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Michael Maiello (also known as "Destor23") is a New York based columnist, performer, fiction author and playwright. He is the author of Shuts & Failures, Rejected New Yorker Pieces (Also Rejected by McSweeney's!). He worked for ten years at Forbes Media, writing and editing for both Forbes Magazine and He also appeared frequently on CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business News, CNN and MSNBC.  He is also the author of the 2004 book Buy The Rumor, Sell The Fact: 85 Wall Street Maxims and What They Really Mean. He has performed stand up comedy at The Laugh Factory, The Comic Strip and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and now reads regularly with Mama D's Arts Bordello in New York. He has had four plays published (Night of Faith and Waiting For Death by; Principia and Troy! Troy! Troy! by The New York Theatre Experience/indiethieatrenow). From inception to dissolution, he wrote a weekly op-ed column for The Daily, a News Corp. publication designed for tablet computers and he is an occasional op-ed contributor to Reuters and Esquire.

Favorite Quotes

"Hi, nice to meet you. I'm David Mamet.  Fuck." - David Mamet


Figure Four Leglock.


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Freedom to Defend...

I had high hopes for this op-ed called "Freedom to Offend Everyone" but Nesrine Malik has completely confirmed my otherwise irrational belief that non-Americans don't understand how freedom of expression works at all, ever, in any context. Malik concludes, wrongly:

"Those who fancy themselves defenders of free speech must be consistent in their absolutism, and stand up for offensive speech no matter who is the target." [Read more]

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Your Charming Tax Receipt

If you'd like to see where your tax dollars are going, the White House will show you. When I entered the median income of $50,000 for a filer with one child, that the filer paid $1,776 in income tax, assuming non-itemized filing. What an auspicious number. [Read more]

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How To Misread Flash Boys

Be David Brooks

One lesson of this tale is that capitalism doesn’t really work when it relies on the profit motive alone. If everybody is just chasing material self-interest, the invisible hand won’t lead to well-functioning markets. It will just lead to arrangements in which market insiders take advantage of everybody else. Capitalism requires the full range of motivation, including the intrinsic drive for knowledge and fairness.

This is the reasonable sounding "just getting started" paragraph, but you no doubt see the problem... [Read more]

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Conservatives Should Be Angry At Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla, his donation in support of Prop 8, a proposed anti-same sex marriage in California came to light, many Mozilla employees and users loudly objected to the boss's politics and Eich stepped down. [Read more]

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Everybody Knows The Dice Are Loaded...

At Gawker, Hamilton Nolan takes on some of the backlash against Michael Lewis which is coming from industry insiders and financial journalists yawning that the issues surrounding high frequency trading are old hat at this point and hardly cutting edge enough to make a bestselling book from. [Read more]

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Today, Mark Zuckerberg took some of the money raised in Facebook's IPO and used it to buy the immersive experience of Oculus, something of an iPad that you jam onto your face so that you can wander around in your own personal Holodeck.  That's right, I'm old and this technology scares me. What's next, laser swords? [Read more]

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The Data Haunted World

The one somewhat decent idea I had during theatre history class many years ago was that Aristotle's Poetics had managed to identify nothing more than a Tragic Mean and that if a writer followed Aristotle's rules perfectly they were more likely to write something average than remarkable.  Around this time I was also taking a lot of writing classes and reading books by people who offered structural advice for writers -- it was all based on Aristotle, though updated.  Aristotle told us what all the memorable Greek tragedies had in common.  Syd Field told us what all of the Hollywood blockbusters had in common.  Art is about knowing when to follow the rules and when to break them. [Read more]

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Titus on Wall Street

A couple of years back I started writing a bunch of short sketches where old stories, with some of the old tropes, found themselves recast in modern times.  It all ended with Troy! Troy! Troy! a retelling of the Trojan War with the twist that faulty intelligence led the Greeks to invade Troy only to wind up in a quagmire after learning that Helen was never there.  As it turns out, Euripides beat me to this premise by a rather long margin. [Read more]

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Breaking News! Breaking News! Karaoke Spin Class Is Real! is real and Ms. and Mr. Destor did it.  On the news.

  [Read more]

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Stock Markets Should Not Be Larger Than The Countries That Host Them

I don't usually agree with Anne Applebaum, a hawkish, right-wing foreign policy thinker, but she brings up an interesting point about the London Stock Exchange listing of Rosneft, back in 2006.  The LSE offered legitimacy to a company built by Putin's expropriation of Yukos, a company run by a Russian oligarch who probably wasn't quite the white hat he's been made out to be since running afoul of Russia's elected strong man. [Read more]

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