FINANCIAL LITERACY: A fine jewelry showroom on the Upper East Side is a fitting place to toast a book that chronicles the 2008 financial meltdown, as Graff did for Maria Bartiromo’s “The Weekend That Changed Wall Street” on Tuesday night. While the locale wasn’t exactly the epicenter of the crash, it certainly felt its aftershocks. The CNBC anchor arrived at the Madison Avenue shop straight from the studio, and, after making the introductory rounds, sat down to sign away.
“I said to myself: ‘I have this access. I’m speaking to everybody. I know exactly what’s going on and what’s happening in the behind-the-scenes meetings. I’ve got to document it,’” Bartiromo said while on break from a stack of hardcovers and a line of well wishers. The book, which she wrote with Catherine Whitney, details the crisis using the September 2008 Lehman Bros. bankruptcy as a plot hinge. Bartiromo said the story has a definite stranger-than-fiction aspect, but the events of the weekend that preceded the filing were really extraordinary. Ever the broadcaster, she used a media analogy to make her point. “To think that Hank Paulson was saying to Goldman Sachs, ‘Will you save Lehman?’” she mused. “It’s like will ABC save NBC?”
— Matthew Lynch
This story first appeared in the September 23, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
BERGE’S MEDIA MOVE: The conglomerate formed by Pierre Bergé, Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel has been given the green light to take over embattled French daily newspaper Le Monde. Just over 90 percent of Le Monde SA’s internal shareholders on Tuesday voted for the move during the firm’s general assembly.
Confirming the news, Bergé said he was “extremely happy” with the decision, but declined to comment on any plan of action for the paper.
The trio in June had been given the nod for their bid to save Le Monde, beating out a rival consortium made up of France Telecom; Claude Perdriel, whose media holdings include the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, and Spanish media group Prisa, which owns a 15 percent stake in Le Monde SA.
Alongside Le Monde, Le Monde SA owns weekly magazine Télérama, among other publications.
— Jennifer Weil