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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"It is too late to advise Christine Lagarde to reconsider taking on the job of IMF managing director at what is likely to prove to be the most challenging period in that organization's 65-year history. There's still time, however, for her to avoid taking ownership of the terrible mess her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, created for the fund with his ill-considered bailout operations for Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Indeed, it would appear that Lagarde's interests and those of the global economy would both be served best if she were to take a fresh look at the IMF's failed policy approach to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. Not to put a fine point on it, but the IMF-EU's 'no default and no exit from the euro' approach for the European periphery is not working. The IMF and the European Union have designed a straitjacket of brutal austerity fiscal measures that are producing deep recessions in those countries, which in turn are undermining their tax bases and sapping their political will to stay the adjustment course. The current program makes no sense. Although it is patently clear that the austerity medicine is not working in Greece, the IMF and EU are about to double the dose with their latest Greek bailout package. The fund is already applying the same failed recipe to Ireland and Portugal." (ForeignPolicy)


"I remember sitting in a meeting at the International Monetary Fund back in the 1980s, debating the meaning of a small annotation in the margin of a memorandum that had just returned from the office of the managing director. It was just a squiggle; yet we debated possible interpretations for a full half an hour! This is a small example of what is well known to IMF insiders – the post of managing director is not to be taken lightly in an institution that operates like a well-disciplined army, with staff looking up to the unquestioned general for decisive leadership. This is why the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been so disruptive to the functioning of the IMF. It is also why Christine Lagarde – who following Tuesday’s public backing from Tim Geithner, US treasury secretary, will assume the post shortly barring any legal complications – must move on five key issues in her first few months at the helm. First, she must restore proper separation between the post and the political ambitions of the holder. This separation has been eroded in recent years by Europe’s decision to appoint politicians (Mr Strauss-Kahn and Rodrigo de Rato before him) and, was essentially eliminated by the widely-held view that Mr Strauss-Kahn was using his position as a springboard to the presidency of France." (Mohamed El-Erian/FT)


"Sometime after July 18, ex-IMF managing director and onetime French presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn will face off in court against prosecutors who have charged him with sexually assaulting a maid in a $3,000-a-night Sofitel suite. The hype surrounding the impending trial has been immense, fed by leaks from police and lawyers involved in the case. DSK, as he is known in France and now in New York, has been the subject of numerous rumors and conflicting reports, as tales of purported philandering and attempted assaults have flooded in. Ahead of the trial, we've assembled all available evidence, along with the sometimes conflicting rumors, secrets, and trash talk, to help you make sense of the scandal that destroyed the career of one of the most powerful men on the planet." (NYMag)


"The only 2011 movie to do more was The Hangover Part II which opened to $10.4M midnights. By contrast, Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 did $4.7M midnights. Now the comps: Transformers 1 in 2007 opened wide at 8 PM on July 3rd, which was a Monday night, and did $8.8M for all shows. Transformers 2 opened wide at midnight two years ago and did $16 million. If tracking is any indication, this threequel should do box office between the two prior films but closer to Transformers 1. So Paramount expected around $10M total for Tuesday's pre-midnight 3D-only screenings and Wednesday's midnight and later shows. The exact tally turned out to be a bigger $13.5M -- $5.5M for 3D-only pre-midnight Tuesday screenings, and $8M for Wednesday mightnights ... Paramount is expecting this latest installment in the franchise to open less than the last one in the U.S. but play to better multiples. Grosses over the seven days from Tuesday night through the Fourth Of July should hit $200M, though the studio keeps lobbing lowball estimates of $150M-$165M despite the higher 3D ticket prices ... Bring sunglasses and earplugs to Transformers 3 or you'll walk out of the theater like one Paramount exec who told me he was not just blinded by the 3D but also deafened by the battles. I hope he was just kidding, because you don't want to miss those cheap shots at Megan Fox (like the robots who complained that the other girl was mean)." (Deadline)



"Last Saturday, another beautiful summer day in the Hamptons, they held the 4th Annual Reginald Lewis Foundation Gala at the home of the Lewis family in East Hampton. The sold-out ticket drew personalities and figures from business, sports, media and philanthropy. More than 350 attended. Maurice DuBois was emcee. Leslie Lewis Sword, Lewis' eldest daughter, was chair of the luncheon. She announced that this year’s gala raised more than $665,000 toward a $1 million endowment challenge grant from Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Family Foundation, in support of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture." (NYSocialDiary)




"In 2005, Rachelle Hruska moved to New York for six months. Six years later, she's still here, heading up Guest of a Guest, the site she founded along with Cameron Winklevoss. The venture, which has expanded to Los Angeles and Hamptons, chronicles the young, rich, and beautiful in Gotham and beyond. It has become a must-read publication in almost no time, the new Page Six. Hruska leads a glamorous life - she recently married hotelier Sean MacPherson - but it's also full of meetings, trips to the gym, and dog walking (in a dog run that's 'on par with getting past the elevator doors that lead up to the Boom Boom Room.')" (Noah Davis/BusinessInsider)
 

rowr!

"Naomi Campbell’s well-practiced snarl has found a perfect new outlet: The Fall ‘11 Givenchy campaign, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Campbell is one of the major faces to front spots for Givenchy’s feline women’s collection, alongside Natalia Vodianova, Kristen McMenamy, and house favorite Mariacarla Boscono." (Style)


"What former B list television actor and now, a C- list wannabe who lives off his residuals and what he did before, recently made a bet with his friends that he could have sex with five different women in one day. Hey, when you have nothing else to do with your day, I guess you come up with these things. The sad part is that he had no problems at all meeting his quota. Do women think they are going to be with this guy permanently? Do they want to say they had sex with a has been? Is he somehow going to help their career when he cannot fix his?" (CrazyDaysandNights via Gawker)

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