NPR’s Planet Money—which was born out of the Peabody award-winning This American Life episode about the financial crash in 2008, “The Giant Pool of Money”—is the financial news digest of choice for plenty of people who enjoy their finance explained to them in a generalist, Ira Glass-approved tone. Now, the show and Davidson are coming under fire for some perceived standards and ethics breaches. Let’s break this down.
THE KNICKS DON'T LIN
At the beginning of 2012, when the phenomenon of Jeremy Lin known to many as “Linsanity” hit New York City seemingly out of nowhere, it took the stock price of Madison Square Garden Entertainment (which owns the New York Knicks) with it: Up, up, and away. Now that Lin is leaving the Knicks, what’s happening to MSG chairman James Dolan and Co.’s stock price?
In the days leading up to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s bombshell announcement of $2.3 billion in trading losses, chairman and chief executive officer Jamie Dimon faced a delicate predicament. His executives had scheduled visits with banking analysts to discuss the state of affairs at JPMorgan—the company whose stock Mr. Dimon knew was sure to plummet when news of the trading losses were disclosed. These weren’t just any trading losses, of course; they were losses incurred on credit derivatives bets placed by a mysterious trader nicknamed the London Whale and Voldemort by the financial press. And it wasn’t just any bet—it was the same trading position that Mr. Dimon had described as “a complete tempest in a teapot” not one month previous.
“On the inside, Dimon must have been trying to figure out what was happening with the trade, and what to do about it,” said Frank Partnoy, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker, currently a law professor at the University of San Diego. “It’s like he has an inside personality, and an outside personality that he shows the world, and the two things must have been in conflict, like what politicians deal with when they’re handling a crisis.”
The Wee Hours
Almost a month after a group of well-educated New Yorkers first unrolled their sleeping bags in Zuccotti Park, The Observer took a taxicab to 64th Street and Fifth Avenue to attend a gathering at the home of John Gutfreund. It was a cocktail party to celebrate The Artist, an Oscar hopeful that had just had its premiere at the New York Film Festival. Mr. Gutfreund’s wife, Susan, had been generous enough to invite the cast, crew, and producers to her and her husband’s home for a thing after.
Most of those involved in the film spoke French, and Ms. Gutfreund is fluent.
“This was all my wife’s idea,” Mr. Gutfreund told The Observer.
The 1980s boom-time chief of Salomon Brothers was slim beneath his suit, but not frail, and his thin oval spectacles only enhanced his stature. We spoke about his friend Katherine’s son, who used to write about nightlife for this newspaper. George, we told Mr. Gutfreund, is doing well. Then arms took other arms and we lost each other, for the moment, somewhere between Hamish Bowles and Harvey Weinstien.
Life is stirring again at the ghostly Drake Hotel site.
With financing for development sites still virtually frozen, CIM Group has received a $30 million mortgage from Pacific Northwestern Bank on the former home of the Gilded Age hotel, according to public records.
As The Observer reported in February, the spot at Park Avenue and 57th Street is likely the only existing development Read More
A boutique office building at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, the Corinthian original home of the Metropolitan Museum, has secured $150 million in financing.
The influx of capital at 681 Fifth Avenue, a prime retail spot whose tenants include Tommy Hilfiger, will be used to pay off any outstanding debt and to fund additional pre-built floors Read More
Not long ago Burger & Barrel opened in Soho offering $25 truffle burgers as if the Great Recession were already over (or perhaps it never began). But reality comes roaring back, with news that lenders have sought to foreclose on the restaurant’s home and are marketing the loan for $8.5 million, The Observer has learned. Read More
One of the Upper East Side’s first condo-ops has secured a $24 million senior underlying co-op mortgage and a $1 million unsecured line of credit
The Royal York, near York Avenue between 63rd and 64th streets, has received a seven-year financing with a fixed-rate of 3.96 percent. The loan, provided by a local savings bank, Read More
Loans on a stalled development site are being sold to investors with an appetite for four slices of the United Nations submarket.
The current owners had considered moving air rights from the two 45th Street properties to the two on 44th Street, offering nearly 75,000 square feet of potential development in a prime area for hotels Read More
If political/financial/sports journalist Matt Taibbi were writing the introduction to this slideshow, he would probably do something self-referential, exaggerated and parodic. Something like, “Throughout his aggressive, mischievous, occasionally drug-fueled career, Taibbi has made cunnilingus jokes about a secretary of state, found the lighter side in the death of a Pope and chronicled the historical role Read More