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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Supermodel Naomi Campbell is due to host a celebrity fashion show in aid of mothers and babies in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Fashion For Relief - billed as a 'spectacular charity fashion show and auction' - takes place on the eve of London Fashion Week at Somerset House in central London. The model has gathered her friends from fashion and entertainment to support The White Ribbon Alliance, which promotes safe pregnancy and childbirth around the world and whose patron is the Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown. Funds raised at the show will go towards ensuring mothers and babies are at the heart of the Haiti's new health system, organisers said. The names of those appearing on the catwalk remained under wraps, but the show will feature clothes by designers including Vivienne Westwood, Jaeger and Dolce & Gabbana." (UKPA)



"We expect our political leaders to manage the level of economic activity by employing fiscal and monetary tools such as interest rates, tax incentives and stimulus packages to avoid recessions. However, in the aftermath of the bursting of the largest bubble in history, in the property market as well as other markets, we see that a social-psychological phenomenon, over-confidence, was not managed by leaders, and its subsequent collapse represents the deepest cause of the financial crisis. We can imagine that words of warning might have been effective in stopping the bubble before it got so big. Alan Greenspan’s 'irrational exuberance' speech in 1996 had a briefly chilling impact on stock markets around the world. However, in the years just before the crisis, leaders failed either to issue firm notes of caution or to restrain over-enthusiastic investment by changing economic incentives. Now the danger is that we will languish in a period of under-confidence. The over-confidence of a few years past, which encouraged many people to leverage themselves in questionable investments in property, has now left us with a legacy of damaged portfolios. In this uncertain economic climate, businesses are hesitant to invest and consumers reluctant to spend. For a particular business or family, such hesitation may seem wise. However, the cumulative impact of individual decisions based on low confidence is an economy that stalls, either failing to recover or slipping once again into a recession. To what extent can leaders influence economic confidence? (Robert Shiller/FT)



"Prior to her speaking engagement at the University of Oxford last Friday night, (Courtney Love) was caught up in a typical Love triangle. On Thursday there was a teenage riot in Park Lane in London as 2,000 kids held a Facebook party in a ($63 million USD) mansion occupied by squatters. Love, freshly arrived in the UK for a month of promotion ahead of the release of her new album, Nobody's Daughter, was trapped in her neighbouring rented flat. She couldn't make it to a low-key gig planned for that evening. The no-show, riot police and kids throwing tiles from the roof? Clearly nothing to do with Love. But they would be chalked up as another example of the chaos that attends her every move ... The final question is from Anna Lund, a 20-year-old from Salt Lake City who's studying English: 'With the loss you suffered in 1994, how did you cope with the pressure of touring and performing with Hole and what gave you the strength to pull through?' 'My daughter,' Love replies. She goes on to say that her 23-year-old English guitarist, Micko Larkin, said to her the other day: 'God, Kurt was cool.' Love shakes her head. No, in the end the sainted Cobain was not cool. 'That action,' she says, unable to say the word, unwilling to hear for the millionth time mention of the manner of his death, 'had a horrible effect on our family. It just wasn't cool.'" (TimesOnline)



(image via NYSD)

"The Hostess with the Mostest in New York yesterday was Peggy Siegal. Down at Michael’s she was beating the drum for James Cameron, the filmmaker whose latest is the largest grossing film in history, 'Avatar.' The film has nine Academy Award nominations and Peggy, the indefatigable, was giving a luncheon for him right in the middle of the front room. One long table and four or five other ones. There must have been about forty guests but we were all packed in together – guests, non-guests, that it was hard to tell the difference. Mr. Cameron was there at the round table in the bay along with Les Moonves, Lyor Cohen, George Stevens Jr., Jean Doumanian, Jane Rosenthal, Jacqui Safra, John Esposito and probably someone I’ve left out. Mr. Cameron is tall, like this writer, and has a full head of hair that is almost white, like this writer (although he has more), and has a very pleasant persona (like this writer, no?) ...I then went to take a picture of Parker Posey with Michael Hausman and Donald Rosenfeld. Ms. Posey got up from her chair to shake my hand and congratulate me when she saw me, and to tell me how nice it was to meet me. It was a pleasure although momentarily puzzling since ... why me? what? Then I realized Ms. Posey had mistaken me from the other tall white-haired man in the (also) blue jacket, the Master Director up for 9 nominations. Ms. Posey was a pleasure for me to meet, however." (NYSocialDiary)



"Ukraine’s President-elect Viktor Yanukovych may be stepping up efforts to move the former Soviet state closer to Russia and end a standoff that’s obstructed gas flows and heightened regional tensions for half a decade. In the 11 days since beating Yulia Timoshenko in a runoff vote, Yanukovych signaled on his Web site he may allow Russia’s Black Sea Fleet to stay in Ukrainian waters. He asked for Russian help to ease gas flows into Europe and yesterday said he wants Ukraine to join Russia’s customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Kommersant reported. Yanukovych’s 'policy will steer the country toward a return of good, friendly relations with Russia,' said Sergei Markov, a lawmaker in Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party. 'What we observed before was an artificial attempt to make Russia and Ukraine quarrel.' Yanukovych, 59, who has promised to restore Russian as Ukraine’s second official language, also says he will seek to balance Russian and European Union ties." (Bloomberg)



"As an afternoon drive-time radio host in Phoenix, J.D. Hayworth did a killer impression of John McCain. He lampooned Arizona’s senior senator as a closet liberal who wants to raise taxes, coddle terrorists, and grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. But these days the former Republican congressman isn’t taking requests for his John McCain shtick. 'As much as I’d like to do that,' Hayworth explains, 'now that I’m back running for elective office, I’ve retired that impersonation from my repertoire.' But I hear it’s pretty good, I tell him. 'Thank you,' he replies. 'But flattery, in this case, is going to prove ineffective.'" (TheDailyBeast)

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