The man to blame/credit for turning the city into one big set for the new Sex and the City movie is celebrating his birthday today: SATC director/producer Michael Patrick King is 55. Singer/professional trainwreck Amy Winehouse is 26. The rapper Nas is 36. John Gutfreund, famed '80s financier and Mike Bloomberg's old boss, is 80. Tyler Perry is turning 40. Renowned architect Renzo Piano is 72. Model Carmen Kass is turning 31. Actress Faith Ford is 45. Dan Cortese is turning 42. Actress Melissa Leo turns 49. And Ashley Roberts of the Pussycat Dolls is 28.
Henry Blodget, the Wall Street analyst returned to journalism, wrote that Michael Lewis' (last?) Portfolio article on short-seller Steve Eisman and the collapse of Wall Street generally is "pure pleasure from start to finish." It's true; it's the sort of piece that will keep you up late, assuming you're remotely interested in the ongoing collapse of the modern financial system. But the article's most compelling section deals not so much with finance as with the eternal tension between writer and subject, i.e. fucking over your sources. '
Worth reading if you have the time (and you're interested in this sort of stuff): Michael Lewis's lengthy take on the financial crisis, especially the part when he meets up with John Gutfreund twenty years after the publication of Liar's Poker: "Your fucking book destroyed my career, and it made yours." [Portfolio]
What are the chances the big, fat Wall Steet bonus will go the way of the three-martini lunches (or mortgage-backed securities)? "Slim to none,'' says John Gutfreund, the former CEO of Salomon Brothers and the man responsible for ending Michael Bloomberg's career in investment banking in the early '80s. "They [bankers] are going to have to be a little bit sensitive because politicians, whether they like it or not, are part of their lives now." We'll go ahead and assume this will come as very welcome news to real estate brokers struggling to find buyers for $60 million apartments. [Bloomberg]
Author James Frey turns 39 today. Another author who has dealt with a bit of controversy is celebrating, too: Jessica Seinfeld, the wife of Jerry Seinfeld, is 37. Restaurateur Stephen Hanson is turning 59. Sculptor Robert Gober is 54. Photographer Nan Goldin is 55. Emmy Rossum is turning 22. Actor Benjamin McKenzie is 30. Book designer Chip Kidd is turning 44. Blogger and former magazine dude Jeff Jarvis is 54. Literary agent David McCormick is 47. Ben Folds is 42. And two American Idol winners are celebrating: Jennifer Hudson is 27 and Ruben Studdard is 30. On Saturday, former Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams will turn 40, Stella McCartney will turn 37, Ben Savage will be 28, and Fiona Apple will celebrate her 31st. On Sunday: Sex and the City producer Michael Patrick King will be 54, Nas will celebrate his 35th, model Carmen Kass will be 30, and former financial titan (and Mike Bloomberg's former boss) John Gutfreund will be 79.
John Gutfreund isn't having a good summer. The former chief executive of Salomon Bros (and the man who ended Mike Bloomberg's career on Wall Street) has had the apartment at 834 Fifth Avenue he shares with wife Susan slapped with a $430,000 lien by the IRS. Fortunately he won't have to pay anything to drown his sorrows. His son, JP, started a tequila company last year. [NYP]
Tequila is the new vodka, haven't you heard? That's what J.P. Gutfreund—the 22-year-old son of John and Susan—is hoping at least. Notwithstanding the fact that marketers have been pushing just such an idea for a few years now, J.P.'s big business venture is a brand of tequila called Inocente, which Gutfreund and his backers at the Black Beverage Corporation have been busy promoting as the "other white liquor." J.P.'s been everywhere helping get out the message. He threw a party in the Hamptons with Brit singer Estelle, the Post "spotted" him "sipping" Inocente with Whitney Port in the Hamptons a few weekends ago (although J.P. probably wasn't too pleased to see his name misspelled). And the night before last, he hosted a tasting party, where he was photographed with a bevy of Upper East Side ladies (all tequila converts, we're guessing). The only problem with the marketing scheme?