Epic Sympathy Fail

2 comments February 8th, 2009at 11:44am Posted by Eli

This would be really awesome if I were reading it in The Onion and not the New York Frickin’ Times…

PRIVATE school: $32,000 a year per student.

Mortgage: $96,000 a year.

Co-op maintenance fee: $96,000 a year.

Nanny: $45,000 a year.

We are already at $269,000, and we haven’t even gotten to taxes yet.

Five hundred thousand dollars — the amount President Obama wants to set as the top pay for banking executives whose firms accept government bailout money — seems like a lot, and it is a lot. To many people in many places, it is a princely sum to live on. But in the neighborhoods of New York City and its suburban enclaves where successful bankers live, half a million a year can go very fast.

Okay, I’m going to have to stop you right there.  If you’re asking for bailout money because you happily jumped on the subprime mortgage train without a care in the world for managing your risk and now your bank is imploding, then you are not, in fact, a successful banker.  I don’t know where the failed bankers live, but I bet $500,000 a year goes a long way there.

“As hard as it is to believe, bankers who are living on the Upper East Side making $2 or $3 million a year have set up a life for themselves in which they are also at zero at the end of the year with credit cards and mortgage bills that are inescapable,” said Holly Peterson, the author of an Upper East Side novel of manners, “The Manny,” and the daughter of Peter G. Peterson, a founder of the equity firm the Blackstone Group. “Five hundred thousand dollars means taking their kids out of private school and selling their home in a fire sale.”

Sure, the solution may seem simple: move to Brooklyn or Hoboken, put the children in public schools and buy a MetroCard. But more than a few of the New York-based financial executives who would have their pay limited are men (and they are almost invariably men) whose identities are entwined with living a certain way in a certain neighborhood west of Third Avenue: a life of private schools, summer houses and charity galas that only a seven-figure income can stretch to cover.

The article then goes on to itemize all those indispensable expenses that bank executives simply cannot live without, like $8,000 vacations, $4 million summer homes in the Hamptons, $125,000 armed chauffeurs, $12,000 personal trainers (so their trophy wives can look good in their $15,000 dresses), $45,000 nannies, etc., etc.

You know, there are roughly six billion people in the world, roughly 300 million Americans, and even millions of New Yorkers, who find a way to subsist on less than $500,000, and a lot of them work hard and are a lot more successful than you by any rational measure other than income.  If they can survive on their paltry salaries, then surely the bank executives who crashed their companies and our economy can find a few things to cut back on.

Entry Filed under: Economy,Media,Wankers


  • 1. woody  |  February 8th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Starting with the elite private schools.
    Wtf are they paying a nanny for, if the kids are in elite private schools, unless it’s for that taste of the strange when daddy gets home and momma’s still out doing food.

  • 2. Roged  |  February 8th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Nice ‘new’ website, Eli. Now, about that episode of South Park…

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