Billionaires Have Bad Days, TooCarl Icahn is struggling with various projects, Sharon Waxman becomes the latest media lady to start a news-aggregation Website, and — it’s official! — most City Council members pay less rent than you do, in our daily roundup of finance, media, real-estate and entertainment news.
Meredith Whitney Has Housing Woes of Her OwnThe Oppenheimer analyst, known for her harsh critiques of banks over subprime losses, displays a fondness for animal prints. Plus, ‘Playgirl’ folds, and a painter sells her pad for a pretty penny, in today’s digest of finance, media, real-estate and law news.
Ashley Alexandra Dupré Drops Suit Against ‘Girls Gone Wild’Technically, the famous call girl is forced to admit, she exploited herself. Plus! Boutique hotels in Brooklyn are fighting, NBC gets a bargain on the Weather Channel, and we all may all end up paying for the Fed bailout of Bear Stearns, in our daily roundup of law, real estate, media and finance news.
He’s an Icahnimal!Carl Icahn may be getting ready to sink his teeth into Yahoo, ‘Newsday’ girds intself for new ownership, and ‘Vogue’ editor Hamish Bowles within prime stalking distance of Daily Intel editor Chris Rovzar in our daily roundup of finance, media, law, and real-estate news.
Another Sad Day for SchwarzmanFINANCE
• Where has all of Steve Schwarzman’s money gone? A report saying that his fund would earn less than half of what was predicted caused Blackstone’s stock price to tumble. [NYP]
• Former Countrywide Financial, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch execs get ready to explain to Congress why they got huge paychecks as their shareholders lost billions. [DealBook/NYT]
• Financier Carl Icahn ups his stake in Motorola. [DealBook/NYT]
Jimmy Cayne and Richard Fuld Disinvited From the Billionaire PartyHow humiliating is it to be dropped off Forbes’ annual list of the world’s billionaires? Just ask Jimmy Cayne and Lehman Brothers’ Richard Fuld. Cayne, who stepped down from Bear Stearns earlier this year, and Fuld, who it was just announced raked in a paltry $40 million in 2007, were notably absent from this year’s list, which was released yesterday. Does this mean they will be turned away from Steve Schwarzman’s next birthday party? Will it be like, I’m sorry, sirs. Only billionaires are allowed here? If that’s the case, it’s going to be a pretty small crowd, unless Schwarzie plans to hold his fiesta in Moscow. This year, the Russian capital eclipsed New York in the amount of billionaires per capita: We have only 71, with an average net worth of $3.3 billion each, whereas in Russia, 74 billionaires, with an average net worth of $5.9 billion each, are whooping it up with the caviar blini. So other than deadbeats Fuld and Cayne, who else is keeping us down?
Rudy Takes a BreatherLAW
• Now that he’s dropped out of the White House race, Rudy Giuliani plans to decompress before he starts lawyering at Bracewell & Giuliani. [Texas Lawyer]
• Oh, snap! Skadden is so not pleased about the hottest-female-associate contest that took place on the Skadden Insider blog. [Law.com]
• Perhaps Covington & Burling should have consulted its client Major League Baseball before agreeing to represent pitcher Roger Clemens. [American Lawyer]
Yes Icahn! Billionaire Takes Up BloggingHey bloggerati! Queens-bred billionaire and master of the hostile takeover Carl Icahn is totes blogging. Why? He wants to “finally focus on more than making money,” the 72-year-old shareholder activist told The Wall Street Journal, and so he’s starting the Icahn Report, where he can post funny YouTube videos and recaps of his favorite television shows. Kidding! According to the Journal, Carl’s entries on the Icahn Report, which has not yet launched, will “highlight what he sees as management problems at public companies, including those he hasn’t invested in.” Which basically means he’s found a way to do one of his favorite things — bitch about poor governance and poor performance at public companies — without having to buy a large stake in them and install himself on the board. Welcome to the Internet, Carl. It was made for people like you.
Icahn Report [Icahn Report]
Icahn Set to Host Blog On Corporate Abuses [WSJ]
The ‘Times’ Touches Upon Checkbook Journalism — With Two Fingers, Of CourseMEDIA
• “OK!, the celebrity magazine, could not possibly have purchased all the attention it enjoyed in late December after it got the scoop that Jamie Lynn Spears, the younger and until then less sensational sister of the troubled pop queen Britney Spears, was three months pregnant. Or could it?” [NYT]
• Josh Stein isn’t actually leaving Gawker; Emily Gould will write for Jezebel; Choire Sicha will continue contributing columns; and recently departed Wonkette editor Ken Layne returned after just a few months off the job. Can anyone escape the tentacles of Nick Denton? [HuffPo]
• The Writers Guild plans to picket Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan O’Brien as the three late-night hosts return to the air. Letterman gets off easy since he struck a deal with the writers and may get a big boost since big stars (like Robin Williams, natch) won’t have to cross the pickets to go on his show. [NYO, NYT]
in other news
64 New Yorkers Make ‘Forbes’ 400You haven’t, by any chance, been feeling rich lately, have you? Sort of feeling a little bit smug that the burst of the real-estate bubble won’t splatter all over you? At least a little bit excited that in November, your every-other-Friday paycheck will come three times instead of twice? Well, just in time for all that, Forbes has released its annual list of the 400 richest people in America. And guess what? Sixty-four of them are New Yorkers! The top 100 billionaires, in fact, include household (okay, apartment-hold) names like shareholder activist Carl Icahn, Revlon CEO Ron Perelman, designer Ralph Lauren, Condé Nast chairman Si Newhouse oh yeah, and Mayor Bloomberg, who at $11.5 billion is America’s 25th richest man. According to Forbes, he more than doubled his wealth from last year, which was enough to leapfrog over rival media magnate Rupert Murdoch in the ranks.
Say It Ain’t So, ScreechQuestions surface about Screech’s sex tape: Did he use a body double, and did he make it with the intent to sell it? Disney exec and former Pataki spokesperson Zenia Mucha is not thrilled her ex-boyfriend, lobbyist Douglas Rutnik, is dating someone else. Billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn once had some trouble aboard a leased jet. New Jersey Nets part owner Jay-Z just maybe had a hand in giving a Nets Dancers clothing contract to House of Dereon, run by Beyoncé’s mom. Jane Krakowski went roller-skating. Jailed former pimp Jason Itzler wants to start a matchmaking service for rich men when he gets out. Claire Danes and Billy Crudup may have broken up. Melanie Griffith is no longer writing a dishy autobiography, much to the chagrin of the handful of people who would read a dishy Melanie Griffith autobiography. Whitney Houston once called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat bitch” in a Newsweek interview, but the mag didn’t run the quote so as not to offend any Whitney fans. Domenico Dolce, half of Dolce & Gabbana, had his pick of boys at a Miami nightclub. Obvious blind item alert: Which Tinseltown sex siren with a humanitarian streak has resumed her old habit of dabbling with heroin? Sacha Baron Cohen drinks soda, refuses to be photographed out of character. Kathy Griffin says Larry King is deaf. Liev Schreiber sweats a lot on the first date. Penélope Cruz lives with her dogs in Spain and her cats in L.A.