Monday, March 16, 2009

Sucker Brunched

While most of the country is wondering if they can afford Ramen noodles this week, there are still some people who spend $5,000, up to $18,000 or $20,000 on Saturday brunch. Most of them are old money, but the investment banker crowd still make it past the doorman if they spend 2 or 3K.
A man who works in finance and was standing near the bar of Merkato 55 the following Saturday started to talk about this issue, but then he had second thoughts, saying he could be fired for drawing attention to the subject in the news media. Any overt display of conspicuous spending, he added, even if not a dime was expensed to a corporate account, would not sit well with his employer. “Excess,” he said, “is frowned upon heavily.”

As for how he and his fellow Wall Streeters could still afford such afternoons, he said: “We all made so much money in the past five years, it doesn’t matter.”

A 29-year-old man who works for a large investment management firm and was at Bagatelle’s brunch one recent Saturday and at Merkato 55’s the next, put it another way: “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.”
I was about to have lunch myself, but suddenly I feel a little sick to my stomach.

[hat tip watertiger]

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Old money in young pockets! When I was 29, I had to think twice about McDonalds, but I'm not bitter. I'm at my happiest in some open air fish shack on a pier where shoes are optional and nobody cares about what the new black is.

$20K for brunch? I'd like to time how fast the credit card company would take to call if I tried that!

Even if it's for you and 50 of your closest friends, that's not the mark of old money but of money that's crisper than the lettuce and from which the ink rubs off on the white linen.

So how much of a tip do you leave along with your 20K? I mean a 4 grand tip would just spoil the help and you wouldn't want to do that.

3:59:00 PM  
Blogger Misanthropic Meanderings said...

There are times I am quite glad I'm not in NYC anymore & I have 2 sharp pitchforks. This is disgusting.

4:14:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fogg, I'm betting they have to include the tip in the bill or else the wait staff will get stiffed. Nobody stingier than trust fund kids as a rule.

And I remember having enough for a BLT at the diner being a big deal, but I also think it was a better life. These kids are lost.

Meandering, I'm with you. The excess is digusting.

5:41:00 PM  

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