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We Always Knew Investment Bankers Were Scumbags, But Here’s More Evidence, Anyway

We Always Knew Investment Bankers Were Scumbags, But Here’s More Evidence, Anyway

From Bankers Ball:

Saturday brunch is the new Wednesday is the new Monday is the new Sunday.

Note: If you are a) unemployed and b) likely to be disturbed by pictures of the fab-o-lous continuing to party it up, then I would click away – CLICK AWAY.

A recession seems an unlikely time for a new extravagant trend that got press in the NYT this weekend: the Saturday bottle service brunch. That’s right – take a long, boozy Sunday brunch and cross it with a bottle service-rific Meatpacking Thursday or Friday night. Now do this on Saturday at 3pm.

This trend, which was previously reported by GuestofaGuest (back in Dec), has meatpacking venues Bagatelle and Merkato 55 battling it out with classic club antics like sparklers. But this takes it to the next level. The NYT describes the scene at Merkato one Saturday:

“By 4 p.m., the place was wall-to-wall bodies, and people were taking hits from a rosé-filled bong in the shape of a flamingo. Downstairs, Adesh Baharani was celebrating his 35th birthday by showering all within 10 feet of him (not all of them members of his party) with the contents of a $500 bottle of Veuve Clicquot.”

Just who can afford this kind of decadence? Well, if you thought you were a baller because you dropped a couple thousand on bottles in a night, you were wrong. Try spending that on brunch. Co-owner of Bagatelle Remi Laba describes two types of clientele:

“There’s a very specific Saturday brunch clientele … Most of them are old money, people who don’t mind coming here and spending $5,000, up to $18,000 or $20,000 on a table …”

As for another set of partyers, the New York investment bankers whose once-hefty bonuses may have significantly diminished in recent months, “instead of having the $10,000 to $15,000 to spend on a Saturday afternoon, they might spend $2,000 to $3,000 … Which is fine.”

Yes, some financiers are still going strong. Two finance guys – let’s call them anonymous Bottle Service Brunchers – were even quoted in the article. Just how do they do it?

Explanation 1: “We all made so much money in the past five years, it doesn’t matter.”

Explanation 2: “If you’d asked me in October, I’d say it’d be a different situation, and I don’t think I’d be here. Then the government gave us $10 billion.”


How are you liking that bailout package now? Me? Really wishing there was some way to inject more oversight over these fucking criminals.

Comments (4)

  1. Mar 17, 2009

    Ho. Lee. Fuck.

  2. Mar 17, 2009

    Next time you tell me to click away, I’m going to do what you say.

    Honestly, I don’t even have words for that.

  3. Snakey
    Mar 19, 2009

    I hope that by “fucking criminals” you mean both the dorkwads featured in the story as well as the Powers That Be who made it possible for funds to be issued with so little (any?) oversight and accountability.

    What makes me ill about so many things right now is not the realization that there are people who’ll abuse the system and behave unethically (i.e., how we got here in the first place) but rather, that the guv has reacted to the crisis by thrown a giant frat party and is shocked, shocked!, that there’s underage drinking going on and mickeys being slipped.

    Explain again why I wanna pay more taxes? This business model sucks donkeys.

  4. Mar 19, 2009

    Snakey, you libertarian, you. Yeah, I believe that at best it was naive to give money to banks and not think there needs to be MAJOR oversight. I also think they were under time pressure and there’s got to be a few greased palms in there to begin with. But yeah, I think people who work high up in banking can be sociopaths when it comes to this stuff. Not all of them, obviously, since one of my beloved family members is a super star in banking. But in this situation I blame the banks more so, because they were the ones who supposedly “understood” what they were doing, were paid outrageous sums of money because of this supposed “expertise,” and then looked to the government to bail themselves out when the shit hit the fan. I think it was a mixture of criminals and dumbasses (in both politics and big businesses) that landed us here.

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