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!
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • 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.