OH, THE joy of listening to celebrities wax lyrical about how they’ve attuned their jet-set lifestyle to the rigours of the global recession. This week, it’s rap superstar Warren G, rapper on the 1994 track “Regulate”, who has given a no-holds-barred interview to Vanity Fair magazine about how he’s managed to emerge unscathed from the turmoil.<br /><br />The first lesson of all, according to our king of bling, is to avoid risky investments like a full-blown shoot-out between the Crips and the Bloods.<br /><br />“Put that sh*t away and forget about it,” he swaggers. “Nothin’ risky. That sh*t will kill you.”<br /><br />Next up, contact building: a lesson in how to climb the ranks of power either by terrifying or charming others into liking you.<br /><br />“One way to get some power is to get a bunch of gorillas and just start terrorizing the neighbourhood,” says the rapper. “Then I got the power and everybody going to be respecting me…Or, another way to go is I put on a suit and build a lot of relationships in the ‘hood, where people really like my style and they offer me money to invest in whatever it is I’m doing.”<br /><br />And finally, know your worth at all costs. “Everybody use the recession as an excuse. Everybody in the music industry, they be like, ‘We can’t pay you. It’s the recession, it’s the recession,’” he muses. “Recession my ass, motherf***ers. People got to get paid for what they’re worth. You know what I’m saying?”<br />Inspiring stuff.<br /><strong><br />BUBBLING UP<br /></strong>Speaking of rappers and their recessionary tactics, here’s an idea for Warren G when he next wants to gauge the state of the economy.<br /><br />Gerrie Knoetze, co-owner of City favourite Vivat Bacchus, tells me the most reliable economic barometer he’s seen in the downturn has been the number of bottles of champagne sold at the restaurant each month.<br /><br />The good news is that sales of bubbly have more than doubled since the start of the year, boosted especially by a fizz in City demand in September, after the summer lull.<br /><br />“A while ago, it was almost politically incorrect to be seen to be celebrating with champagne while colleagues were being laid off,” Knoetze tells me. <br />“People are still being careful not to choose brands that are too showy or gauche, but the mood has improved and everybody has come back from their summer holidays with renewed confidence and a sense of fun.” Bottoms up, I say.<br /><strong><br />MONEY BAGS<br /></strong>Optimistic doesn’t even begin to describe some disgruntled banking customers at present.<br /><br />Word reaches The Capitalist of a lawsuit being levied against Bank of America by one Dalton Chiscolm, who is complaining that he received poor customer service from a Spanish lady at the bank’s office in New York.<br /><br />For that grave error, Chiscolm is demanding the princely sum of 1,784 billion, trillion US dollars – which makes the estimated global gross domestic product of $60 trillion look like small change.<br /><br />“Incomprehensible,” muttered a grumpy US District Judge Denny Chin, the man who sentenced $65bn Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff to his 150 year stint in jail, who has given Chiscolm until 23 October to better explain his claim or see it dismissed.<br /><strong><br />CHOCOLATE CHOPS<br /></strong>Kraft probably thought it was being pretty smart when it decided on Friday to send out bags of Milka and Toblerone chocolate to newsrooms all over the City, either out of the kindness of its heart or as a ruse to butter up greedy hacks in the midst of its takeover bid for chocolatier Cadbury.<br /><br />But the PR machine seems to have sparked something of a rebellion amongst a handful of esteemed financial hacks at a certain pink paper who are now causing uproar, having failed to receive their share of the goodies.<br /><br />Mighty delicious they were, too, judging by the chocolate-stained chops of City A.M.’s more gluttonous staff members. Hopes are riding high for Cadbury’s next trading update...<br /><br /><strong>NAME GAME <br /></strong>A new contender for the Oxford English Dictionary?<br />Arsenal Holdings yesterday posted full year results in which it detailed measures designed to make the Emirates Stadium feel more homely, including a team huddle, timeline and Highbury “shrine”. The new noun it has coined for the programme? “Arsenalisation”. These football clubs never were ones to shy away from self promotion.<br /><br /><strong>PLAY TIME<br /></strong>The Capitalist’s recent story on the “one thumb bandit”, the latest addictive fruit-machine game to hit BlackBerrys all over the City, has sparked a flood of suggestions for the next big thing in mobile video gaming.<br /><br />Apparently, said bandit is but the tip of the iceberg – the games available for BlackBerry range from the mundane (blackjack) to the downright racy, including such gems as the “titrick” (don’t ask) and “bikini volleyball”. Who knew?