Ms. Lenora Jane Estes
Total subscriptions 854,534
Newsstand sales 344,084
% men/women 23/77
Median age 41
Median hh income $78,187
From world affairs to entertainment, business to fashion, crime to society, Vanity Fair is a cultural catalyst—a magazine
that provokes and drives the popular dialogue globally. With its unique mix of long-form narrative journalism, stunning
photography, and social and cultural commentary, Vanity Fair accelerates ideas and images to the world’s center stage.
READER PROFILE: Vanity Fair’s 7.1 million readers are affluent, smart, stylish, and voraciously interested in the world.
Median age: 40.6. Median household income: $78,187. Seventy-three percent of V.F.’s readers have attended or
graduated from college; 77 percent are women; 23 percent are men. (Source: MRI Doublebase 2010)
Single Topic Issue No. 2: The Money Issue (April)
Single Topic Issue No. 2: The Money Issue (April) [Vanity Fair]
The economic crisis was much on the minds of Americans in 2010, and Vanity Fair was there, as always, to lead the
conversation. We devoted April’s issue to Money (“It’s Still About Greed and . . . Money”), calling upon some of business
journalism’s finest minds and voices to ponder questions, provide explanations, and dig for the roots of our nation’s fiscal
woes. Indeed, according to a recent assessment by Reuters: “Vanity Fair has, improbably, become the home of the best
financial journalism in the world of magazines.”
For our cover, Michael Douglas appears decked out as Gordon Gekko—after all, it was the “greed is good” philosophy,
articulated in the 1987 movie Wall Street, that helped get us into this mess in the first place. In a perfect marriage of writer
and subject, V.F. contributing editor Michael Lewis, whose Liar’s Poker was the definitive text on the crash of 1987, talks to
Wall Street director Oliver Stone, whose film predicted that collapse. In “Greed Never Left,” Stone shares with Lewis his
disappointment that his movie, meant to be a cautionary tale, inspired, rather than gave pause to, a generation of bankers.
“I was shocked, truly shocked, when I went back there,” says Stone, of Wall Street itself—where he returned to shoot the
sequel, Money Never Sleeps. “A million dollars had become a billion dollars. They’d replaced people of substance with
people who made money. The Volckers had become Greenspans.”
There is perhaps no better journalist than Michael Lewis when it comes to clearly explaining complex financial issues. In
“Betting on the Blind Side,” Lewis looks into the mind of elusive stock picker Michael Burry, who managed to spot the
bubble in the subprime-mortgage bond market before anyone else and then created a way to bet against it. His bet paid off
handsomely for him and his investors, yet he’s rarely discussed on Wall Street.
Suzanna Andrews traces the influence of Larry Fink, co-founder and C.E.O. of BlackRock, the world’s largest money
manager. Though few Americans know his name, Fink may be the most powerful figure in the post-bailout economy.
BlackRock, the sheer size of which has begun to raise questions, is described as “the Blackwater of finance, almost a
shadow government” by one senior bank executive, referring to the mountain of government contracts—some of which
received no competing bids—awarded to the company. The money-management firm controls or monitors more than $12
trillion worldwide—including the balance sheets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the toxic A.I.G. and Bear Stearns
assets taken over by the U.S. government last year. Andrews examines how Fink rebounded from a humiliating failure to
assume his position at the financial fulcrum of Wall Street. She also probes his role in the crisis, his unique
risk-assessment system, and the growing concern he inspires.
Rounding out the issue: In “Lehman’s Desperate Housewives,” Vicky Ward examines the family lives of the executives
who played a role in the venerable investment bank’s demise. Columnist John Heilpern goes to lunch with televangelist
Joel Osteen, whose “prosperity gospel” has brought him millions of followers around the world, along with many millions of
dollars in personal wealth. “I think the people I’m talking to would say that if God did it for me, He can do it for them,” he
tells Heilpern. Sounds a little like coveting thy neighbor’s goods—one of the admonitions that Christopher Hitchens says, in
his provocative essay “The New Commandments,” that he would like to rework.