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Friday, February 12, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"For the second time in less than five weeks, China’s central bank has moved to limit lending to consumers and businesses by ordering big commercial banks to park a larger share of their deposits at the central bank. The step, announced late Friday, came earlier than most economists had expected and was aimed at forestalling a rekindling of inflation by controlling a rapid expansion in bank loans. Families, real estate developers and industrial companies have been borrowing heavily and have started paying more for everything from food to apartments. While the central bank announced its action after the close of markets in China, it provoked an immediate reaction elsewhere. Stock index futures in the United States were down nearly 1 percent. Commodity prices also tumbled as investors interpreted the action as likely to trim China’s demand and possibly limit inflation, with oil and copper prices each down more than 1 percent." (NYTimes)



"Since China began undertaking economic reforms in 1978, its economy has grown at a rate of nearly ten percent a year, and its per-capita GDP is now twelve times greater than it was three decades ago. Many analysts attribute the country's economic success to its unconventional approach to economic policy -- a combination of mixed ownership, basic property rights, and heavy government intervention. Time magazine's former foreign editor, Joshua Cooper Ramo, has even given it a name: the Beijing consensus. But, in fact, over the last 30 years, the Chinese economy has moved unmistakably toward the market doctrines of neoclassical economics, with an emphasis on prudent fiscal policy, economic openness, privatization, market liberalization, and the protection of private property. Beijing has been extremely cautious in maintaining a balanced budget and keeping inflation down. Purely redistributive programs have been kept to a minimum, and central government transfers have been primarily limited to infrastructure spending." (YANG YAO/ForeignAffairs)



"Now that Lucian Grainge has officially been promoted to CEO of Universal Music Group, Island Def Jam leader Antonio L.A. Reid is going to be under increasing pressure to score some hits and rein in his 'me-first' attitude. As expected, Vivendi confirmed yesterday that Grainge will take over for Doug Morris at the industry's largest label, effective Jan. 1. The transition begins in earnest when Grainge moves from London in July for a six-month co-CEO setup with Morris. While Reid has enjoyed a level of security and autonomy under Morris' leadership, more than a half-dozen sources inside or close to UMG told The Post that Grainge wants to see more hits, better allocation of capital to artists, and less self-promotion from Reid. 'All of the divisions are going to be put under a microscope when Grainge arrives in New York,' said one UMG insider. 'L.A. likes to flaunt himself -- and since he's not doing that great lately, he's going to get looked at especially hard.' Reid is in the middle of a cold streak, with a number of releases not living up to expectations, most notably the latest albums from Rihanna and Mariah Carey. Rihanna's 'Rated R' has sold just 2.5 million albums worldwide while her last album, 'Good Girl Gone Bad,' sold 2.6 million in the US alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan." (NYPost)



"Howard (Stern) read about this director that worked with Wolfman star Benicio (del Toro) on 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.' He read that Benicio was very needy on the set of the movie and he wanted a lot of attention. The director, Terry Gilliam, was the one saying that stuff. Benicio said that was the first he was hearing of it. Howard asked why he had that reputation. Benicio said that was the old days. He said that's when he was a little wolf boy ... Howard asked what kind of deal he had to do the movie. He said his quote must have gone up a lot after he won the academy award. He said it did go up a bit ... Howard asked what he's getting for a film these days. Benicio didn't want to say. He said he's not making more than $7 million though. Howard asked if he was in the ball park with $5 million. Benicio said that was in the ball park. Howard told Benicio he should have given himself a good deal for that movie. Benicio said he doesn't get a percentage of the profits on this one. Then he said he really doesn't know how it works. He said the back end is probably going to be whatever it is that SAG does. He said he may get a big deal if they do a sequel even though he died in this movie. Howard said he can't believe he didn't get a good deal in this movie. He asked if he has representation. Benicio said he'll work on that. He said there are limitations to this and you can't get a deal like that the first time out." (Marksfriggin)



"Before Fashion Week bogs down the style bloggers and chicsters, a gang of Glamazons headed to Billy Gilroy's new hot spot, East Side Social Club, for a lunch hosted by Brit Euan Rellie for 'The Atlanicists' in honor of Rag & Bone's David Neville and Patrick McMullan. The menu (filet or trout) created by Billy's handsome, tatted-up son chef Devon Gilroy was chowed down by CNN's Alina Cho, Jennifer Creel, Boykin Curry, Tara Hannert, Vogue's Alexandra Kotur, writers Bob Morris, Michael Musto and Jeffrey Podolsky, Marissa Noel Brown, Tracy Taylor, Kelly Bensimon (who celebrated her upcoming Playboy cover at Butter later that night) beautiful Lana Ogilvie, Alan Rish, Helen Lee Schifter, Kim Vernon, Luigi Tadini, Miguelina Gambaccini, Max Weiner, Bettina Zilkha and Euan's wife Lucy Sykes Rellie. 'An Atlanticist is the opposite of a xenophobe,' Rellie explained to me." (Peter Davis/Papermag)



(image via JH/NYSD)

"Last Tuesday night Interview magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary at Good Unites on 354 West 58th Street in the subbasement of Hudson Hotel. There are quite a few of us out there who still own original copies of the original foldover magazine that Andy Warhol first put out in 1970. It was fresh and very downtown which was a different kind of downtown – fixed up lofts at cheap rents for serious artists and the bohemian life, getting by on a nickel and living the high life whenever you were in the position to live it. Working, doing their art, doing their thing; being there ... Tuesday night’s party brought out a different kind of crowd who live in a different kind of world that Andy more or less influenced in so many way. It was a good crowd and they were having a good time. In the room: Fabien Baron, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Fabiola Beracasa, Leigh Lezark, Chloe Sevigny, Mary Kate Olsen, Kelly Cutrone, Whitney Port, Kate Bosworth, Peter Brant, Naomi Campbell, Daphne Guinness, Lazaro Hernandez, Nate Lowman, Josh Lucas, Terry Richardson, Amy Sacco, Tony Shafrazi, Michael Stipe, Sam Talbot, Olivier Zahm and thousands more just like ‘em." (NYSocialDiary)



"Last night, local adult publication XBIZ held their eighth annual XBIZ Awards in Hollywood. Newly relocated this year to Avalon from Boulevard 3, the celebratory industry gala presented awards in 67 categories, including Feature Movie of the Year (Adam & Eve's The 8th Day), Female Performer of the Year (Tori Black), Female Acting Performance of the Year (Kimberly Kane, The Sex Files: A Dark XXX Parody), and New Starlet of the Year (Kagney Linn Karter). 'The awards program drew 1,000 enthusiastic attendees who honored the businesses and performers that define the industry,' reported XBIZ. TMZ was also on the red carpet and '...teased the segment on TMZ.com today with the following dialogue: So we went to the porn awards — not the AVN awards — the XBIZ Awards... They’re the 'Daytime Emmys' of porn." (LAist)



"On Monday, February 8, Roxy Cottontail hosted a party at Sway in Soho with Bianca Jagger, Vivien Scarlet, and DJs Luther, Woohoo, and Nguzunguzu." (VillageVoice)



"Did the Patricia Field/Keith Haring party last night at Good Units usher in the return of the Club Kids scene? The outrageous costumes on parade last night certainly seemed like a revival of the early 90s New York scene. The prevalent use of bright colors and neon body paint made the guests at the party look like a natural extension of the grafiti that adorns Good Units' walls." (Guestofaguest)



"Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the late Ted Kennedy's youngest son, has announced he won't seek a ninth term in office. It would be the first time in almost 50 years a member of the Kennedy clan is not serving in Congress. He is the 14th Democrat in the House to step aside this cycle." (Time)



"It’s that time of year again. Dame Helen Mirren, the 64-year-old national treasure and screen royalty, is going to the Oscars. The four-time Academy Award nominee and one-time winner (for The Queen) has been nominated yet again in the Best Actress category for playing Sofya, the volcanic wife of Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer), in the sweetly moving melodrama The Last Station. The nomination is a confirmation of Mirren’s prowess as an actress, while the ceremony is a chance to celebrate her considerable achievements all over again. So she’s excited, right? 'Oh, it’s such a palaver!' she says, with a deflated sigh. 'It’s like a day’s work. You have to decide what you’re going to wear. You put on your costume. You do your performance. It’s exhausting. And if you win, everyone wants a piece of you.' She pauses for a nanosecond, barely taking a breath, and casually does a whopping volte-face. 'Of course, it’s the mothership of all ceremonies.'" (TimesOnline)



"Conditions are so favorable for the House Republicans to win back the majority—an ailing economy, an angry electorate, and a seemingly arrogant and out-of-touch Democratic elite in Washington—that 'the signs point to a tidal-wave election in 2010,' says renowned political prognosticator Charlie Cook. 'And when there's a tidal-wave election,' Cook goes on, 'you're going to win a whole lot of seats whether you have money or not, whether you have competent candidates or not. A lot of complete imbeciles are swept into office during tidal-wave elections.' California congressman Kevin McCarthy — who has been crisscrossing the country over the past year as the House GOP's chief talent scout—shrieks with laughter when I repeat Cook's imbecile line ... 'Don't blame me for picking the right timing to be in charge of candidate recruitment,' McCarthy quips. He chuckles when I repeat another of Cook's pronouncements: 'Kevin is going to come out of this a rock star.'" (TheDailyBeast)



"Harvard University Professor Martin Feldstein, who warned in 1997 that European monetary union would spark greater political conflict, said Greece’s fiscal woes expose the fault lines of the single currency project. A day after EU leaders promised 'determined and coordinated action' to help Greece control its budget deficit, Feldstein said the weakness of having a single monetary policy and different fiscal policies is being revealed. 'It isn’t working,' Feldstein, 70, said today in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. 'In Europe, they have a single monetary policy and yet every country can set its own fiscal and tax policy.'" (Bloomberg)

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