WHEN it comes to judging the various literary tomes spurned by the credit crunch, this innovative scale has to take the biscuit.
The Capitalist chances upon a rankings guide to the latest books about the crisis, courtesy of Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed blog – and instead of measuring them by content, style or informative value, the scale is based on the number of times the author uses the F-word.
“I get asked all the time what the best f***ing book is about the financial crisis,” muses Kedrosky, who has painstakingly been through a number of said books to work out their quota of f**ks per page.
Andrew Ross Sorkin’s bestseller Too Big to Fail had easily remained at the top of the league until the recent publication of The Big Short, by notorious Liar’s Poker author Michael Lewis. (Lewis’s offering trounces its rival 0.6 f**ks per page compared to 0.03, for those interested in the specifics.)
Given the level of executive angst provoked by the stresses and strains of the crisis, the scale – though it may seem flippant – may well catch on...
Just when we all thought paying through the nose for novelty investments had gone well and truly out of fashion, up pops a tale to prove us all very wrong.
A copy of Action Comics edition one – the very first comic ever to feature Superman – sold for a record $1.5m, just shy of £1m, earlier this week, smashing an earlier record set by Batman’s comic debut.
Apparently, the comic in question is particularly valuable because it is in mint condition, having been kept buried in a stack of old magazines for the past half a century.
“Some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs were yesterday’s comic geeks,” says Vincent Zurzolo, co-founder of ComicConnect, which sold the prize item. “They don’t want a Van Gogh or a Picasso. They want collectibles that mean something to them…”
Start digging through your drawers, ladies and gents.
DINNER IS SERVED
A date for the diaries of all connoisseurs in the City: the Chef and Fine Wine Dinner, taking place at the Vintners’ Hall on 20 April.
The evening, in aid of drinks industry charity The Benevolent and the Academy of Culinary Arts, will set you back £200 per ticket – though for that, you’ll sample sumptuous wines and dishes by no less than four of the world’s top chefs.
Benoit Blin (of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons fame), legendary Frenchman Albert Roux (above right), Brian J Turner and John Williams from The Ritz will be juggling the pans in the kitchens, emerging to give guests a presentation on the creation of each course. Call 0207 089 3888 for details.
Descend to your wine cellars and dust off those ancient bottles: vino is officially back in vogue.
Fine wine merchants Bordeaux Index yesterday said it had sold the most expensive single bottle of wine in its 13-year history, flogging an imperial bottle of Pétrus 1982 to a collector in Hong Kong for a toe-curling £45,000.
(Apparently, Far Eastern investors are increasingly turning to wine as an investment proposition, making up for their Western counterparts’ relative frugality in recent years.)
Still, the hefty sale doesn’t even come close to the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold – still held by a 1787 Chateau Lafite, which fetched $160,000 at auction in London 25 years ago. The bottle had once belonged to US president Thomas Jefferson and bore his initials engraved into the glass.
M IS FOR MASCOT
Is there no end to the ruses US entrepreneur Vernon Hill will employ to rake in the customers to his fledgling Metro Bank here in the UK? I hear Metro is currently mulling letting a new touchy-feely mascot out on the streets of London in the form of a giant foamy “M”, to promote the bank’s services.
A transparent stunt, you might think, but Hill has reason to believe it’ll work. In the States, his giant Commerce Bank venture enjoyed popularity for years with its “Mr C” mascot, who cavorted on telly and at various public events until he was replaced by an M when the firm rebranded to Metro Bank last year. Nothing like sticking to the tried and tested, is there?