Because “06880” readers include a healthy proportion of the 1 percent, I will refrain from making any snarky comments on this weekend’s Wall Street Journal Investor story.
The loooong piece — titled “Honey, They Shrunk My Bonus” — describes in excruciating detail how “even the highest earners” on Wall Street are “increasingly vulnerable to cash squeezes — caught between bonuses that increasingly are paid in stock and luxury expenses that continue to soar even in a down economy.”
For example, the Journal says:
The lifestyle costs, or what bankers call their “burn rates,” can be substantial. For a typical top Wall Street executive with a family of four, the cost of a Manhattan apartment, household staff and private school can easily top $500,000 a year, consultants and bankers say. That doesn’t include the restaurants, clothing, second- or third-home upkeep and charity dinners that also are fixtures in finance.
So — in deference to my readers — I will refrain from commenting on quotes like this from Natasha Pearl, founder of Aston Pearl, which “often advises wealthy families on paring their budgets”:
Until you really analyze your budget, you don’t realize that the bill for your arborist has gone up 20% over the past five years, and it’s not because you have more trees.
Instead — because “06880” is, as the tagline says, “Where Westport meets the world” — I’ll simply offer up these nuggets from Steven Laitmon, “co-founder of the Calendar Group, a Westport, Conn.-based staffing firm”:
Many bankers have consolidated their staffs. A family that might have had a butler, private chef, laundress, nanny and cleaning person might now have only a cleaning person “who also does some cooking and is child-friendly.”
Rather than employing personal assistants at home, some bankers are using the executive assistants at their offices to handle some of their personal logistics. To fill those duties, many Wall Street banks are looking for secretaries with personal-assistant experience, Mr. Laitmon says.
“I think some bankers realized they were over-staffed at home and now they’re trimming,” he says.
Westporters involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement were unavailable for comment.