As a New Yorker subscriber, I am constantly A) reading Talk of the Town pieces from six weeks ago and B) enraged by the stories. The New Yorker is the best place you can publish your short story. Yet The New Yorker story is also its own recognizable brand of lame—the exemplar of what Michael Chabon called the “the contemporary, quotidian, plotless, moment-of-truth revelatory story.” For writers of literary fiction, The New Yorker is Harvard: everybody knows it’s overrated, and everybody wants to get in. I was therefore extremely pleased to read this blog post in which several literary magazines, including The New Yorker, reject a story published in The New Yorker.
Possibly as an aftereffect of his symbiosis with the Beard of Reason, federal district court judge Jed Rakoff has blocked a settlement between the SEC and Citibank on the grounds that he has no way of determining whether the agreement was “fair, reasonable, adequate and in the public interest.” The answers to his questions are define “fair,” not really and nope. At issue in the case is whether the banking giant committed fraud when it assembled a $1 billion mortgage fund from high-risk loans that it then sold to clients, even as it shorted* the fund in its own investments. The SEC alleges that Citibank failed to inform investors that the mortgages in the fund had been deliberately selected to fail. As it often does, the federal enforcement agency agreed to let Citibank settle the case without admitting or denying any fault. Judge Rakoff, however, does not play that.