Hey, What Happened?

   There’s no point in hiding any longer – yes, I’m Derivative Man, and one of the four people in the world who really understand Wall Street finance. I’ve been huddled with our nation’s leaders for six days on the bailout,  and you don’t want to be in a room with these people for 16 hours straight. When Sen. Charles Schumer decided to give a working example of naked shorts at midnight last Wednesday  ….
   OK, it’s all hogwash (although I’ll bet you’ll have a hard time getting an image of ol’ Chuck out of your imagination.) I’ve been working like blazes to get the next issue of Stone Business primped and polished before heading to Verona, Italy, for the huge Marmomacc trade event. Something had to go on idle.
   I’ll make it up to readers next week with some reports from the road as I cross a continent, an ocean, the Alps and invariably some Italian truck drivers along the way. You’ll also get a sense of what’s happening at Marmomacc, which resembles more of a small city than a trade show.
   To those few who’ve missed me, my apologies. Keep reading.

-- Emerson Schwartzkopf