Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Dynasties that Own Manhatten

Two from CNN Money:
All in the families
Private equity firms and REITs may be charging into commercial real estate, but these multigenerational clans still control huge chunks of New York City's iconic skyline. Photographs by Lamia Maria Abillama

Pasta panic strikes Italy
The price of wheat is up 60% this year, and in Italy they're taking to the streets over the cost of tortellini, writes Fortune's Peter Gumbel.

Something unusual is going on in the pasta section of the largest supermarket in Parma, Italy, these days. All the pasta is still there, stacked on both sides of a tennis-court-length aisle in the center of the store. The dizzying choice, too, is the same as in many Italian supermarkets: dozens of shapes, sizes, and colors, ranging from banal penne and rigatoni to lumachine, shaped like tiny snail shells.

What's new are the big signs fluttering above the aisle and affixed to the partitions at the Ipercoop market, a short drive from Parma's city center. In capital letters, they declare, WE ARE NOT MOVING.

The movement in question has to do with the price of pasta, which has jumped about 20% this year for some varieties, touching off a nationwide protest. But the story behind the price hike is a global saga involving agricultural policies, commodity-market speculation, the growing use of ethanol as an alternative fuel, and Australian drought....MORE