ARTICLES 2000 – 20022019-05-15T21:15:47+00:00

Reeling and Dealing

The New York Observer, October 15, 2001

By Petra Bartosiewicz and James Verini, with Blair Golson

Earlier this month, City Comptroller Alan Hevesi tried to put a number on the economic fallout from the World Trade Center attack, releasing a report that estimated the loss at somewhere between $90 billion and $105 billion over the next two fiscal years. Of that, $45 billion was for the […]

Power Surge: Thousands Worked to Get the Financial District Ready for Comeback Monday

The New York Observer, September 24, 2001

By James Verini

The ringing of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 17 not only announced the resumption of trading in the post-9/11 world — it also marked the successful completion of a massive attempt to restore the infrastructure of downtown Manhattan so business, if not life itself, could return to […]

Bull Market: Forrest and Kimberly Smith Think New Yorkers Will Be Kookaburra for Their Cheap Steaks

The New York Observer, August 20, 2001

By James Verini

Forrest Smith and Kimberly Farkas Smith have a grand scheme. They know that New Yorkers love steak. But they think the city is underserviced by the existing crop of snooty, expensive steakhouses. New Yorkers want beef, big heaping chunks of it, the Smiths believe, but they want it for cheap.

So here’s what […]

You’ve Got Friends: Why Mark Green Can I.M. AOL

The New York Observer, July 23, 2001

By James Verini and Alexandra Wolfe

Mark Green, the Mayoral candidate, was in the lobby of 55 Broad Street on Monday, June 25, working up a frothy pitch about the Internet, technology, high-speed access.

“We have to expand broadband,” the Democratic candidate said at the campaign stop. “The next Mayor has to sit down with Verizon and AOL Time Warner and […]

For 2001 Interns, It’s Perks, Parties and Plenty of Envy

The New York Observer, July 30, 2001

By James Verini

As if anyone needed reminding, Wall Street stinks right now. Revenues are in the gutter; the Nasdaq, once your pot of retirement gold, has dwindled down to just a pot; with every swing of the ax, more and more of your floormates are spending their days pecking around on Hotjobs.com.

If you haven’t […]

Ron’s TV Bloc Bust: Lauder Heir Faces U.S. Probe, Huge Losses Over Eastern Europe Media Empire

The New York Observer, July 2, 2001

By James Verini

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ronald Lauder looked east and saw “business opportunity” scrolling across the TV screens of every nation in the Eastern bloc. Oh, to be there first and grab it all, as state-run media fell into the hands of the private sector and glasnost, the free exchange of […]

So How Much Is a Painting of a Couch?

The New York Observer, June 18, 2001

By James Verini

If you’ve ever wondered which French painter’s work is the equivalent of General Electric stock, Michael Moses, who teaches courses in something called “operations management” at the New York University’s Stern School of Business, can tell you. It’s Claude Monet, without a doubt. His Impressionist works are the best investments on the art […]

Pushing ‘Privatization,’ Wall Street Tyrant Makes Takeover Bid for City Schools

The New York Observer, June 18, 2001

By James Verini

If the Guardian Angels celebrating their 22nd anniversary at Tavern on the Green wasn’t an incongruous enough sight, there were the four famous New Yorkers, from wildly disparate walks of public life, standing on the small stage in the restaurant’s back room at the event’s climax. None of them knew each other, but […]

Apres Rudy — What Deluge?

The New York Observer, June 11, 2001

By Terry Golway with Observer staff

The city Rudy Giuliani inherited on Jan. 1, 1994, was said to be ungovernable, which is the kind of thing that people west of the Hudson have always said about New York. They said it when Edwin Forrest and his friends broke up a performance by William C. Macready in […]

Analyst Makes Blockbuster Calls: Buy Fox, Hold Disney

The New York Observer, June 4, 2001

By James Verini

Two days before what threatened to be the biggest Memorial Day box-office weekend ever — bigger than the same four days in 1997 that included the $90 million opener for The Lost World: Jurassic Park — Christopher Dixon was sussing out the film studios’ offerings. There was Pearl Harbor: too violent, maybe, for […]

Now It’s Revealed: City Saved by Elaine!

The New York Observer, May 28, 2001

By James Verini

There was a time when bankers hung out at Elaine’s as much as reporters, former police commissioners and Woody Allen. Or so one could conclude after listening to all the anecdotes about Felix Rohatyn that floated from the dais at the Pierre on the night of Thursday, May 17.

Three hundred or so Jewish […]

Liar’s Poker Lives: Entrepreneur Conjures Bygone Era of Bluffs and High Stakes

The New York Observer, May 21, 2001

By James Verini

He whispered a few words. The traders in the vicinity eavesdropped. What Gutfreund said has become a legend … He said: “One hand, one million dollars, no tears.” Meriwether grabbed the meaning instantly. The King of Wall Street, as Business Week had dubbed Gutfreund, wanted to play a single hand of a game […]

Move Over, Seinfeld: Carl Icahn Has ‘Em Rolling in the Aisles

The New York Observer, May 21, 2001

By James Verini

Carl Icahn is a very funny guy. Seriously.

Just ask anyone who was present at the Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund Investment Conference in the late afternoon on Wednesday, May 9, where the legendary arbitrageur and raider slayed the crowd in the Grand Hyatt ballroom. A few hundred suits had gathered there to pick up stock […]

Grant, Having Battled Bulls, Wins War Between the Rates

The New York Observer, May 14, 2001

By James Verini

There is a place where smart bears gather. There is a place where conservative investors with literature degrees, CNBC-hating index wonks, articulate doomsday types and students of financial arcana get together to commiserate and, these days, to lick their chops. It is called the Grant’s Interest Rate Observer Spring Investment Conference — “Grant’s […]

Where’s Wall Street? Morgan Once Defined It — Now It’s Tourists, Delis and Condos

The New York Observer, May 7, 2001

By James Verini

Last September, J.P. Morgan & Company stupefied the world of banking, and many within its own walls, when it announced that it was being bought by big, boring Chase Manhattan Bank. Not only was this most hallowed of Wall Street institutions giving up its treasured autonomy after more than a century, but it […]

Hotel Occupancies Starting to Decline, but Bars Fill Up

The New York Observer, March 12, 2001

By James Verini

At Olives on a recent Friday evening, getting a table for 7 p.m. or any other hour that night — or the next, for that matter — was out of the question. Todd English’s restaurant, in the new W Hotel on Union Square, was booked solid. In fact, it was all one could […]

New Movie Tycoon Philip Anschutz Wants to Make Celluloid Obsolete

The New York Observer, March 26, 2001

By James Verini

Last spring, in the middle of shooting Spy Kids, which opens March 30, executive producer Cary Granat vanished. As head of Dimension Films, a subsidiary of Miramax, Mr. Granat had pulled off the absurdly profitable hits Scream 3 and Scary Movie. He was Bob Weinstein’s golden boy. Then, suddenly, he was gone.

“I wondered […]

Reese’s Pieces: Mr. Schonfeld, Forgotten Founder of CNN

The New York Observer, January 29, 2001

By James Verini

Reese Schonfeld is not taking calls from the press these days. He is not ready to talk about “the book.” The book, though only a couple of weeks away from publication, is off-limits. The book, despite its provocative title — Me and Ted Against the World: The Unauthorized Story of the Founding […]

The Last Dance: They Decease for Credit Suisse

The New York Observer, December 11, 2000

By James Verini

Around 6 p.m. on Oct. 3, what was left of the equities division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. began packing into the Supper Club for its last official fall party. In past years, the affair could be counted on to turn into a tipsy blast. Equities analysts and salespeople work hard, and […]