My friend Edward Jay Epstein, to whom I link every so often, has published a piece in today's International Herald Tribune titled "A De Beers Nightmare." Now, if any company deserves to suffer nightmares it is De Beers. (See, for example, Edward Zwick's searing movie, "Blood Diamond," with Leonardo Di Caprio.) But its nightmares are few and not very traumatic.

Except for the depression in which we are now living. I wonder whether the bankers who are now being pummelled by part of the Congress and part of the press and most of the American people are having nightmares. Well, the folk who run and own the  diamond combines, of which De Beers is by far the largest and oldest, are not sleeping easily these nights. It's because "diamonds are forever," the slogan sells the jewel even though it is useless, except as a showpiece. You know, "diamonds are a girl's best friend."