Almost 26 years ago, the movie “The Firm” was released. Based on a John Grisham novel, it is the story of a young lawyer from a tough upbringing who gets sucked into the employ of a law firm with illegal dealings and hunger for power and money.
The film was released when Grisham was at the height of his popularity. At the time, the top six paperback books by sales in the country were split equally between him and Michael Crichton. The film was a smash hit, and would be the first of many Grisham novels translated onto the silver screen.
One of the key things that made Grisham’s novels so compelling was that the author was a lawyer who wasn’t afraid to show his audience the inner workings of the law profession – and they found it fascinating.
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I was thinking about that same “inner workings” angle when I was sitting on set as a weekly analyst on Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. Tuesday before last. I usually have a 10 minute spot at 9:30 on Tuesday mornings, to comment on the opening market moves and the top financial news of the day. On that Tuesday, things were quite different. There was to be a 25 to 30 minute press conference with President Trump and England’s Prime Minister Theresa May, and early that morning The Fed made a surprise announcement that they would release a statement at 9:55.
So instead of my usual 10 minute spot, I was in the studio from 9am to 10am to discuss the effects of the press conference and the Fed statement on the markets, as time allowed.
After the press conference, we had some normal banter and coverage of market news while waiting for the Fed press release to come out. At roughly 9:50, Jackie DeAngelis, a reporter who moved from CNBC to Fox Business in the last couple of months, came in holding a single sheet of paper. She arrived off-camera, and during a commercial break, she was almost persona non-grata. Professional discretion dictated that she not talk about what the sheet read.
At 9:55 sharp, Jackie read the announcement.