli human rights group, established that the tragedy resulted 50
from the multiple challenges of living beyond the separation barrier. Roads were substandard. There were too many children on the bus, the children had no access to education in their own communities and there was no oversight. ‘‘When the accident happened, we didn’t know how to cope with it,’’ Baha told me. Someone got up on a loading dock in the camp and called out the names of the dead. Afterward, Baha and Adel cried all the time. They felt that the lives of Shuafat’s children were disposable. They decided to start their own volunteer emergency team, through WhatsApp, and it has 80 members, who are trained in ﬁrst aid and in special skills they are ready to employ at a moment’s notice. They are saving up to purchase their own Shuafat camp ambulance, whose volunteer drivers will be trained medical professionals, like Baha’s wife, Hiba, who is a nurse.
had been burned oﬀ in the ﬁre. I felt obscene. I sat and smiled as if my oversize teeth could beam a protective ﬁction over this poor child, blind us both to the truth, that no shallow gesture or petty generosity would make any lasting diﬀerence, and that her life was going to be diﬃcult.
Baha, I noticed, seemed more optimistic about their emergency team, and about the future, than Adel did. At one point, Adel, who has a shattered and frantic but loving, warm energy, turned to me and said, ‘‘We are orphans here.’’ Mira, who had been transferred from her wheelchair to the couch, sat and ﬁdgeted. She understood no English but was forced to quietly pretend she was listening. I kept smiling at her, and she smiled back. I was desperate to give her something, to promise something. It’s very diﬃcult to see a child who has suﬀered so tremendously. It’s basically unbearable. I should give her the ring I was wearing, I thought. But then I saw that it would never ﬁt her ﬁngers, which were very swollen and large, despite her young age; her development, after the ﬁre, was thwarted because her bones could not properly grow. I’ll give her my earrings, was my next idea, and then I realized that her ears
on the trip that changed his life, working with Vento di Terra, a community-development and human rights group based in Italy. Later, I sent a video of Baha singing to various Italian friends, leftists who were thrilled that a guy in a Palestinian refugee camp knew the words to ‘‘Bella Ciao.’’ Baha’s friends and relatives all hugging me and cheek-kissing me, the women bringing out boxes that contained their hand-embroidered wedding dresses, insisting I try on each dress, whose colors and designs speciﬁed where they were from: one in black with white stitching, from Ramallah. Cream with red, Jerusalem. In each case we took a photo, laughing, me in each dress, with the woman it belonged to on my arm. Everyone imploring me to come back, and to bring Remy, my 8-year-old, and I was sure that I would come back, and bring Remy, because I had fallen in love with these people.
THE TRAVEL AGENCY IN THE SHUAFAT MALL
is called Hope. There is a toy store in the mall called the Happy Child. The children I met were all Baha’s kids, part of his group, on his team, drafting oﬀ his energy, which was relentlessly upbeat. I have to recreate, with all the precision I can manage, to remember what I am able to about Baha. I see Baha in his pink polo shirt, tall and handsome, but with a soft belly that somehow reinforces his integrity, makes him imperfectly, perfectly human. Baha singing ‘‘Bella Ciao’’ in well-keyed Italian, a language he learned at 19,
Photographs by Luca Locatelli/Institute, for The New York Times
And in the background of the hugs and kisses, in almost every home where we spent time, the TV playing the Islamic channel, Palestine Al-Yawm, a relentless montage of blood, smoke, ﬁre and kaﬃyeh-wrapped ﬁghters with M-16s. The constant hospitality. Coﬀee, tea, mint lemonade, ice water, all the drinks I politely accepted. Drank and then sloshed along, past faded wheat-pasted posters of jihadist martyrs. Come back. Bring Remy. I will, I told them, and I meant it. Late at night, Baha and Hiba decided to show me their digital wedding photo book. It was midnight, their two young daughters asleep on couches around us. Hiba propped an iPad on a table — she was four months pregnant, expecting her third child, a boy — and we looked at every last image, hundreds of images, of her and Baha in highly curated poses and stiﬀ wedding
AT THE CHECKPOINT, THE PALESTINIAN BOY IN FRONT OF ME WAS DETAINED. I WAS NEXT, AND THE SOLDIERS WERE SHOCKED TO SEE AN AMERICAN, AS THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN SHOCKED TO SEE ANY NON-PALESTINIAN.
clothes, her fake-pearl-and-rhinestone tiara, her beautiful face neutralized by heavy makeup; but the makeup is part of the ritual, and the ritual is part of the glory. The two of them in a lush park in West Jerusalem. Every picture we looked at was, for them watching me see the images, a new delight: There were more and more and more. For me, they all started to run together, it was now 1 in the morning, I was exhausted, but I made myself regard each photograph as something unique, a vital integer in the stream of these people’s refusal to be reduced. I slept in what they called their Arabic room, on low cushions, a barred window above me issuing a cool breeze. I listened to roosters crow and the semiautomatic weapons being ﬁred at a nearby wedding celebration, and eventually I drifted into the calmest, heaviest sleep I’d had in months. The next day, Baha had meetings to attend to
try to solve the water problem. I spoke to Hiba about their kids. She asked me at what age Remy started his piano lessons. ‘‘I want music lessons for the girls,’’ she said. ‘‘I think it’s very good for their development.’’ As she said it, more machine-gun ﬁre erupted from the roof of a nearby building. ‘‘I want them to know the feel, the smells, of a diﬀerent environment. To be able to imagine other lives.’’ When I think of Hiba Nababta wanting what I want for my child, her rightful desire that her kids should have an equal chance, everything feels hopeless and more obscene, even, than my wanting to give earrings to a child without ears. I went with Hiba that morning to her mother’s house, where she and Hiba’s sisters were preparing an exquisite meal of stuﬀed grape leaves and stuﬀed squashes, the grape leaves and vegetables grown on her mother’s patio. We were all women, eating together in relaxed company. A sister-in-law came
downstairs to join us, sleepy, beautiful, with long red nails and hair dyed honey blond, in her pajamas and slippers. She said that she was leaving for New Jersey with her husband, Hiba’s brother, and their new baby. Relatives had arranged for them to immigrate. She would learn English and go to school. When it was time to say goodbye, a younger sister was appointed to walk me to the checkpoint. Halfway there, I assured her I could walk alone, and we said goodbye. On the main road, shopkeepers came out to wave and smile. Everyone seemed to know who I was: the American who had come to meet with Baha. At the checkpoint, the Palestinian boy in front of me was detained. I was next, and the soldiers were shocked to see an American, as they would have been shocked to see any non-Palestinian. There was much consternation in the reinforced station. My passport went from hand to hand. The commander approached the scratched window. ‘‘You’re a Jew, right?’’ he blurted into the microphone. For the context in which he asked, for its reasoning, I said no. But in fact, I’m ethnically half-Jewish, on my father’s side, although I was not raised with any religious or even a cultural connection to Judaism. My mother is a white Protestant from Tennessee. I Hiba might have said, ‘‘Yes, Nababta partly,’’ but I found the with question unanswerher two daughters able, on account of its and conﬂation of Zionism infant and Jewish identity. son. My Yiddish-speaking Odessan great-grandfather was a clothing merchant on Orchard Street. My grandfather worked in his shop as a boy. That is classically Jewish, but my sense of self, of what it might mean to inherit some trace of that lineage, was not the kind of patrimony the soldier was asking after. I was eventually waved along. The day I left Shuafat camp was April 17. Fifteen days later, on May 2, Baha Nababta was murdered in the camp. An unknown person approached on a motorcycle as Baha worked with roughly a hundred fellow camp residents to pave a road. In front of this very large crowd of people, working together, the person on the motorcycle shot at Baha 10 times and ﬂed. Seven bullets hit him. It is now December. Baha’s wife, Hiba, has given birth to their son. His father is gone. His mother is widowed. But a baby — a baby can thrive no matter. A baby won’t even know, until it is told, that someone is missing. The New York Times Magazine
Divorce (Continued from Page 37)
companies to create in which countries, even what value to assign them. Early in the fall of 2014, Fisher printed out a copy of the Xacti organizational chart and taped it behind his desk. He ordered everyone in the oﬃce to keep a copy as well. Every time they found a new Oesterlund company, they would add it the chart, which came to resemble a convoluted treasure map. In the Caribbean, there were shell companies with names like Paradise Liquidity I and Integrity Investment Holdings, formed by a Nevis holding company and then immediately transferred to Oesterlund’s Cook Islands trust. There was a second Cook Islands trust, also created in June 2013, right as the Florida attorney general began nosing around Oesterlund’s businesses again. There was $35 million or more in cash, in bank accounts in, among other places, Monaco, Luxembourg, Canada and the Bahamas. Yet on paper, it was hard to ﬁnd anything that Oesterlund actually owned himself. Shortly after Judge Gillen froze his assets, Oesterlund removed himself as a ‘‘beneﬁciary’’ of the two trusts, even though they now appeared to contain much of the family’s businesses and property. The Toronto penthouse was now owned by a Delaware corporation, which was owned by a Nevis corporation deposited in one of the Cook trusts. At some point, Omega had also been transferred into one of the trusts. The Déjà Vu, meanwhile, was now owned by a Caymans corporation whose ‘‘membership interest’’ — its ownership — had been shifted into one of the trusts. In exchange, the trust paid Oesterlund the sum of $100. Unknown to his wife, Oesterlund had even purchased an apartment complex in Georgia, using $23 million in loans backed by the Housing and Urban Development Department. The application, which Potter obtained with an open-records request, was personally signed by Oesterlund, who listed an address in Boca Raton where he hadn’t actually lived in at least four years. But after the sale closed in 2013, other documents indicated, control of the apartment complex was shifted to a Bahamian company, and ﬁnally into the trust. The United States government appeared to be guaranteeing a $23 million loan to a Cook Islands trust in the South Paciﬁc. Oesterlund’s legal strategy was also becoming clear: Don’t explain anything. The trusts had hired a small Miami law ﬁrm called Kaplan Zeena, whose lawyers excelled at navigating the complexity and opacity of the oﬀshore legal world. They cited obscure international treaties and arcane points of Caribbean law, Potter told me. They ﬁled endless procedural and jurisdictional objections, burying Potter and Fisher in paperwork. Pursglove was now receiving alimony and child support, but 52
much of it was taken up paying oﬀ a jumbo mortgage and back taxes; Fisher would get paid for his ﬁrm’s work only if she won. (Kaplan Zeena, too, did not respond to emails seeking comment.) Potter, who had to write most of the replying briefs, believed that Oesterlund’s trusts were ﬁling motions or objections it seemed certain to lose, just to exhaust and bankrupt Pursglove. In one lawsuit, the trusts fought against releasing a single piece of paper. The goal wasn’t merely to win, Potter felt, but to prevent the case from progressing far enough for its actual merits to be heard. ‘‘This isn’t some weird aspect of the process,’’ he says. ‘‘This is the game itself.’’ Nor could Fisher, despite invoking the authority of the Florida attorney general against Oesterlund, count on help from the actual Florida attorney general. The oﬃce had sent a lawyer to monitor at least one hearing in Pursglove’s lawsuit, but had taken no oﬃcial position on her claims. Fisher was on his own. But in the late fall of 2014, Oesterlund ran short of a commodity that had once seemed in bountiful supply: time. For many months, his lawyers had successfully delayed Fisher’s demands to depose him in person, insisting on a variety of jurisdictional, geographic and practical complications. In the process, however, Oesterlund had exhausted the patience of a series of Florida judges. Now, under threat of being held in contempt (and, potentially, the court’s issuing a warrant for his arrest), Oesterlund agreed to show up in a Toronto law oﬃce. A video of the day shows that he arrived a few minutes late. ‘‘You’re shorter than I thought you were,’’ Oesterlund told Fisher. But for the rest of the deposition, Oesterlund was studiously restrained. He answered most questions in a monotone, rarely meeting Fisher’s eye. Fisher tried repeatedly to get Oesterlund to list his assets. ‘‘I owned lots of assets, diﬀerent assets, various assets,’’ Oesterlund said vaguely. He had ‘‘things that most people would have, like a watch.’’ Was he really worth $401,769,834, as his accountants once thought? Oesterlund waved the question away. ‘‘I don’t know where these numbers are taken from,’’ he said, staring ﬁxedly at the table. How did the penthouse end up in a Cook Islands trust? It was ‘‘a transaction between me and my attorney.’’ Which attorney? ‘‘I can’t remember,’’ Oesterlund retorted. ‘‘I have too many.’’ But bit by bit, Fisher began to connect Oesterlund back to his own wealth. Oesterlund admitted that he had signed a rental agreement to live in the Toronto penthouse now owned by the trust. In that case, Fisher asked, was Oesterlund paying rent? Oesterlund looked up at the ceiling. ‘‘It’s being accrued,’’ he replied; no money was actually changing hands. Under orders from Rosen, one of his lawyers, Oesterlund refused to say who was paying the utilities and maintenance at the penthouse. But he admitted that the trust was paying to fuel, maintain and crew the Déjà Vu — a boat that he was the only person
permitted to use, according to a copy of the boat’s insurance contract. Documents accompanying the deposition provided further evidence that there was little distance between Oesterlund and the theoretically independent trusts holding his former property. The trusts were paying to furnish Oesterlund with a private helicopter and even fund his trips to St. Maarten. In court papers ﬁled that spring and summer, Fisher and Pursglove’s Toronto divorce lawyer, Harold Niman, sharpened their attacks. Oesterlund was ‘‘a highly successful internet swindler,’’ engaged in ‘‘internet scams, forgeries, tax fraud, bank fraud, HUD fraud, immigration fraud, fraudulent overseas transfers and other misconduct,’’ Fisher told a Florida judge. They also moved to freeze even more of Oesterlund’s income, and not just to make him suﬀer personally. Fisher and Potter estimated that Oesterlund was burning through about a million dollars a month, much of it going to pay the lawyers and accountants keeping his maze of trusts and shell companies in working order. In March, Fisher went after Wells Fargo, Oesterlund’s main link between the name-brand ﬁnancial-services world and the gray market of oﬀshore shell companies and trusts. The Wells Fargo accounts, they believed, were still accumulating revenue from some of the old Xacti businesses — the ones selling travel deals or DVDs or antivirus toolbars — some of which had been reconstituted under new, oﬀshore corporations. Fisher, citing Pursglove’s possibly forged signature removing her from the accounts, threatened to sue Wells Fargo, asserting that the bank had allowed Oesterlund to defraud his wife of millions of dollars. Because of the competing claims to the accounts, Wells Fargo quickly froze them until the dispute could be settled. Now neither Oesterlund nor the trusts could access the money. An even bigger threat to Oesterlund began taking shape in June 2015, when a Florida judge ruled that Pursglove was entitled to view thousands of pages of emails and documents exchanged by Oesterlund and other executives at Xacti with their lawyers. Oesterlund’s attorneys had tried to keep the documents out of court, arguing they were protected by attorney-client privilege. Fisher was certain the privileged documents would contain what he called a ‘‘smoking gun.’’ He wouldn’t just see where the money was hidden, Fisher believed. He would see Oesterlund plotting how to hide the money. He would get not only direct evidence of fraud against Pursglove and others, but also emails and memos that might implicate many of the lawyers and accountants who had helped him. The whole thing could be laid bare. A few days later, Oesterlund’s lawyers asked for a meeting, hinting that if Fisher got the privileged documents, their client would go on the run. Whatever Oesterlund was (Continued on Page 67)
A S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G S U P P L E M E N T T O T H E N E W YO R K T I M E S M A G A Z I N E , D E C E M B E R 4 , 2 0 1 6
HOT PROPERTIES, HOT DESTINATIONS:
OCEANA BAL HARBOUR Consistently ranked ove-ins are already underway at the newest M waterfront glass tower built on the last deamong the world’s velopable site in Bal Harbour, the exclusive residential enclave at the north end of Miami Beach. top luxury residential With 28 ﬂoors and 240 residences overlooking markets, South Florida’s an expansive 5.53 acres of land, Oceana is the only luxury condominium in Bal Harbour that sits completely parallel to the ocean and overlooking Miami, Boca Raton 400 linear feet of sandy beach. Oceana’s recent opening festivities durand the Palm Beaches ing Art Basel Miami included the unveiling of its permanent art installation featuring major are home to the latest works from the collection of Eduardo Costantini, generation of innovative Oceana’s developer, and two multimillion-dollar sculptures by Jeff Koons, one of which will be viewable in the building’s 60-foot-tall breezeway. architectural designs. This special advertising feature is sponsored by participating advertisers. The material was written by Jason Forsythe, and did not involve the reporting or editing staff of The New York Times. ©2016 The New York Times
In addition to the Koons pieces, ten commissioned masterworks will be shown in Oceana’s two grand lobbies; like the two sculptures, the works will be co-owned by residents of the
Rendering: Oceana Bal Harbour ABOVE: Oceana Bal Harbour's art program includes largerthan-life sculptures by Jeff Koons, “Pluto and Proserpina” and “Seated Ballerina,” among other works.
building. The Art Basel Miami event was the ﬁrst time guests had the opportunity to see both the completed building and its art collection. The Oceana design team includes architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica, with modern interiors by Italian designer Piero Lissoni, and landscaping by Enzo Enea. Amenities include an Olympic-style lap pool, two championship clay tennis courts, a pet salon, a cinema and underground parking. Oceana also recently announced that its exclusive residents-only restaurant, named Ballerina after one of Koons’s sculptures, will be operated by Philadelphia-based Starr Catering Group. The 100-seat exposed-kitchen concept restaurant, located adjacent to the building’s pool deck and spa with views of the Atlantic Ocean, will open next month. “The restaurant will remain exclusive for the residents and guests of the homeowners, for whom privacy is of the utmost importance,” said Ernesto Cohan, Oceana’s sales director. “The key elements motivating our buyers are the size of the property and its parklike grounds, which are unlike any other in South Florida, the design of the building itself, and our location just steps from Bal Harbour Shops. Without a hotel, our property offers our residents tremendous privacy, which our buyers tell us clearly distinguishes us from some of the other luxury properties in the area.”
Prices start at around $2 million, and rise to the $30 million range for the four penthouses. For more information, call 786-414-2929 or visit oceanabalharbour.com.
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ABOVE LEFT: One River Point will consist of two 60-story residential towers along the Miami River. BOTTOM LEFT: The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach will feature a private 36-slip marina on its own private channel.
and a ﬁtness center. A residents-only restaurant, library/conference room, two attended lobbies, valet parking, pet salon suite and full 24-hour concierge service complete the amenity package. The property will also be unveiling the world’s ﬁrst fully equipped residential art studio for residents to paint, sculpt and design at their leisure. “The property is the ﬁrst and only residential condominium in this area, and is managed through the world’s leading hospitality brand as one of only ten stand-alone Ritz-Carlton properties in the world without a hotel component,” explained Phil Gutman, vice president of sales for Douglas Elliman’s development marketing division. “Their concept was to create a family-style village in a residential area, and not another monolithic tower. Never again will you see something like this in this neighborhood — which, remarkably, is a 10-minute drive from the world-famous Bal Harbour shops in one direction, and from world famous Lincoln Road in South Beach in another — both of which are easily accessible with our house car. Residents can also use our captained VanDutch 40-foot day yacht to get around. So here, you have the privacy and tranquility of the area, and easy access to some of South Florida’s best destinations.”
THE RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES, MIAMI BEACH
he Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach is Italian architect Piero Lissoni’s ﬁrst fullscale architectural project in the United States. The seven-acre property, developed by Lionheart Capital, consists of 111 condominium residences and a limited collection of 15 Lissoni-designed stand-alone villa residences on the shores of Surprise Lake in a residential community in midMiami Beach. The residences are designed to cater to a boating lifestyle, with a private 36-slip marina located on its own private channel, giving residents direct access not only to the lake, but to the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean. With more than 60 unique ﬂoor plans, the
property comprises two- to ﬁve-bedroom homes ranging in size from 1,700 to more than 11,000 square feet. Each home will be equipped with Lissoni-designed Bofﬁ kitchens and bathrooms, oversized stone countertops and Gaggenau appliances. Many homes will include private elevator foyers, sprawling terraces, summer kitchens and private plunge pools. Owners’ amenities will include a tropically landscaped half-acre rooftop pool deck with views of Miami Beach, downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay; an expansive inﬁnity-edge pool with cabanas, whirlpool spa and poolside restaurant; a club room with a bar, virtual golf and billiard table; a private theater; and a private spa treatment suite with steam rooms, sauna, meditation garden, indoor and outdoor yoga studios
First occupancy for The Residences, located at 4701 North Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach, is slated for the second quarter of next year. Prices start at $2 million, and range to $40 million and up. (Pricing for the six penthouses has yet to be released.) For more information, call 305-953-9500 or visit TheResidencesMiamiBeach.com.
ONE RIVER POINT
afael Viñoly, the architect behind the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential building (at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan), has been commissioned by developer KAR Properties to build a pair of 60-story residential towers near the birthplace of Miami at 24 Southwest Fourth Street along the Miami River. Located near the Brickell ﬁnancial district and the new Brickell City Centre, One River Point is the Uruguayan architect’s ﬁrst residential project in Miami. The 780-foot towers will be connected at the summit by a three-story ﬂoating glass sky bridge, which will serve as the future home of a 35,000-square-foot private Sky Club operated
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LEFT: A living room at Missoni Baia overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami’s rapidly emerging East Edgewater waterfront.
Rendering: Moso Studio
by Indonesian hotelier Adrian Zecha, one of the co-founders of Regent International Hotels and a developer and manager of luxury hotels and resorts with locations in Bali, Oman, Switzerland and Vietnam. The 350-residence, 1.8-acre project is the ﬁrst phase of a private gated riverside park that, upon completion, will comprise more than 13 gated acres of condominium and rental buildings, along with retail and ofﬁce space, as part of a ﬁ ve-year master plan. Highlights of One River Point will include an 85-foot waterfall ﬂowing through a four-story podium, an inﬁnity-edge pool and a regulationsize lap pool, poolside café and restaurant with butler service, private cabanas and a spa. KAR Properties recently announced a partnership with Italian furniture brand B&B Italia, and its subsidiary, the kitchen maker Arclinea, to design the furniture, kitchens and bathrooms. The residences come with private elevator landings, ceiling heights of 10 to 12 feet, ﬂoorto-ceiling glass walls, honed stone ﬂooring, designated art walls with task lighting, multizone climate control integrated with smart-home technology, and 12-foot-deep glass-enclosed terraces with views of the Miami River, Biscayne Bay and the city skyline. SkyLofts and SkyVillas will range from 5,000 to 12,000 square feet, and feature even more expansive terraces and private pools. “One River Point is an urban luxury develop-
ment, and will be a very different kind of property from a resort development on the sand,” said Shahab Karmely, founder and C.E.O. of KAR Properties. “Viñoly is an urban architect, and ours is really a river story focusing on Miami’s new centerpiece, which is Brickell City Centre. Our goal is to introduce a world-class architect to the river, and bring a level of luxury and amenities to a truly urban project with resort-style amenities — and it is already happening. The number of new restaurants, nightclubs, retail and restaurants in the area is amazing. This is the new center of Miami’s new urban metropolis.”
Residences will range from 1,000 to 12,000 square feet, with prices starting from $750,000. The on-site sales center will be open by the end of this year, with ﬁrst occupancy scheduled for 2019. For additional information about One River Point, call 305-809-7566 or visit oneriverpoint.com.
issoni, the legendary Italian fashion house known for its colorful style and relaxed luxury aesthetic, has chosen Miami as the site of its ﬁrst residential property. Missoni Baia will soar 57 ﬂoors into the air, and overlook a 200foot span along Biscayne Bay in Miami’s rapidly emerging East Edgewater waterfront. Each of the 146 luxury bay-front condominium residences
will feature dramatic waterfront views. The 649-foot-tall tower, located at 777 N.E. 26th Terrace, is being designed by New York– based Asymptote Architecture to capture the colors of the bay as they reﬂect off the water’s surface. “This is the world’s ﬁrst Missoni residential collaboration, and is meant to be a celebration of the conviviality and allure of living on the waterfront,” said Alicia Cervera, managing partner at Cervera Real Estate. “When you come to Miami, you naturally gravitate to the happier, more colorful palette that is embraced by Missoni. Here, the exterior architecture is contemporary and minimalist, with Missoni bringing the color inside. It is a perfect partnership — and this project will be like no other in Miami.” Missoni Baia’s two- to four-bedroom residences will range from 2,500 to 3,700 square feet, each with deep, shaded terraces overlooking Biscayne Bay. Three duplex residences will offer expansive private terraces near the water’s edge, while two duplex penthouses will feature sculptural glass-enclosed stairs and zero-edge plunge pools overlooking the bay. The property is being developed by OKO Group, the real estate development ﬁrm established by developer Vladislav Doronin to address the U.S. market. With more than 75 million square feet of commercial, retail and luxury residential space in his portfolio, Doronin is known for working with top-name architects and designers, including French designer Jacques Grange; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and the late Pritzker Prize–winning architect Zaha Hadid. “We were fortunate to be able to come into this neighborhood at a good time — early enough in the development process that there are signiﬁcant opportunities, but late enough so that there is a comfort level that the transition to a luxury neighborhood is already taking place,” she concluded. “While Miami has become one of the top ten luxury real estate markets in the world, the pricing on the city side of the bay has remained a tremendous value proposition.”
Miami’s East Edgewater neighborhood is located east of Wynwood and the Miami Design District, with the Adrienne Arsht Center, Pérez Art Museum Miami and American Airlines Arena immediately to the south. Two- to four-bedroom residences will be priced roughly in the $2- to $4-million range, with the penthouse pricing yet to be determined. For more information, call 305-800-7000 or visit missonibaia.com.
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Rendering: Third Palm Capital
VISTABLUE SINGER ISLAND
ocated in the heart of the Palm Beaches, VistaBlue Singer Island is the ﬁrst luxury condominium to be built on Singer Island since 2008. When it opens in just over a year’s time, the boutique 19-story oceanfront property will comprise 58 expansive three- and four-bedroom layouts starting at 2,784 square feet, with two penthouses at 6,242 to 6,423 square feet, each with open modern ﬂoor plans, 10-foot ceilings (12 feet in the penthouses), ﬂoor-to-ceiling windows and generously sized terraces. Key features include designer kitchens with Poggenpohl custom cabinetry and Miele appliances, imported porcelain tile ﬂoors and wraparound terraces with panoramic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. There are only four residences per ﬂoor, each with a private elevator lobby. Interiors by Steven G. will be handling the four model units, which are scheduled to be ﬁnished later this month, along with the lobby and the amenities, which will include an elevated pool terrace and sundeck with cabanas, a spa pool and two gas ﬁre pits; a ﬁtness center with a yoga room; men’s and women’s locker rooms with a dry sauna; clubroom, card room and a social lounge; two bars; a boardroom; and 153 linear feet of private beach. Besides the unusually wide beach, highlights include the building’s private air-conditioned
lockers for golf equipment. “To me, it is about the water and the sky and nature, and how you can experience them as a resident here — either from your home or on your terrace, on the pool deck or on the beach, or by kayaking on Lake Worth or enjoying John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, one of South Florida’s true environmental treasures just a short bike ride to the north of us,” said Randall Tuller, executive manager of Dallas-based Third Palm Capital, owner and developer of VistaBlue Singer Island. “If we were located on the beach in Miami, a condominium residence of this quality would cost at least twice as much, but we offer something completely different in a protected area for some of South Florida’s best nature experiences, with many marinas, and one of South Florida’s best scuba diving outﬁts close by. It all comes together right where we are — just a short drive from the area’s best dining, shopping, golf and country clubs, and 20 minutes to Palm Beach International Airport.”
Construction of VistaBlue Singer Island, located at 3730 North Ocean Drive, commenced in late 2015 and is scheduled to be delivered, move-in ready, in January of 2018. The units are priced from $1.4 million to the high $3 million range, with the penthouses set in the high $7 millions. Sales and marketing are being handled by Douglas Elliman Real Estate. For more information, call 561-4086300 or visit vistabluesingerisland.com.
THE RESIDENCES AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BOCA RATON
he Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group of Hong Kong is bringing South Florida’s second Mandarin Oriental hotel to Boca Raton as part of a new 6.8-acre ground-up construction development called Via Mizner. The 158-room ﬁ ve-star hotel in one tower will be connected via a twostory sky bridge to the adjacent 12-story tower, The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, and will feature a rooftop restaurant with outdoor terrace and bar with a rooftop pool and spa, a lobby lounge and a club lounge. The hotel also will have a 4,500-square-foot ballroom and several smaller conference rooms. Via Mizner’s developers, Penn-Florida Companies of Boca Raton, are also building 65,000 square feet of luxury retail and a new country club featuring a championship Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course. The new Via Mizner Golf & City Club is actually two clubs, one of which will be located inside the new Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton, and feature a members-only clubroom and lounge with pri-
ABOVE: VistaBlue Singer Island will feature open modern ﬂoor plans, high-quality kitchens, generously sized terraces, and high-end ﬁnishes.
A LIMITED COLLECTION OF EXQUISITE RESIDENCES AND PRIVATE SINGLE-FAMILY VILLAS DESIGNED BY PIERO LISSONI | FROM $2 TO $40 MILLION
PROJECTED COMPLETION SECOND QUARTER 2017 SCHEDULE A PRIVATE APPOINTMENT TODAY 786.574.6669 | THERESIDENCESMIAMIBEACH.COM 4701 N. MERIDIAN AVENUE, MIAMI BEACH
Exclusive Sales Agent: Douglas Elliman Development Marketing. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach are not owned, developed or sold by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. or its affiliates (“Ritz-Carlton”). 4701 North Meridian, L.L.C. uses The Ritz- Carlton marks under a license from Ritz- Carlton, which has not confirmed the accuracy of any of the statements or representations made herein. This graphic is an “artist’s rendering” and is for conceptual purposes only. THIS OFFERING IS MADE ONLY BY THE OFFERING DOCUMENTS FOR THE CONDOMINIUM AND NO STATEMENT SHOULD BE RELIED UPON IF NOT MADE IN THE OFFERING DOCUMENTS. THIS IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL, OR SOLICITATION OF OFFERS TO BUY, THE CONDOMINIUM UNITS IN STATES WHERE SUCH OFFER OR SOLICITATION CANNOT BE MADE. PRICES, PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OR AL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, REFERENCE SHOULD BE M ADE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE.
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Rendering: Penn-Florida Companies
vate dining rooms and an interactive kitchen, wine-tasting areas and a kids’ club. In addition to the new Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, the second, the Golf Club, will include advanced practice and teaching facilities, a new clubhouse with a ﬁ tness center, Har-Tru tennis courts, a resort-style pool, a children’s playground and indoor and outdoor dining venues. Club membership affords preferred access to all the hotel amenities, including its two resort-style rooftop pools, holistic spa and athletic club. The concierge staff is limited to club members, Mandarin Oriental residents and hotel guests. As the ninth Mandarin Oriental Residences in the world, the 85-residence Mediterraneanstyle property will offer one- to four-bedroom contemporary layouts framed by ocean and golf course views, including five penthouses that range up to 8,800 square feet in size. “Via Mizner is the first property I have seen that actually transforms an entire city,” explained Harlan Goldberg, director of sales. “There is nothing like it in Boca Raton — and it will bring an entirely new level of luxury and sophistication to the city and to Palm Beach County. We are appealing to a whole new demographic of people who have been waiting for this level of luxury condominium living to be available here. And now it is.”
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group operates 29 hotels and eight residences in 19 countries and territories. Penn-Florida launched the sales program for the Via Mizner Golf & City Club last month. The hotel and residences are set to open late next year, with expansive onebedroom residences from 1,453 to 1,934 square feet starting in the high $1 million range. To preregister for the club, or for more information, visit vmgcc.com.
FASANO RESIDENCES + HOTEL MIAMI BEACH
TOP: The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton, will be connected via a two-story sky bridge to a ﬁve-star hotel in an adjacent 12-story tower.
ABOVE: Fasano Residences + Hotel Miami Beach will be a three-acre ultraluxury oceanside condominium residence and hotel complex in South Beach.
asano Residences + Hotel Miami Beach is the new name of the venerable Shore Club, which is being transformed into a three-acre ultraluxury oceanside condominium residence and hotel complex in South Beach. Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld is overseeing the transition, which includes 67 move-in-ready residences with one- to four-bedroom layouts ranging from 800 to more than 4,000 square feet. There will also be an 85-room hotel. The many amenities for the property include South Beach’s largest pool (at 255 feet long), which sits alongside the Enzo Enea–curated gardens. The amenity package includes two restaurants, a new 3,000-square-foot ﬁ tness
ULTRA-LUXURY LIVING ON THE MIAMI RIVER A selection of extraordinary homes for the discerning few by Rafael Viñoly
One River Point brings Rafael Viñoly’s concept of architecture as performance dramatically to life. Twin waterfront towers will transform the skyline of Miami as much as they will redefine the luxury lifestyle.
For inquiries, please call (305) 290-4663 or visit oneriverpoint.com Exclusive Sales & Marketing by Douglas Elliman Development Marketing This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation to buy, condominium units to residents of any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation cannot be made or are otherwise prohibited by law, and your eligibility for purchase will depend upon your state of residency. This offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus. The information provided, including pricing, is solely for informational purposes, and is subject to change without notice. Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the developer. For correct representations, make reference to this brochure and to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida statutes, to be furnished by a developer to a buyer or lessee. This advertisement is not an offering. It is a solicitation of interest in the advertised property. No offering of the advertised units can be made and no deposits can be accepted, or reservations, binding or non-binding, can be made until an offering plan is filed with the New York State Department of Law. This advertisement is made pursuant to Cooperative Policy Statement No. 1, issued by the New York State Department of Law. CP16-0027, Sponsor: KAR Miami MRP LLC, 24 SW 4th Street, Miami, Florida 33130
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facility with yoga and personal training rooms, and a threestory 6,000-square-foot spa and wellness center. Weinfeld’s designs enhance the indoor/outdoor aesthetic for which Miami Beach is known, with some residences having private terraces of up to 8,000 square feet. Five two-story poolside and beachfront custom homes will feature their own private pools, private saunas and spa therapy rooms. Some of the private pools in the beach houses are as large as 50 feet long, and each is less than a 50-foot walk from the sandy beach. The main penthouse is a duplex with about 6,000 interior square feet, and about 9,500 square feet of outdoor space, including a private rooftop garden and a 75-foot private pool. “Our terraces are one of our best features,” said Jorge Sanchez, sales director for the property. “Isay [Weinfeld] wanted to create truly large, expansive outdoor spaces, and our terraces in our central tower range anywhere from 1,000 to more than 9,000 square feet — each one totally private. To him, the outdoor design is just as important as the indoor design.” Fasano, Brazil’s celebrated hospitality and gastronomy brand, chose the famous 309-room Shore Club hotel to expand to the United States for the ﬁrst time. “The density of this iconic property on South Beach is actually shrinking by more than half, and will become a much more intimate, discreet and private space for our owners, their families and their guests,” added Sanchez. “When Ian Schrager owned the Shore Club, with the famous Red Room downstairs, it was the quintessential South Beach nightlife destination. That is really the opposite of everything that the Fasano property will be. This reimagined property will be the most boutique, luxury ﬁ ve-star experience in all of South Beach.”
Prices range from $2 million to more than $10 million, with ﬁrst occupancy slated for the ﬁrst quarter of 2019. For more information, call 305-714-3117 or visit fasanomiamibeach.com.
THE RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES, SUNNY ISLES BEACH
esigned by Coconut Grove–based Arquitectonica and featuring interiors by Italian designer Michele Bönan, the 52-story condominium tower comprising 212 residences and located on 250 linear feet of beachfront is the ﬁrst for the RitzCarlton brand in Sunny Isles Beach. Construction on the development began in June, and is scheduled for completion in 2018. The property’s on-site restaurant will service the east and west pool decks and beach cabana areas, as well as the property’s 33rd floor club level, which will feature a panoramic terrace lounge, eight guest suites reserved for residents to rent out for family and friends, and in-residence dining services. An oceanfront wellness deck with TechnoGym equipment also offers spa treatments to residents, who can also take advantage of the 24/7 concierge, housekeeping and personal chef service, as well as childcare, personal fitness training and yacht charters. At a minimum, all unit layouts include a living room and a master bedroom overlooking the ocean. The six penthouses each come with an expansive terrace, summer kitchen, private garden and an inﬁnity pool for outdoor entertaining. Last December, the property set a Sunny Isles record when a full-ﬂoor, ﬁ ve-bedroom penthouse on the 51st ﬂoor, with 7,735 interior square feet and a 3,560-square-foot terrace, sold for $21 million.
ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THIS BROCHURE AND TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. THIS OFFERING IS MADE ONLY BY THE PROSPECTUS FOR THE CONDOMINIUM AND NO STATEMENT SHOULD BE RELIED UPON AS REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IF NOT MADE IN THE PROSPECTUS. THE SKETCHES, RENDERINGS, DEPICTIONS OF INTERIORS, DECORATION AND FINISHES, GRAPHIC MATERIALS, PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS, FURNISHINGS AND APPLIANCES, TERMS, CONDITIONS AND STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS BROCHURE ARE CONCEPTUAL AND PROPOSED ONLY, AND THE DEVELOPER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, REVISE OR WITHDRAW ANY OR ALL OF SAME IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION AND WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE. ALL DRAWINGS AND DEPICTIONS ARE ARTISTS RENDERINGS ONLY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF REFERENCE. CONSULT YOUR AGREEMENT AND THE PROSPECTUS FOR ITEMS INCLUDED WITHIN THE AMENITIES AND UNIT. DIM DIMENSIONS AND SQUARE FOOTAGE ARE APPROXIMATE AND MAY VARY WITH ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION. THE PROPERTIES OR INTEREST DESCRIBED HEREIN ARE NOT REGISTERED WITH THE GOVERNMENTS OF ANY STATE OTHER THAN FLORIDA AND NEW YORK. IN NEW YORK, THE COMPLETE OFFERIN OFFERING TERMS ARE IN A FLORIDA PROSPECTUS AVAILABLE FROM DEVELOPER. A CPS-12 APPLICATION HAS BEEN ACCEPTED IN NEW YORK AS FILE NO. CP-160073. THIS ADVERTISEMENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO ANY RESIDENTS OF ANY OTHER JURISDICTION WHERE PROHIBITED, UNLESS UNLES THE PROPERTY HAS BEEN REGISTERED OR EXEMPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE. EXCLUSIVE SALES & MARKETING BY
THE BREATH BETWEEN INSPIRED AND LIV ING.
LU X U RY O C E A N F RO N T R E S I D E N C E S FO R
F RO M $ 1 . 4 M I L L I O N
SALES GALLERY: 2 6 5 5 N O RT H O C E A N D R I V E , S U I T E 501
V I STA BLU ES I N GE R I S L A N D.CO M
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ABOVE LEFT: All units at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach include a living room and a master bedroom overlooking the ocean.
ABOVE RIGHT: A view of Biscayne Bay from the lagoon at Monad Terrace South Beach Bay By Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
The Residences are situated near the Bal Harbour Shops (five minutes by car) and Aventura Mall (10 minutes), as well as both Miami and Fort Lauderdale International airports. The developers also chose Sunny Isles to build another high-profile residential tower, the 192-residence Jade Signature, which is designed by Pritzker Prize–winning Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. “Both projects underscore that Sunny Isles has become a mecca for great buildings and great architecture,” said Edgardo Defortuna, president, C.E.O. and founder of Fortune International Group, co-developer for the property. “Our buyers understand it is practically impossible to replicate luxury towers like these in Miami Beach, where height restrictions make prime waterfront sites difficult to assemble. That is part of the reason behind the popularity of Sunny Isles as a true luxury destination for savvy buyers.”
Prices start at $2.5 million. For more information, call 305-503-5811 or visit theresidencessunnyislesbeach.com.
MONAD TERRACE, SOUTH BEACH BAY, BY ATELIERS JEAN NOUVEL
onad Terrace, South Beach Bay, By Ateliers Jean Nouvel is the Pritzker Prize–winning architect’s ﬁrst residential project in south Florida. Developed by JDS Development Group, Monad Terrace is located on the bay side of South Beach, and about a ten-minute walk from the locus of activity along Ocean Drive on the Atlantic Ocean. Nouvel has designed the architecture, the interiors and the landscape for the 59-residence complex, which consists of two towers ﬂ anking a man-made lagoon designed to bring the natural feeling of Biscayne Bay into the heart of
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Rendering: JDS Development Group | MARCHmade
the site. The lagoon will have an inﬁ nity edge that allows the water inside to cascade down into the 110-foot swimming pool, which is directly adjacent to Biscayne Bay. Penthouse residences include private pools on their own roof decks. “The bay side of South Beach brings a more relaxed and tranquil setting in a true neighborhood — and yet we still enjoy the proximity to the vibrancy of South Beach, and all it has to offer,” said Marci Clark, director of marketing and communications with JDS Development Group. “On the bay side, you get to enjoy the healthy aspects of living on the water— as well as the spectacular sunsets across Biscayne Bay with downtown Miami in the distance.” The reﬂ ecting pools and a distinctive sawtooth facade act in concert to bounce light deep into each residence, creating what Nouvel has dubbed a “reﬂ ection machine.” Said Clark, “Nouvel is a master of light, reﬂ ectivity, views and framing devices, and every residence shares a seamless indoor/outdoor experience with oversized terraces to really take advantage of the Miami climate. This will be Nouvel’s ﬁ rst built work in Florida, and his ﬁ fth project in the United States — and his design really embraces the bay-side Miami Beach location, which has always been about light, water and sky.”
The sales gallery is located at 1400 Alton Road Miami Beach, with Douglas Elliman Development Marketing serving as the exclusive sales and marketing agent. First occupancy is scheduled for 2018. For more information, call 786-636-3105 or visit monadterrace.miami.
By Frank Longo
By Patrick Berry
By Wei-Hwa Huang
How many common words of 5 or more letters can you spell using the letters in the hive? Every answer must use the center letter at least once. Letters may be reused in a word. At least one word will use all 7 letters. Proper names and hyphenated words are not allowed. Score 1 point for each answer, and 3 points for a word that uses all 7 letters.
Each 9-letter Row answer reads across its correspondingly lettered row. Each 6-letter Hex answer fills its correspondingly numbered hexagon, starting in one of the 6 spaces and reading clockwise or counterclockwise. As a solving aid, the 2 shaded half-hexagons will contain the same 3-letter sequence (as if the grid is wrapping around vertically).
Rating: 8 = good; 14 = excellent; 20 = genius
ROWS A. Like meals that don’t require much prep (hyph.) B. Container with 12 compartments (2 wds.) C. Hours spent on hobbies (2 wds.) D. Subsided
By Joe DiPietro
1 Unknown gorilla 5 Mmm mmm 8 Made a bust at a seedy
rave 14 Be false, as evil Elia 16 Woman back in denial, eh? 17 Perturbed by inhabiting 18 19 20 22 23 25 26 27 29 30 31 33 35 37
New York or New Jersey Mark de memo Things crunched for a science degree Bad men I see Edge of one LP Expressed at a dais Very worst of grades: AKind of plant seen at fall’s end Rock idol in Levis Fellow from West Salem Group that is set on a map Eye LPs for dropping off Something designed to foster comfortable sitting ompletelyC Dessert with a nice pep to it
or what passengers in a convertible may ride with 44 Se __ __ __ __ __ e 23415 45 Noah’s ____ (indirect route 47 48 49 51 52 53 55 56 58 60 61
to Ararat) Money that’s out of the ordinary Darn African currency Open up can Rate for uncharged-for weight Let’s start Sell art that’s out of this world It’s right before you Bring out 52, etc. What a czar at L.A. tried to escape from Classic poem by Ron Lee YY YY YY YY
62 Impresario to the greats 63 Part of a groundskeeper’s
dos and don’ts
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 21 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 37 38
64 Decides to stop
1 Made-up names for a 40 Finish with a flourish —
4 6 3
Our list of words, worth 27 points, appears with last week’s answers.
PUNS AND ANAGRAMS
6 2 6 4 13 3 1 6 5 2 4 4 2 1 356 2
1 2 9
HEXES 1. Marvelous, informally 2. Jimmy Cliff’s musical genre 3. Made amends 4. President who signed SALT II 5. Zoned out 6. Unhappy end
Enter digits from 1 to 9 in the grid so that no number is repeated in any row, column or 3x2-outlined region. Some squares are split by a slash and need 2 digits entered in them. The smaller number always goes above the slash.
lassie P Vase I’ve deemed hard to get Sex marks Animal in most of Iceland Tools Mister Sawyer uses The rich or the poor me It sounds like the pits Things for sale by the yard Grand Central Break, as rules … et voilà! Lures with a scent, i.e. Steeped as far down as possible Had tea and crumpets, perhaps Home for one logo Bruce Willis film I’d heard of Place to cook tripe, if necessary Worn-out Cross pens Rose by another name Pay up Giant star seen above Oman Relative of Enid A. Lots for sale from a scalper E.U. plate decoration
tin can Vacationing in a port There’s a faster way to China here Works of wall art, to an audience Hail local tea
39 Place to get beer from a
49 Butter shortening, say 50 Finished second Noel 53 Give rise to 54 Kind of scallion 57 Component of gears,
initially 59 Couple in Fort Worth
Divorce (Continued from Page 52)
hiding, it was so damaging that he was willing to live in virtual exile in order to keep it from his wife. Fisher and Potter strolled down the block in West Palm Beach to the oﬃces of Squire Patton Boggs — a well-regarded multinational ﬁrm that represents Oesterlund’s Florida companies — to hear them out. The suggestion made everyone wary. Pursglove could lose by winning: If her husband went into hiding, it would be hard to wring money out of him. But it would also be bad for Oesterlund’s lawyers, particularly for the Americans. For one thing, Potter would later realize, Oesterlund now had large unpaid legal bills. And beyond the ﬁnancial risk was a reputational one. It was one thing to defend a businessman in a civil suit. It was another to defend a fugitive. Documents turned over at the June meeting and subsequent ones that summer laid out Oesterlund’s position. Most of his net worth was tied up in the value of his companies, and they were worth less than his accountants once claimed. He didn’t actually have enough wealth to give his wife half of a $400 million estate — the sort of net worth he once declared in order to secure loans for a jet or Georgia real estate. But now the baroque complexity of Oesterlund’s ﬁnances had become a noose around his neck. To prove that Oesterlund’s fortune was much smaller, his lawyers had to reveal where and how he had hidden it. If they refused, and a judge decided to award Pursglove $200 million, Oesterlund wouldn’t have enough liquid wealth to pay up. He could be ruined. Trapped, Oesterlund’s lawyers were now doing Fisher’s work for him, providing documents that suggested further violations of the Judge Gillen’s original asset injunction, Potter told me. One trust had recently sent Oesterlund’s lawyers more than $1 million to cover legal fees. In Potter’s opinion, Oesterlund had no choice. He ‘‘had to decide whether to pay the lawyers, and expose that he could get cash from the trust whenever he wanted,’’ Potter says, ‘‘or not pay them, and not be able to ﬁght the suit.’’ Another bank statement they handed over showed that on a single day in 2014, Oesterlund transferred $48 million into one of the Cook trusts. It was the same day, Fisher quickly realized, that Pursglove discovered Oesterlund with his new girlfriend. Fisher believed this would be strong evidence in court that the trust had been set up in anticipation of owing his wife money, which even in most oﬀshore jurisdictions is against the law. Hundreds of thousands of dollars had been drawn out of one trust each month to operate the Déjà Vu. Fisher’s paralegal hunted for the boat in Oesterlund’s usual haunts. Using public webcams at ports around the French Rivera, she discovered the Déjà Vu anchored in the middle of the harbor in Saint-Tropez. Potter took a working vacation to France and, after a few days of carefully
planned sightseeing, found the boat anchored in Nice. Halfway through a meal at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, he also found Oesterlund himself, who strode out onto the dining patio with the interior decorator. Potter’s own girlfriend snapped a picture on her cellphone. They left quickly, before Oesterlund noticed them. In Florida, Oesterlund’s lawyers were again running out of time. Oesterlund was now subject to an increasingly stern series of court orders that he turn over the privileged documents, regardless of any potential settlement. This didn’t just threaten Oesterlund’s fortune. It also had the potential to carve open a portal into the world of oﬀshore ﬁnance, a place that the global elite has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build and defend. In the oﬀshore archipelago, their interests are hidden behind shell companies and trusts, their anonymity guaranteed under the law, from Delaware to the Bahamas to the South Paciﬁc. James S. Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey, calls the oﬀshore ﬁnancial world the ‘‘economic equivalent of an astrophysical black hole,’’ holding at least $21 trillion of the world’s ﬁnancial wealth, more than the gross domestic product of the United States. This darkness shields the tax-averse businessman and the criminal alike. Dictators use the oﬀshore system to loot their own countries. Drug lords use it to launder money. As Gabriel Zucman, a University of California economist and an oﬀshore expert, puts it: ‘‘They use the same banks, they use the same incorporation agents to create shell companies, they send money in the same ways.’’ But when the wall of secrecy is breached, the distinction between upright global citizen and criminal can quickly grow indistinct. In April, media outlets belonging to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a trove of conﬁdential records leaked from the Panamanian law ﬁrm Mossack Fonseca, exposing the oﬀshore ﬁnancial holdings of various kleptocrats and forcing the resignation of the prime minister of Iceland. Leak the client ﬁles of a single middling law ﬁrm in Panama City, and you can take down governments half a world away. If Fisher could prove that one Cook trust was a sham, then the settlors and administrators of other Cook trusts could have a harder time defending them in reputable courts. For attorneys and accountants working in the oﬀshore industry, having private correspondence with a client entered into a public court record would be a disaster. Anybody could see what they were doing and how they did it. Fisher’s legal assault now presented Oesterlund’s helpers with a painful choice: Protect one client, or protect the system. Soon, the tangle of defenders who had once guarded Oesterlund’s wealth started to turn against him. One rainy Friday in July 2015, after losing an appeal on the treasure trove of privileged documents, Oesterlund’s entire team of lawyers
at Squire Patton Boggs abruptly quit. Oesterlund, Potter learned, had ordered them to ignore the court’s order to turn over the documents, a serious violation for which the lawyers, all American citizens, could have been disbarred. They rejoined the case within days, after Oesterlund agreed to let them release a portion of the ﬁles. But it was a sign that Oesterlund had begun pushing his camp into dangerous territory, both professionally and legally. The wall of secrecy around Oesterlund’s oﬀshore holdings began to collapse. The ﬁrst batch of documents, ﬁve or six notebooks’ worth of emails arrived last fall. More would soon follow. When I spoke with Fisher by phone in February, he sounded conﬁdent. Oesterlund appeared to be running out of cash, Fisher told me; he was missing payments on the loan from C1 Bank. In August, after further delays in producing the documents, Judge Gillen held Oesterlund and his companies in contempt of court, dangling the prospect of criminal penalties. Soon after, Oesterlund’s personal lawyer in the case quit, citing ‘‘irreconcilable diﬀerences’’ with his client. Court ﬁlings this fall suggested that the civil litigation was drawing to a close, though both Fisher and Oesterlund’s remaining lawyers said they were barred from discussing any ﬁnal settlement. More even than the laws of the world’s tax havens, the oﬀshore ﬁnancial system is kept aﬂoat by the legions of professionals — accountants, lawyers, incorporation agents — who are paid well to service it. But the people who work to dismantle that system also have to be paid. If the case Fisher had constructed against Oesterlund was correct, I once proposed to him, then at least some of the money coming to him and Pursglove would seem to be tainted. Fisher disagreed, and unspooled an intricate accounting of his own. When he cracked open the Cook trusts, Fisher argued, the money would come back home. Whatever liabilities Oesterlund had to consumers would be payable by what remained of the businesses. Pursglove and her payout would live in Boca Raton, within easy reach of United States law. ‘‘I would always view the dollars that I get to be legitimate dollars,’’ Fisher said. But this would be a justice of wealth battling wealth, hammering through the veneer of trusts and shell companies to serve private ends. Fisher’s own role as public crusader would end, circumscribed by Pursglove’s interests. He and Potter had sent packages of evidence to the Palm Beach sheriﬀ ’s department, the inspector general of HUD, and the United States attorney’s oﬃce. Those authorities might take a hard look at Oesterlund’s business dealings and the well-paid professionals who made them all possible. Or they might lay the packages aside, alongside other complex cases that take extraordinary amounts of time and money to pursue. ‘‘In the end, I’m not a private attorney general,’’ Fisher mused. ‘‘I’m a private attorney.’’ The New York Times Magazine
Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz
Puzzles Online: Today’s puzzle and more than 9,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). For the daily puzzle commentary: nytimes.com/wordplay. Mobile crosswords: nytimes.com/mxword
89 Cads 90 Like food 91 “Despicable Me”
supervillain 92 Evidence of a brawl 94 Baylor’s home 95 Salon oﬀering 96 ____ the ﬁlm deal 99 Giggled 101 Honey ____ Clusters (breakfast cereal) 102 Milne character 103 Java neighbor 104 Church recess 108 Too much, in music 111 ____ himself as a big-screen ﬁlm star 117 “If you say so” 118 Strive 119 Actions of environmental extremists 120 Stacking game 121 Pines 122 Confronts
DOWN 1 Lash 2 Lady’s man 3 Country singer
Lovett 4 First African-
American Disney princess 5 Spike TV’s former name 6 “____ be my honor” 7 Sunbathing locale 8 Jewelry chain
9 Borodin’s prince 10 1993 accord grp. 11 Surveillance
device 12 Middle word in a
mall map phrase 13 Cash in 14 “Quiet down!” 15 Half a score
KENKEN Fill the grid with digits so as not to repeat a digit in any row or column, and so that the digits within each heavily outlined box will produce the target number shown, by using addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, as indicated in the box. A 5x5 grid will use the digits 1–5. A 7x7 grid will use 1–7.
KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC. © 2016 www.KENKEN.com. All rights reserved.
16 Story ____ 17 Immunity
51 Summoned, in a
way enhancer 53 In bankruptcy 18 French city near 57 Michael ____, Brett the Belgian border Halliday detective 19 Modern greeting 58 Things to chew on 24 ____ noire 61 Aid for a big painting project 29 Student taking Contracts, maybe 62 Naval conﬂict 32 Villagers the 63 Put up Grinch stole from 64 Straggles in Dr. Seuss 66 December temp 33 Surround 67 Morris who 34 Hogwarts directed “The Fog groundskeeper of War” 35 Native New 68 Like you wouldn’t Yorkers believe 36 Eco-friendly 69 Gable part building 70 Singer Marie certiﬁcation, for 73 In line short 76 Buzz, so to speak 37 Runner-up’s 78 Pride-parade amount in an letters auction 79 Actor Lugosi 38 New York team 80 Yemen seaport 39 Goya subject 40 Speak for oneself ? 82 Laura of “Blue Velvet” 41 Some rounds 83 Hindu honoriﬁcs 43 Settled a score 84 “A likely story!” old-style 85 Tie (up) 46 Got going 86 Western tribe 47 Aslant 88 1993 accord city 49 Seafood order 50 Temper 93 “Yippee!”
jets 55 Spellbound company 56 Hybrid citrus fruits 14 Solid 57 “The Lion King” 20 Attack villain 21 Harshly bright 59 Stick close to 22 Earning a Purple Heart, say 60 Went after 23 ____ into a major ﬁlm 64 Something that star turns up when you snap your ﬁngers? 25 7Up, in old ads, with “the” 65 Pay dirt 26 Vale 66 ____ a new ﬁlm adaptation 27 Salacious look 69 ____ two ﬁlm studios 28 Sibling of Helios against each other and Selene, in myth 71 ____ nova (musical style of the late 30 Something to Middle Ages) shoot with, brieﬂy 72 Like businesses on 31 “Phooey!” Yelp 34 ____ for just the right ﬁlm role 73 Land near a wharf 39 Many a suit has 74 Org. with the one, for short magazine America’s 1st 42 New employee Freedom 43 “You think I 75 Spellbound won’t!” 76 Leader who was 44 Bio word Time’s 2007 Person 45 Radius, for one of the Year 47 ____ Doggie of old 77 Italy’s Isola d’____ cartoons 81 “Ha! I was right!” 48 Psychedelic 83 ____ for meatier ﬁlm experience roles 52 ____ several ﬁlmmaking awards 87 Brisk tempo
54 Maker of business
1 Kind of marker 8 Auto-sharing
By Bruce Haight ACROSS
94 “I’m waiting …?” 96 “Roger that” 97 Vast 98 Betray 99 “The Twilight
Zone” episodes, e.g. 100 Poet who wrote, “In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost” 103 Capital NW of Jungfrau 105 Some info holders 106 ____ lily 107 Depiction in Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” 109 ____ se 110 Tire measure: Abbr. 112 Beneﬁt 113 Unwinding spot 114 Word before and after “yes,” in the Army 115 Home-appliance giant 116 Swell
Answers to puzzles of 11.27.16 MIXOLOGY E S
C A D S
A M P S
U S O F A
C A F
O T O E
N O R T E
D O L
B E A R B R Y A N T S C L
E R A M A
N E H T A
E A B A R G A
A R A
S P R
D E E T A
L K O I
D D L
S E R E
I M E S
S A K E S
T A L
P H O N
E G E
P R E N A T A L C A R E
A N T H E A T
L A Z O N
W A S P
M A R
E R A T O
B O D
N G T
I E G O
E M B
T A C O
U R S A
S E X T A N T S
A C E
M S U
A T E A T O N
A D U L T
P A R
S N A
D R E A M B O A T
R A D
R A N T O
S T A R T
D A D S
G R O U N D Z E R O I
S W I M G O G G L
S E N T R I
S M E T R O
O M A R
E A M E S
T A G S
T E R A
A S T
O N E R U N
T U R F P
E D A M E S
A N O D U E T S
O N C E
E R E C T
R U T H S
ACROSTIC (JULIAN) BARNES, KEEPING AN EYE OPEN — [B]y the Sixties . . . there was Postmodernism, and later postPostmodernism, and so on until eventually the labels ran out. A literary critic in New York was later to call me a “pre-Postmodernist,” a moniker I am still working on. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H.
DOUBLE OR NOTHING
MA AM YI
AT EC EL
Yarmulke Errorless Obstinate Permit El Capitan Nominal
MO JO TH
Q. R. S. T. U. V.
I. Emollient J. Psittacine K. Immensity L. Navy Seals M. Gym shorts N. Ants O. No-hitter P. Eliot Ness
Boardwalk Aptitude Richard Nutrients Ex-parrot Swallow Komondor Elwood
Answers to puzzle on Page 66 SPELLING BEE Artificial (3 points). Also: Affair, afflict, aircraft, airlift, alfalfa, artifact, cliff, craft, facial, farcical, fatal, filial, flail, flair, flatcar, flirt, fractal, frail, friar, frill, frittata, riffraff, tariff, traffic. If you found other legitimate dictionary words in the beehive, feel free to include them in your score.
Iggy Pop Traded In His Sports Car Interview by Dave Itzkoff
You and your band, the Stooges, are the subjects of a new Jim Jarmusch h documentary, ‘‘Gimme Danger,’’ and d a new book, ‘‘Total Chaos.’’ Is it a coincidence cidence that these two major retrospectives ectives d call it would happen at once? I would karmic. I asked Jim seven or eight ht years out the ago if he would make a movie about Stooges. The idea was to do something mething surprising with it, and I was surprised rprised when I ﬁrst saw it. Imagine my horror when the ﬁlm starts out and we’re allll living with our mothers. Did the documentary remind you u about anything you’d forgotten? No, that hat happened more when I heard the other her fellows speaking. I was surprised that at I was able to share some of the stuﬀ I did — getting hazed over my trailer-camp mp residence, that sort of thing. I thought ght Jim found the humor in it all. My father, er, very w, there late in life, said to me, ‘‘You know, is humor in what you do.’’ You did literally call yourselves ves the Stooges. That was Ron Asheton’s doing. We were all tripping on acid onee night, which is sort of what we did. I was the boring, diligent one — like: ‘‘Wait a minute. Let’s get something done here! ere! We don’t have a name for the group!’’ !’’ Ron, just oﬀ the top of his head, said, ‘‘We’ll We’ll call it the Stooges, man.’’ I thought, It’s a good name, and it’s got an ‘‘oo’’ in it. The ﬁlm features a representation ti off the mobile home where you grew up in Michigan, which I don’t think I’d ever seen before. It was very . . . um. . . . Spit it out, Dave. Yes, it’s very, very small, and later I realized how much that did for me. I learned harmony with other people early, and that was absolutely vital and
Age: 69 Occupation: Musician Hometown: Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Mich.
Iggy Pop is a singer, a musician and an actor. His band the Stooges was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
Photograph by Josh Ritchie
His Top 5 Favorite Current Bands and Musicians: 1. Sleaford Mods 2. Ricky Eat Acid 3. Let’s Eat Grandma 4. U.S. Girls 5. Jenny Hval
paramount. IIt was only when I went into the larger wo world that I realized the world isn’t like that that. I don’t want to bum you out or anything, but — Here it comes. O.K., I’m sitting down down. When you se see your life laid out in this way, w ay, do you st start to think about your own mortality? Well, W of course I do. Part of the experience o of being my age, and particularly in my ccorner of my ﬁeld, is that — oh, gosh, I could co click oﬀ the names, but all sorts of pe people I’ve had a drink with, and then all th the people in my group, with the exception exceptio of one, are all gone. So, obviously, I b begin thinking about myself. What, exactly, exactly do you think? Well, O.K., I’m alive. Gr Great! So what’s good about that? That’s Question Q 1. Then: What is a reasonable amount am of time that I can look forward to? You Y want to be sensible. For instance, I had a sports car, and a few years ago I realized it’s not cool for a guy over 65 with 20/40 vi vision to be getting ticked oﬀ when someb somebody’s driving less than 100 miles an hour in front of it. And so I traded it in for a dad car. A big one, though. I don’t want tto become totally sensible. Was the loss of o David Bowie an especially diﬃcult one? on At ﬁrst I didn’t process it. I thought, T They must be talking about someone else else. But then I got it. I went to a rehearsal, and a when we ran through ‘‘China Girl,’’ tthere’s a guitar theme at the end of that, th that was written by that person, with a gu guitar, with his hands. I can see the person, I can see the hands, I can see the guitar. An And he’s not on this plane anymore. That cam came up several times that day. ‘‘Lust for Life,’’ Life perhaps the most famous collaboration between you and Bowie, w ill appear iin the coming ‘‘Trainspotwill ting’’ seque sequel. What was that original collaboration like? He wrote the chord collaborati progression and beat on ukulele. The inspiration had come from the American Forces Force Network television station in Berl Berlin that had a call signal that went ‘‘beep beep beep — beep beep beep beep b beep — beep beep beep.’’ We we were sitting on the ﬂoor, and I ttaped d it on a llittle Philips cassette recorder that I used to carry around. David told me to call it ‘‘Lust for Life.’’ I tried to sing a character song and to conﬂate myself with the William Burroughs character Johnny Yen, who is a green Venusian love boy. Sounds like fun, right? Who wouldn’t want to be a green Venusian love boy?
Interview has been condensed and edited.
Still Processing A podcast with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham
High culture? Low culture? Let the discussion begin. nytimes.com/stillprocessing
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Cheryl Windless thought it was a simple ﬂu infection. But, she was in severe cardiogenic shock and many of her organs were failing. She was given only a ten percent chance of survival. One hospital wouldn’t admit her because they thought she couldn’t be saved. At Mount Sinai Heart, doctors performed emergency surgery to implant a HeartMate II left ventricular
assist device (LVAD), which functions like an artiﬁcial heart. In fact, it was a typical Mount Sinai success story: one that began with very little hope of success. 1- 8 0 0 - MD-SINA I mou n t s i n a i .or g/m s h e a r t
OUR DOCTORS WORK ON HEARTS OTHER DOCTORS DON’T HAVE THE HEART TO TOUCH.
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