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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

  • July 17, 2009 03:22 PM UTC by Liz Claman

    How a Sliver of Land in the Middle East Avoided the Credit Crisis

    Hi gang,

    I’ve been in Israel the entire week for vacation but in typical “Liz” fashion, couldn’t help but figure out a way to tell a most unusual financial story that comes out of this region.  I landed an interview with Israel’s central banker. Stanley Fischer is the Ben Bernanke of Israel, trying to keep inflation at bay and the currency stable.  Wednesday I arrived at the Bank of Israel headquarters in Jerusalem.  Once through security, I spent a good 40 minutes with Fischer talking about the challenges he faces, and why Israel may just be the next global Silicon Valley.  While the challenges are many, he and the Bank of Israel managed to launch some preemptive strikes in advance of the global financial crisis that helped Israel keep its head well above water. 

    The business climate here is strong.  I was surprised to find that over the past five years, had you put your money in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, you’d be UP more than 32% vs. putting it in the S&P 500 which, over the same period of time as we with 401k’s and 529’s know, is DOWN more than 20%.   Below is the link to the article.

    Biographical ‘Frida’ leads off eclectic mix of DVDs

    Deseret News (Salt Lake City) June 16, 2003 | Chris Hicks Deseret Morning News Salma Hayak’s Oscar-nominated, knockout performance as Frida Kahlo leads off this eclectic collection of newly released DVDs.

    – “Frida” (Miramax, 2002; R for sex, nudity, language, violence; $29.99, 2 discs). Here’s a biographical film that is clearly romanticized and certainly uneven, and yet always interesting. Hayak stars as the independent, tortured Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, while Alfred Molina plays her equally unconventional, womanizing artist husband Diego Rivera. It’s an artistic film of high ideals, but it’s also all over the map in terms of structure and design. Sort of like Frida’s paintings. in our site newly released dvds

    Mainly, the film provides an opportunity for Hayak, who has been as misused by Hollywood as any Latin American performer, to prove herself as an actress. And just as Halle Berry proved she was more than just a pretty face in “Monster’s Ball,” Hayak demonstrates here that she can be an actress of range and passion, given the right material. Molina, a character actor of great talent, also shines, and there are lots of odd little cameos throughout the film (by Antonio Banderas, Ashley Judd, Edward Norton and others).

    Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, making-of documentaries, interviews, etc.

    – “The Desperate Hours” (Paramount, 1955, b/w, not rated, $19.99). In one of his last films, Humphrey Bogart is terrific playing a hard-as-nails escaped criminal holed up in a suburban residence. With his brother and another thug, they terrorize the occupants and plot their getaway. Frederic March also shines as the head of the house, intent on protecting his wife and two children. And Arthur Kennedy is the cop on Bogie’s trail.

    A simple story (based on a novel and play), nicely staged by director William Wyler to build suspense and fully develop each character, this is a rich film from the 1950s that holds up marvelously. this web site newly released dvds

    Extras: Widescreen, etc.

    – “Grease 2″ (Paramount, 1982, PG, $19.99). Michelle Pfeiffer is the big draw here, in her first starring role, and she sings and dances up a storm. But the film is a pale sequel to the original “Grease,” without any hummable songs or memorable gags, and despite the presence of some talented original-cast members (Didi Conn, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, etc.).

    Pfeiffer is a gum-popping Pink Lady and her boyfriend is Adrian Zmed, a leather-jacketed T-Bird at Rydell High School (whose performance owes a lot to Henry Winkler’s Fonz from TV’s “Happy Days”). But Pfeiffer will soon be drawn to goody-two-shoes English exchange-student Maxwell Caulfield.

    It’s sort of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta’s characters in reverse. And the rest is all poorly timed gags and lame one-liners.

    Extras: Widescreen, etc.

    – “They” (Dimension, 2002, PG-13, $29.99). This Wes Craven production (he didn’t write or direct) is a fairly routine things- that-go-bump-in-the-night horror flick. And its similarities to “Darkness Falls” are rather surprising.

    The story has a trio of young adults who suffered night terrors as children starting to have them again. Worse, they are being attacked by unknown forces, apparently from some other dimension. The story makes little sense, but it doesn’t matter since it’s really just an excuse to tie together scenes that startle but never explain.

    The actual film’s ending is bleak, but there is also a discarded alternate ending, which suggests the entire film has been in the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic. Neither one is particularly satisfying.

    Extras: Widescreen, alternate ending, etc.

    Chris Hicks Deseret Morning News

about this blog

  • Liz Claman joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as an anchor in October 2007. Her debut included an exclusive interview with Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett.

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