Serena Thinks Gossip Girl Is Chuck!Since the writers’ strike has been keeping us from passing judgment on what’s real and fake on Gossip Girl, we took the debate to the street at last night’s celebration for the New Old Navy. The minute we saw Chace Crawford and Blake Lively, we of course asked them whether they read our awkwardly obsessive coverage. Both seemed politely interested (though previously unaware) of our weekly recaps. “Oh my goodness! I’m flattered!” laughed Lively, while Crawford asked us to show it to him on the red carpet, and told us that even though he “isn’t a big Internet blogger,” he’ll check it out. OMG! Did you hear that guys? They’re such liars. Even we Google ourselves and check to at least page three, and we’re not famous. But anyway, we know it’s standard stalkee procedure to pretend your stalker has no effect on your life. While talking blogs, we also dug into the carefully guarded identity of Gossip Girl herself. Lively laughed off the rumors of it being Eric, saying “I personally think it’s Chuck,” and real-life Gossip Girl narrator Kristen Bell took the more cerebral route: “She’s just that eminent being in the back of your head, the little devil on your shoulder all the time.” It felt like a good high-school gab session when Lively bragged to us about how she’s the best Guitar Hero player in the cast (hello! Just like on episode eight!) and her Crumbs cupcake routine (“I cut them into fours and love the peanut-butter and red-velvet ones”.) But as it turns out, we aren’t the only ones feeling that Serena and Nate are Just Like Us: “While we were on set, these very Upper East Side–ish kids came up to me and said, ‘We are, like, you guys, in real life.’ But I was like ‘I am so sorry to hear that, I would not wish that upon anybody, our lives of debauchery and scandal.’” Wish it upon us, Chace. Wish it upon us every Wednesday night, please! —Amy Preiser
Hear more from the New Old Navy Party, with quotes and pictures of Heatherette, Kirsten Bell, and Sophia Bush!
And we know you need more Gossip Girl, so just get it over with and click here.
Being Filthy Rich Means Never Having to Say You’re SorryFINANCE
• Fortune searches Davos for financiers to express contrition over the current credit crisis but comes up empty. The closest anyone has come, the magazine notes, is the chairman and chief executive of Moody’s Corp, who said, “We and others have to retool our processes In hindsight, it’s clear to us that there were fundamental failures in key assumptions supporting our analytical models.” Quoth Fortune: “That’s probably a little too mealy-mouthed and much too late to console people who bought the mortgage-backed commercial paper to which Moody’s and its rival Standard & Poor’s gave a top-notch AAA rating — only to discover it was actually junk.” Snap! [Fortune]
• Just how big a fraud did Jérôme Kerviel, the rogue French trader, pull off? Before the bank caught him, he had taken out positions worth 50 billion euros. But some argue that he was responsible for only 1.5 billion euros in losses, and the bank’s board lost the other 3.4 billion euros unwinding his positions way too fast. Meanwhile, top executive Jean-Pierre Mustier told the Times: “I was speaking to a competitor, this competitor called me and said, ‘You are living what is a banker’s worst nightmare.’” Imagine how dramatic that must have sounded in French. [FT, NYT]
• Bonuses now in the bank, Goldman rewarded bankers for a record-setting year with a special surprise: layoffs! [Deal Journal/WSJ]