#rich people
Bwoglines: Class Conflict Edition

The original 99%er

Today, Tunisians will be heading to the polls for the first time since the ousting of Ben Ali, marking the first official election of the Arab Spring. Still, officials are worried of widespread reports of corruption could mar the election’s legitimacy. (Guardian, NYT)

Another day, another celebrity Occupies Wall Street.  This time, it was Katy Perry and Russell Brand. They won’t be the last—it’s rumored the Dark Knight Rises will be filming scenes on Wall Street at the end of the month. (Gothamist, LA Times)

But for all the talk of the economic burdens of the 99%, sometimes we ignore the creative and often absurd ways the 1% have led themselves to financial ruin.  Choice quote: “She does miss one luxury—the Gulfstream. After they defaulted on the $8 million jet loan, the banks seized the plane. The Siegels can use it only occasionally, with the banks’ permission.” A pity. (WSJ)

Warren Buffet isn’t the only one percent-er that’s against tax cuts for the rich: one wealthy Manhattan lawyer filed a lawsuit against a parking tax break he perceived as discriminating against the poor. He lost. (NYT)

Marx via Wikimedia Commons

What Is the Ivy That Appears Most Often in the NYT’s Wedding Pages?

IT IS COLUMBIA. Roar, Lion, roar!

Today on Daily Intel, we learned that there is a new website that makes the last 3,981 wedding announcements in the Times and made them into a database. Columbia has been mentioned 615 times. Browse and see if your TA married your other TA! Harvard had only 466 and Yale- Yale!- only 278! MIT is mentioned 663 times (shhh).

That means that a huge chunk of the important/rich/highly-aggressive people who get their wedding announcements in the Sunday Times are your fellow Columbians. Perhaps we spoke too soon against Floorcest.

Update: A commenter points out that “Columbia” also overlaps with British Columbia, and probably some other things mentioned in wedding announcements that aren’t actually about Columbia the school. Bwog remains certain that we beat Harvard, however.

Lecturehop: How To Spend Your Next Couple Billion


bill clintonEva Suarez attends a plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative, feels poor.

This week marked the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative — in other words, what the former President spends his time on when he’s not jetsetting with pretty ladies or hobnobbing with Kim Jong II. Clinton provides a forum for world leaders, major philanthropists, international CEOs, and prominent members of the media to discuss solutions for global problems. Unlike the Davos Convention, the emphasis is less on talking and more on creating “commitments”– explicit promises to give money to a specific plan or cause.  Clinton expects his invites to give money, even without the prospect of taking a catnap in the Lincoln Bedroom, and he strives to make sure they don’t forget it.  This was an event for the best and brightest,  or at least the richest, of Clinton’s honchos.  Before a panel on developing Northern Ireland, Clinton played the schoolyard bully and had the house lights brought up so he could call audience members who had not yet given money out by name.   Sessions seemed like trade fairs; each presenter was out for the crowd’s money as much as their interest. Thursday’s plenary session on infrastructure was no different, with panelists Jeffrey Immelt, the head of GE, Carlos Ghosn, the head of Nissan-Renault, John T. Chambers, the head of Cisco, Kristina Peterson, the head of finance of Suntech America, and Kofi Annan, Columbia Global Fellow. Moderating the panel was Ray Suarez, of the PBS Newshour.

In the green room before the show, Suarez brought the panelists together with Bill Clinton for a warm up discussion. There was continental breakfast, and Usher was also there, maybe to serve as a subtle reminder to Clinton that he’s not the first black president, no matter how many gospel churches he cries in. There was lots of juicy “off the record” conversation, and lots of swag. Repeatable from backstage — Kofi Annan likes orange juice, and Bill Clinton knows a surprising amount about planes. After about 45 minutes of croissants and basking in each other’s glory, the session began.

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Columbia Dermatology Prof Still Makes Much More Than PrezBo

 - Image via Gothamist

Last September, we reported that PrezBo made a cool $1.4 million in Fiscal Year 2007, and in November we learned that that number ranked him third among all university presidents in the country. Sounds respectable, right?

Well, maybe not: it turns out that Fearless Leader still is not the highest paid university employee. No, that honor once again goes to dermatology professor Dr. David Silvers, who received $4.3 million in compensation in FY 2007, second in the country only to some dude who draws arrows on blackboard for a living (USC head football coach Pete Carroll, who received $4.4 million for winning two national championships and being on national TV way pretty much every Saturday in the fall).

This is at least the fourth year in a row that Silvers has been Columbia’s highest paid employee, and he’s making it count: according to the Daily News, as of last year “he owns a $1.3 million Tribeca apartment, a Park Ave. home and a $1 million pad in Southampton.” Three houses – why, that’s more than Dr. Zizmor! Maybe he can spare a dime.

- JCD

Paychecks and Balances

Bloomberg has an article today highlighting the salaries of some of the city’s biggest names in arts and culture. One name on the list is your president Lee C. Bollinger, who takes home a “$1.42 million package, which included $911,284 in base pay and $500,610 in benefits.”

This puts PrezBo’s salary a little under that of Northwestern’s President, whose $1.7 million paycheck is the largest among “private, nonprofit educational institutions.” Both salaries are just below the average price of a Nussbaum & Wu product.

Gloomy Day Real Estate


Gothamist
and Daily Intelligencer are reporting that Dean Kathryn Yatrakis’ daughter Catherine, and her lovely Greek shipping magnate husband Alastair Economakis, have decided to convert a rent-controlled building on 47 E. 3rd (a building they already own, pictured at right) from $625/month apartments to their personal private 6 bedroom/5 bathroom residence.

While the conversion is perfectly legal, and the Economakis had informed their tenants of the proposed transformation years ago, it’s doesn’t exactly bode well for the couple’s public image. (Or give the impression that council with Associate Urban Studies Professor Yatrakis was sought.) Which is precisely why they’ve launched a website: to share “the other side” of the story, or so says Alastair in the site’s epigraph (in which he quotes himself.) Anyway, the whole sorry, sordid tale is available for parsing on Economakis.com

You Know You Love It

The Gossip Girl books are ludicrous preteen-girl fantasies marketed by Alloy, a tween clothing catalog. But who are we to judge quality? We are CW viewers. The TV show spin-off of Gossip Girl is The O.C. creator/executive producer Josh Schwartz’s newest foray into the world of teen melodrama. With the onset of The O.C. and Laguna Beach, television has entered a world where money is no concern and high school girls  have sex and drink while strutting around in Marc Jacobs heels. Unlike the previous two series, less class-conscious shows, Gossip Girl is set in the front lines of the class struggle between the rich and the super-rich. Bwog trash correspondents Lucy Tang and Dan D’Addario present a round-up of what you’ve missed so far in the first two episodes.


cwMost Likely to Receive Financial Aid


The Humprey Family (“I’m not trash. I’m from Brooklyn!”). The Humprey father owns a “crappy” art gallery and the family lives in a loft in Williamsburg, but they’re really poor.




Best Personality
 

Chuck, who, in the first two episodes, has tried to rape two of the show’s female leads, engaged in a threesome with two of his father’s employees, tried to beat the crap out of Dan “Williamsburg P.O.V.” Humphrey, all while wearing a disgusting patchwork scarf.



Least Realistic Aspect of the show


The Humprey’s humble abode. First of all, the aerial shots are of DUMBO, not Williamsburg (get your facts right, Josh Schwartz). Second of all, poor people live in Williamsburg lofts now?



Least Realistic Scene


Dan jumping into a cab and telling the driver, “Williamsburg!” It’s near to impossible to get a cab to Williamsburg in Manhattan; maybe the scene where Dan is furiously haggling with the cab driver was cut out. (more…)