Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain to Appear on Saturday Night Live

McCain is rumored to be appearing on SNL this weekend. McCain already appeared on SNL in May of this year, and he even hosted SNL back in 2002.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Millionaire Banker Wins Lottery

A multi-millionaire banker from London is the first winner of the "$1 Million a Year for Life" lottery in New York. Problem is, he already has plenty of money. According to the NY Post
"Is it going to materially change my life? No," he told The Post. "I have been a very blessed and fortunate person."....

"Don't get me wrong, no matter how rich anyone is, a million a year is a lot of money," he said. "But I don't expect this to change my life very much at all."
And due to tax treaties, Mr. Altunis won't owe any substantial taxes in either the U.S. or in Britain:
Since he lives in Britain, Altunis, an executive at the European banking firm Unicredit, will have to pay New York but not federal taxes on his winnings, which means he'll net $931,500 a year for the rest of his life.

Under a US treaty with Britain, income from lottery winnings and several other sources is not subject to taxation for British residents. Altunis is not an American citizen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Most Anticipated Movies of 2009

In a survey of movie fans who purchased tickets at their website, rated the Top-10 Most Anticipated Films of 2009:
  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  4. Public Enemies
  5. Angels & Demons
  6. Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian
  7. The Informant
  8. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
  9. The Day the Earth Stood Still
  10. The Taking of Pelham 123
The top three films among men were:
  1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  3. Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian
And the top three films among women:
  1. Angels & Demons
  2. Public Enemies
  3. Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jennifer Lopez Signs First-Look Deal with Universal TV

Universal Media Studios has signed producer-actress Jennifer Lopez and her company, Nuyorican Productions, which she runs with producing partner Simon Fields, to a two-year exclusive first-look television development deal.

The deal – aimed at creating a variety of different television series projects -- was announced today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "Jennifer Lopez is a multi-faceted superstar and we are thrilled to be in business with her," said Silverman. "NBC has been fortunate to have worked with her previously with her music specials, and now this first-look deal gives us an opportunity to explore a variety of projects which will result in some outstanding television."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

SNL - "Solid as Ba-Rock"

SNL fires up a new Barrack Obama skit. Senator Obama plays it safe and musical...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yahoo Q3 Earnings Tomorrow

Yahoo announces Q3 earnings tomorrow for what is expected to be a disappointing quarter for the Internet giant. Analysts, bloggers and reporters (led by former Internet stock analyst Henry Blodget) have recently been highly critical of Yahoo.

Yahoo is expected to announce layoffs of somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 employees at all levels.

CEO Jerry Yang also has to answer questions about the status of the AOL negotiations, the declining stock performance, the failure of Microsoft merger, and the general malaise of the company.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sarah Palin on SNL

Sarah Palin appeared on the SNL open and in a Weekend Update segment. Full videos from below.

The best lines of the evening:
  • Lorne Michaels: "Honestly, not enough people know that show [30 Rock]."
  • Alec Baldwin: "I see," he said. "Forgive me, I feel I must say this: You are way hotter in person."
  • Tina Fey: "What? The real one? By-uh!"

And of course, the moose.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tonight's SNL will include Sarah Palin and Mark Wahlberg

According to Nikki Finke's blog Deadline Hollywood Daily, tonight's SNL will feature an amazing celebrity collection of Sarah Palin, Oliver Stone, Mark Wahlberg, and Josh Brolin. Will Palin and Wahlberg get revenge for the recent spoofs?

More Scandals at the IMF

According to the Wall Street Journal, the scandals continue at the
International Monetary Fund.
The International Monetary Fund has launched an investigation into whether its chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, abused his position in connection with a sexual relationship with a subordinate, in a case that could roil a key global institution at a crucial moment in the world financial crisis.

The IMF investigation concerns Mr. Strauss-Kahn's relationship with Hungarian-raised Piroska Nagy, at the time a senior official in the IMF's Africa department. According to several individuals familiar with the matter, Mr. Strauss-Kahn in December 2007 began approaching Ms. Nagy, who is married, for an affair. The two exchanged emails about a possible intimate relationship, which these people said commenced early this year during a conference in Europe.

Shortly afterward, Ms. Nagy's husband, Mario Blejer -- a prominent Argentine-born economist who has worked at the IMF, the Central Bank of Argentina and the Bank of England -- found email evidence of the affair, they said, and the relationship apparently ended. Mr. Blejer and his wife hoped to keep the incident quiet while they worked out their problems, said several individuals with knowledge of the incident.
The investigation comes only a year after the president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, resigned amid accusations of favoritism to a World Bank employee with whom he had a long-standing relationship.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trailer for "Role Models"

New comedy in theaters, November 7th.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Congratulations Taxpayers, You Now Own Part of Your Bank

The WSJ reports that the U.S. government is taking equity stakes in nine U.S. financial institutions: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, and Merrill Lynch.

According to the WSJ:
Some of the big banks were unhappy about the government taking equity stakes, but acquiesced under pressure from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in a meeting Monday. During the financial crisis, the government has steadily increased its involvement in financial markets, culminating with a move that rivals the breadth of the government's response to the Great Depression. It intertwines the banking sector with the federal government for years to come and gives taxpayers a direct stake in the future of American finance, including any possible losses.

The government will purchase preferred stock, an equity investment designed to avoid hurting existing shareholders and deterring new ones. Such shares typically don't come with voting rights. They will carry a 5% annual dividend that rises to 9% after five years, according to a person familiar with the matter. By investing in several big firms at once, the government hopes to avoid placing a stigma on any one firm for getting government help.

One question immediately jumps out -- why don't taxpayers get voting rights?

Can John McCain Still Win?

The latest Washington Post/ABC poll shows Obama leading McCain by 10 points (53 percent to 43 percent among likely voters). With polls showing this strong a lead for Obama, asks the question of how McCain/Palin might still win the election next month... lists four factors that might still lead to a McCain win:
  • The volatile voter -- voters can change their mind up until the last minute
  • The October surprise -- an economic or foreign-policy surprise might benefit McCain
  • Another McCain dice roll -- a dramatic gambit
  • Know when to fold them -- a perfect selection by the McCain campaign of the key battleground states
The most interesting suggestion is that perhaps McCain will publicly attack the presidency of George W. Bush, certainly a risky move with the Republican base.