Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[Video] NY Times: Wall Street's Back Baby!

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Good news as we prepare to think of all the things to give thanks for - Wall Street's back baby!   Maybe not 100% of the way back but we'll round up from 97.2% and call it even.  Your just over 0% savings rates and sub 1% CD rates are helping to fund an easy money orgy of renewal for the only constituent that really matters.  QE2? ZIRP? Feed me!  [Nov 10, 2010: Who Will Any Form of Intermediate Term Wealth Effect Really Help? Not the Masses]

As you know by now - based on trickle down effects - a healthy Wall Street means we all win.  Wait, what was the catch phrase in 2008?  Ah yes Main Street = Wall Street.  Granted most on Main Street don't have annual budgets for cosmetic surgery but enough with the details.... just stick to dogmatic bullet points that fit nicely on a bumper sticker.  And remember, based on 'trickle on down' economics; when that house in the Hamptons is rented for $400K for the summer weekends, it means 2 extra maids are employed which means 0.32 extra nail technicians need to be hired, which means we all prosper. ;)  Or for every 46 cosmetic surgeries one extra anesthesiologist is hired, who can then buy groceries, creating an extra bag boy position, etc and so forth.  The key thing to remember is if the top 0.1% does not prosper the rest of America rots.  See how Sweden, Australia, and Germany are destitute for example. (damn socialists)   If you disagree with me, you are obviously one who engages in class warfare ... punk!  So put down your pitchforks ... or put them back in the turkey where they belong.... and get back to the employment office to file your weekly claim and let's celebrate.   Who wants to hire a midget!??  (remember for every 24 midgets hired.... oh nevermind)

Video (3 minutes)

[I can't embed video so you need to go here]

Story via NY Times:
  • Exuberance made a comeback this year at Josh Koplewicz’s annual Halloween party. More than 1,000 people packed into a 6,000-square-foot space at the Good Units night club in Manhattan, a substantially larger crowd than in the last several years. The open bar was sponsored by Russian Standard vodka, and Mr. Koplewicz, an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs, was able to snag a big headliner: the hip-hop star Lil’ Kim, who performed dressed in a black cat costume.
  • The scene was more extravagant in September, at a 50th birthday party in Hong Kong for Brian Brille, the head of Bank of America Asia Pacific. Mr. Brille, who is well known on the New York social scene, wore a gray Hugh Hefner-esque jacket. Women dressed like Playmates, with feather boas and satin ears, danced behind a pink silk screen.
  • Two years after the onset of the financial crisis, the stock market is recovering and Wall Street’s moneyed elite are breathing easier again. And this means in some cases they are spending again — at times cautiously, but sometimes with a familiar swagger.
  • It’s true that firms scaled back the corporate excesses, like fancy retreats and private jets, for which they were vilified as a brutal recession gripped the country. Many of those constraints remain in place, like flying commercial on business trips, or more limited private car service for employees.
  • But when it comes to personal indulgences, there are signs that the wallets are beginning to open up. Traders and executives say that jobs seem much more secure. Businesses whose fortunes ebb and flow with the financial markets are thriving again.  
  • “Wall Street is back spending as much if not more than before,” said the New York dermatologic surgeon Dr. Francesca J. Fusco, whose business is booming again after a difficult few years.
  • Christie’s auction house says investors from the financial world who fell out of the bidding market during the 2008 credit crisis are “pouring” back in.
  • Real estate agents say Wall Street executives have already begun lining up rentals in the Hamptons for next summer. Dolly Lenz of Prudential Douglas Elliman said the bidding this year was “hotter and heavier” than previous years. “There is a passion now in the market I haven’t seen in a while,” she said.  She said her clients, almost exclusively from Wall Street, were afraid to lose out. Just recently, Ms. Lenz said, she had three people bidding more than $400,000 for a summer rental in Southampton.
  • In the years leading up to the credit crisis some executives became famous for their expenditures, like L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco International, whose $6,000 shower curtain became a symbol of unnecessary extravagance.  (don't forget the birthday party for his wife with the ice sculpture that could.... err - just go google it.  Whatever happened to that guy?  Err... nevermind)
  • Some of that excess remains. A Morgan Stanley trader recently tried to hire a dwarf for a bachelor party in Miami, asking the dwarf to meet him at the airport in a “Men in Black” style suit, according to e-mail exchanges. The trader, who wanted to handcuff the dwarf to the bachelor, was recently fired.
  • Most expenditures, however, are for more mainstream indulgences. Marc B. Porter, a senior executive at Christie’s, says Wall Street workers for whom the auction market was recently seen as “out of range” are pouring back in
  • In recent months, Deborah Killoran, a client of Dr. Fusco’s, has been more willing to open the purse strings for cosmetic surgery. This month she is scheduled for an ulthera, a nonsurgical face-lift that costs $3,000 and upward.  Ms. Killoran, who runs a Brooklyn-based insurance company, says that over the last two years she cut her annual spending on cosmetic surgery in half, to about $3,000. She is now spending at pre-2008 levels.

The bifurcation of American society continues on pace - the trendlines of where this is headed in a generation or two is fascinating.  Just remember during the next crisis, it is important we all sacrifice to make sure the top tier of society can continue their art purchases.  Our ability to purchase high end art, keep our biannual cosmetic procedures consistent, and fund the 1 in 4 children (ex-Manhattan) on food stamps, are beacons to the rest of the world.

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