World Reels After Bear Stearns Is Sold For Pocket Change“This is like waking up in summer with snow on the ground,” Ron Geffner, a former SEC lawyer, told the Times of the news that last night JPMorgan, aided by the Federal Reserve Bank, bought Bear Stearns at a shocking 93 percent discount on Bear’s Friday closing price: $2 a share, or $236 million. Including the Madison Avenue headquarters, a property valued at least $1.2 billion. It was a nice present for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who celebrated his 52nd birthday on Thursday, but not so much for the world economy: Although the last-minute buyout was supposed to stem the credit crisis and, as the Fed said yesterday, “bolster market liquidity and promote orderly market functioning,” it seems to have done precisely the opposite. Markets in Europe and Asia tanked overnight, the dollar plunged, and trading on Wall Street is hobbled by fears of a domino effect. Today’s economic conditions are “the most wrenching since the end of the second World War,” Alan Greenspan told CNN. Fortunately, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, so even though there’s no green circulating in the market, there is green beer. Drink up, folks. It’s going to be a long, depressing ride.
JP Morgan Pays $2 a Share For Bear Stearns [NYT]
A Deal For Bear Stearns [WSJ]
Press Release [Federal Reserve]
Diane Sawyer Forgets to Ask Katie Holmes About the HubbaspermDiane Sawyer interviewed Katie Holmes on Good Morning America yet neglected to ask her about the rumor that she was impregnated with L. Ron Hubbard’s sperm. New York Giants Plaxico Burress, Antonio Pierce, and Ruben Droughns went to Home nightclub in Manhattan after flying back from Dallas and ordered $1,000 of Bacardi, vodka, and Champagne, but forgot to tip their waitress. Waiters at Brasserie 44 in the Royalton Hotel thought they discovered Frank Bruni’s notebook, but it turned out to belong to someone else (and they slipped in some Bruni ass-kissing to boot!). Jil Scott picked up a male model at an Allure fashion shoot and took him to Nobu. Keith Olbermann’s quote to Playboy that “Fox News is worse than Al-Qaeda” did not go over well with many of the magazine’s readers.
Breakups and the CityFormer Sex and the City partners Candace Bushnell and Darren Star are no longer speaking after Star sold a show similar to the one Bushnell was working on to a different network. Matt Lauer once had an awkward bathroom experience with Tom Brokaw. Kate Moss will launch her clothing line at Barneys on May 8. Alt Coffee on Avenue A is being turned into a stroller shop. Britney Spears may give Allure a tell-all regarding her family infighting. Lesley Stahl denies being the source of anti-Katie Couric rumors. On her way back to New York City, real-estate queen Barbara Corcoran boarded the wrong flight and ended up in Syracuse. Tyra Banks ate with Clay Aiken at Jean Georges. Andy Dick accosted two employees at a Chelsea club.
Sushi With ‘The New Yorker’; Pad Thai With ‘Allure’Another December night in New York, another round of company Christmas parties. Last night our roving party reporter Julia Allison hit The New Yorker’s annual fête — where she was allowed inside! — and Allure’s far more subdued affair. After the jump, her reviews, complete with our four-category, scale-of-1-to-5, vaguely Zagatian party ratings. (Spoiler: The New Yorker won.)
It’s Enough to Drive You Crazy If You Let ItJessica Simpson botched a Dolly Parton cover in front of her idol at the Kennedy Center, fled the stage in tears. Beyoncé is throwing Jay-Z a four-day birthday party next weekend in St. Barts, and it may also double as a wedding. Gayle King sometimes uses the n-word with her close friends, but not around Oprah. And, we presume, never at the Laugh Factory. Eddie Murphy’s Spice Girl ex is pregnant, but Murphy isn’t sure he’s the father. Peter Cook said he’s having a “tough” time dealing with his impending divorce from Christie Brinkley — his first public comments since the split. A young staffer at Allure got fired for selling beauty products from the office on eBay. Jennifer Lopez admitted to not spending much time thinking about the younger generation of Hollywood stars. The horror! Larry King’s current wife claims yesterday’s “Page Six” item about her husband owing money in Miami is “invented,” says Larry has cleaned up his act and donates lots to charity. Lance Bass and Reichen Lehmkuhl are through, though Bass may already have another boy toy. Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor practice their stroke at the Midtown Tennis Club. Sienna Miller is not respectful of airport rules and regulations. Today’s “Page Six” has three blind items, two of which may or may not be about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Brad Grey, Tom Freston, and Jim Wiatt ate lunch together. Kate Winslet was instrumental in her husband Sam Mendes’s, uh, “nailing” Julianne Moore. Leonardo DiCaprio was nice to a fan. A bit of sad news: George Clooney’s 300-pound potbellied pig, Max, passed away.