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Friday, September 16, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Mother Nature's distribution of oil and gas resources around the world suggests she has a mischievous sense of humor. In the Persian Gulf, South China Sea, and Caspian Sea, large fields lie in disputed zones between unfriendly neighbors. Now we must add another hot spot to that list. New, giant, natural gas finds promise to transform the energy security and economy of Israel and, perhaps, its neighbors. But these treasures could hardly have been better placed to stir up trouble, complicating three of the world's most intractable conflicts: between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and Lebanon, and Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The recent sharp deterioration in Turkish-Israeli relations makes disputes over gas even more fraught with danger. Golda Meir, the feisty, cantankerous, and quotable fourth Israeli prime minister, used to complain that Moses led the Israelites through the desert for 40 years to bring them to the only place in the Middle East without oil. In 2000, after Britain's BG had discovered significant volumes of gas at Gaza Marine, she was proved at least half-wrong when U.S. exploration company Noble Energy found a similar-sized field, Mari-B, in Israeli waters. In 2009, though, Noble put these efforts completely into the shade. Some bold and creative geological thinking led it to find 8.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in deep water at Tamar, the world's largest discovery that year. In late 2010, Noble uncovered an even larger field, aptly named Leviathan, containing 16 Tcf. These fields alone could meet U.S. gas demand for an entire year." (ForeignPolicy)



"As Switzerland’s central bank imposed a limit on the franc’s appreciation against the euro on Sept. 6, UBS AG trader Kweku Adoboli’s Facebook profile had a plea for his friends: 'Need a miracle.'
Just over a week later, at 3:30 a.m. yesterday, police in London arrested the 31-year-old Adoboli on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position. UBS told investors less than five hours later that 'unauthorized trading by a trader' it didn’t identify caused a $2 billion loss. Adoboli worked on the bank’s Delta One desk, a unit that handles trades for clients, typically helping them to speculate on or hedge the performance of a basket of securities. It also takes risks with the bank’s own money in arranging trades. It was the same kind of desk as the one worked by Jerome Kerviel, who triggered a 4.9 billion-euro loss ($6.8 billion) for France’s Societe Generale SA in January 2008. 'It couldn’t come at a worse time for UBS,' said Fred Ponzo, a former trader at Societe Generale and capital markets adviser at Greyspark Partners in London. 'The thing is, it’s very hard to go through the fail-safes by error. The only way to dig a hole this big is by design. You have to ask the question that if this is a $2 billion hole, is this is a failure of technology and risk management?' The arrest as global regulators are pressing banks to curb their proprietary trading is likely to revive calls for financial institutions to increase controls on risk and separate their investment banking from their retail businesses. It may also force Chief Executive Officer Oswald Gruebel, 67, to abandon further expansion of UBS’s investment bank." (Businessweek)



"A wild foursome sparked the interest of an A-List crowd celebrating Nas’ birthday Wednesday night. Jay-Z, Carmelo and La La Anthony, Ne-Yo, Common, Andre Harrell and Mos Def marked the rapper’s 38th at new hot spot Catch in the Meatpacking District. 'While everyone was celebrating, a foursome was going on at the Gansevoort Hotel across the street,' a witness told Page Six. 'Everyone turned their attention to the lucky guy who left the shades to his hotel room open while he was all over three other girls. The group sex was the talk of the party.' After midnight, Nas’ crowd headed upstairs to Jeremy Scott’s Belvedere Red after-party, where the hipster-fashion bash turned hip-hop." (NYPost)



"Hipster favorite, Jeremy Scott, knows exactly what he's doing. His front row reeks of cool each and every season and this time's no exception. The average age of Scott's front row looked to be around 18. Fashion plates Catherine Baba and Leigh Lezark shmoozed it up prior to the show, while Ellie Goulding and Peaches Geldof hugged it out to the side. Peaches said of Scott, 'I met Jeremy through my good friend and Jeremy's muse, Jonny Makeup, while I was staying in LA when I was 17, 18 or so. Jeremy's been my saving grace ever since and I love everything he puts together.' He likes 'em young, it appears, as budding pop star Sky Ferreira (whose album drops Spring 2012) divulged she met Jeremy 'in LA when I was 14. We worked recently together on the Adidas campaign.' Perhaps the eldest member of Scott's front row roster was shy rocker, Michael Stipe, who was overheard sarcastically telling an E! News reporter that he was 'just the most fashionable person on the planet.'" (Papermag)


"Illusionist David Copperfield allowed a select group a rare glimpse of his antique-filled penthouse at a party to toast his being crowned 'Magician of the Century.' Copperfield gave guests, including Roberto Cavalli and Michael Stipe, tours of his East 57th Street pad, which boasts a floor devoted to rare, restored turn-of-the-century vintage arcade machines, including a fortune teller, a strength tester, quarterscopes and a magical massager. Of his award, presented by Vinny Grosso, president of the Society of American Magicians, Copperfield told us, 'It is a great honor to be recognized by my peers and by the organization founded by Harry Houdini. I am a perfectionist, but this means a lot.' He was toasted by attendees, including Steve Tisch, Owen Wilson, Peter Brant, Rita Schrager and Blaine Trump. Naomi Campbell, an expected guest, did not appear. She pulled up on the street outside in her SUV but, instead of joining the party, remained inside the car for over an hour, at one point asking for the nearest Starbucks, before driving off. A source told us she was headed to the airport. Another eerie moment occurred during the tour of Copperfield’s pad when a mystery man was discovered inexplicably dancing in the tub in the bathroom adjoining the bedroom. The stranger was immediately ordered to disappear." (PageSix)


"Last night I stopped by the penthouse apartment of Hilary and Wilbur Ross where Diana Taylor, Michael Schlein and Gina Harman were hosting a cocktail reception to launch Accion’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, with Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup as Guest of Honor. There was a good crowd, including Liz and Jeff Peek, Mary McFadden, Edgar Battista, Yaz and Valentine Hernandez, Ann Rapp, Cece Cord, Sharon Handler, Ann Dexter Jones, Richard Turley, Glenn Horowitz and Tracey Jackson, Ellery and Marjorie Reed Gordon, Estie and Dan Brodsky. Accion International is a private, non-profit organization founded fifty years ago to address the desperate REAL poverty in Latin America’s cities by giving people the financial tools to work their way out of it." (NySocvialDiary)

"After more than a week of fashion parties, the casualties are starting to pile up. Having hosted a bash for Another Magazine the night before, Jefferson Hack didn't make it to his own Dazed & Confused dinner at Edi & the Wolf last night, a celebration of the mag's recent Club Monaco campaign ... Meanwhile, in his 54th-floor penthouse in midtown (with views that stretch clear into…what is that, Colorado?) magician and Fantastic Man profile subject David Copperfield hosted a magazine party of his own, celebrating his spread, his birthday, and a new honorific: King of Magic, so crowned by the Society of American Magicians. Owen Wilson, Roberto Cavalli, Michael Stipe, China Chow, John Currin and wife Rachel Feinstein Currin, Sean MacPherson, and Peter Brant were a few who came to take it in. The multilevel space is filled with Copperfield's collections, which range from movie memorabilia (the Best Director Oscar for Casablanca) to artists' mannequins (including the one Cézanne used) to turn-of-the-century arcade games housed in their own fin de siècle amusement room.The view into his sanctuary (well, his New York one, at least) was a rare treat." (Style)

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