Forward Thinking

Jack Lew's Really Bad John Hancock

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share

Does Jack Lew need to tighten up his penmanship if he’s going to be treasury secretary?

The Orthodox Jew whose signature is going to be on every single dollar bill in the land has a pretty weird — actually, an incredibly, startingly weird — signature.

And it seems to be the main thing the world is noticing about the man who’s President Obama’s choice to take over from Timothy Geithner.

See how YOUR own signature would look if you wrote just like Jack Lew

“A lesser-known but extremely pertinent fact about Lew is that he has the world’s worst signature,” writes Kevin Roose over at New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer blog. “And pretty soon, that signature could be on every single one of your dollar bills,” he writes with horror.

Roose notes that Geithner had to neaten up his already somewhat legible signature before it could be printed on dollar bills. If so, then Lew is going to have to do a complete overhaul of his John Hancock.

So what is the big problem with Lew’s signature? You’ll understand the minute you see it. Roose is completely on the mark when he says it reminds him of a slinky that has lost its spring, a crazy straw, Sally Brown’s hair from Peanuts, or what we see on those slips of paper that customers use at Office Max to try out pens.

And don’t think this is the first time that Lew’s signature has been mocked. Headlines were screaming, “Jack Lew’s Signature: The Most Ridiculous John Hancock Ever?” even back when he was Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Lew’s bad handwriting seemed to outweigh what the impending pick might mean for economic policy. Or that he is the first Orthodox Jew to be named to the post.

Handwriting expert Susanne Shapiro said Lew’s signature is extremely unusual because it has no space between the letters.

“(That) would be ind indicative of a possible communication problem since there is no place for him to let anyone in,” said Shapiro, who has served as a court appointed graphologist.

Shapiro, whose web site is thewritetruth.com, noted that where a writer starts a signature reflects the person’s past and the ending reflects the future.

“Notice that his beginning ‘letter’ is convoluted and was hard for him to form and to get going so to speak,” Shapiro said. “And when you see the last stroke of the signature, going to the future, it is miraculously a real stroke and a long one at that.”

So does that mean Lew’s signature means he has reached his career plateau? It looks like we’ll all have plenty of time to gaze at his John Hancock and make up our own mind.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: treasury, signature, penmanship, orthodox, messy, jewish, jack lew, handwriting, barack obama, dollar

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.