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Friday, September 25, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The average electric bill for one of the energy-efficient homes built in New Orleans by Brad Pitt's Make It Right foundation is $35 a month, the actor said Thursday during an update on the project at the Clinton Global Initiative. The cost of building the homes also is dropping. And by the time all 150 promised homes are completed, the cost will be comparable to standard buildings, Pitt said. 'I don't know how we build any other way anywhere else,' he said. 'We can no longer tell ourselves that implementing this technology is too complex a problem because it's just been proven on this little spot on the map.' Pitt started the foundation in 2007. The program focuses home construction in a section of New Orleans heavily damaged when Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. The homes are being built with features including rooftop solar panels and energy-efficient appliances to help reduce electricity consumption. The Clinton Global Initiative, an annual event started by former President Bill Clinton, brings together the public and private sector to discuss solutions to problems in four areas — climate change, poverty, global health and education." (AP)



(image via guardian)

"The G20 is set to promise to work together on a durable recovery. But if it fails to deliver, the financial system may be doomed to repeat its past mistakes. As world leaders set out broad principles on financial regulatory form, they are warned that potentially conflicting approaches may become embedded in individual regimes. Global capital markets may be headed for an era of much slower growth but proposals for new taxes on bank transactions floated by Germany’s finance minister have won support from Paul Volcker. The leaders are also set to agree on delay pulling back from their stimulus packages until recovery is secured, but arguments continue over how far they should coordinate their exit strategies. The IMF is urged to develop a clearer view of its future, while tensions over US plans for reform threatened to mar the summit." (FT)

"Farewell G-7 (or G-8 if you include Russia). Hail the G-20, the new and expanded group of summiteers that is taking over responsibility for the global economy. The G-20 will assume the role of a permanent council on global economic co-operation, a role previously held by the much smaller group. It’s been going that way for a couple of years now. But the Pittsburgh summit, which began Thursday night and continues today, will go down in history as the one in which the old G-7 of advanced economies (America, Britain, Germany, Japan, France, Italy and Canada) finally gave way to a much larger cast of characters, which includes the new emerging economies—such as China, India, Mexico, Indonesia and Brazil—of the 21st century." (TheDailyBeast)

"The agreement, to be officially announced today at the conclusion of the Pittsburgh summit, will see the world's richest nations pledge to retain emergency economic supports until recovery is secured and work together to tackle climate change. They will agree to tighten banking regulation in an effort to avoid a repeat of the last two years' global economic turmoil. Governments across the world have pumped an estimated $5tn into their economies to deal with the greatest shock to the system since the 1930s. 'Today, leaders endorsed the G20 as the premier forum for their international economic co-operation,' said a White House statement after a summit dinner last night. "This decision brings to the table the countries needed to build a stronger, more balanced global economy, reform the financial system and lift the lives of the poorest' ... Neither the G7, which was created in the 1970s as the oil crisis struck western economies, nor the G8, which includes Russia, will be disbanded. The latter will instead focus on issues such as national security, while diplomats say the G7 will deal with geopolitical issues. The new role for the G20 as the premier forum for international economic co-operation will begin with two summits next year, in Canada and South Korea, then annual summits." (Guardian)



"BILL Clinton didn't keep the party going after his bash at MoMA for his fifth annual Global Initiative Meeting — but many in his inner circle did. While the ex-president was holed up at the Sheraton New York in Midtown playing cards, former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Nobel Peace Prize-winning economist Muhammad Yunus all hung out at the hotel bar." (PageSix)



"That fish-like looking dwarf, the mayor, is angling for an outdoor ban on smoking, which has some of us up in arms. Mind you, it doesn’t surprise me. Bloomberg is like most of his fellow billionaires, a dictator posing as a man of the people. The whole art of politics today is to pander to the weaknesses, fears, and greed of the people. There are more non-smokers than smokers, end of story. When Bloomie banned smoking in indoor places, he claimed it was to protect non-smokers. So what is the use of banning it outdoors? Between cars that idle all day while their drivers sit and watch tiny TV screens, incinerators and industrial waste, there’s enough pollution in this city to leave a layer of black soot on one’s windowsill. Bloomberg applies the law selectively and when it suits him, and even tramples on it as when he chose to run for a third term and had a bunch of lawmakers in his pocket rubber stamp it." (Takimag)



"The Observer has learned that Page Six reporter Corynne Steindler is leaving the Post for a senior reporting position at Bonnie Fuller’s web site, HollywoodLife.com. The move makes Ms. Steindler the third reporter in just over two months to leave Page Six. Paula Froelich left in July shortly after her book was published; Bill Hoffman was let go in August. Neel Shah, who has been at Page Six for 10 months, is now the most veteran member of Richard Johnson’s rowdy fleet. Emily Smith joined last month from Life & Style, and we’re sure the search for new talent is already on." (Observer)

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