Cash bonuses on Wall Street are expected to drop by 14 percent during this year's "bonus season," according to a new report by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. And, sadly, there isn't a laboratory in the world with the nanotechnology capable of constructing a violin tiny enough for the bankers quoted in this Bloomberg News article by Max Abelson. Headlined "Wall St. Bonus Drop Means Trading Aspen for Discount Cereal," the story was bravely filed from the war-torn front lines of the financial industry, where Abelson traveled to get the untold story of those hit hardest by the Great Recession: the financial industry workers who made the recession happen.
But despite all the tempestuous vicissitudes of the stock market, Abelson finds that there's at least one commodity that's always highly valued by Wall Street: self-pity. Please enjoy the most astonishingly oblivious quotes from these poor, poor bankers. Just remember as you read this, according to DiNapoli, only $20 billion in bonuses will be paid out in the coming year, with the average bonus coming in around $121,000! If Sally Strothers taught us anything, it's that as tempting as it is to look away, we must never ignore how others are suffering:
- The Sickness: Investor Michael Sonnenfeld describes a feeling of "malaise," and says his fellow millionaires are being forced to "reexamine lots of assumptions about how grand their life would be. For many people of wealth, they’ve had a crushing setback as well.”
- The Isolation: "People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress," says financial planner Alan Dlugash. "Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?"
- The Humiliation: "They have a circular that they leave in front of the buildings in our neighborhood," says Wall Street headhunter Daniel Arbeeny, who lives in Cobble Hill. “We sit there, and I look through all of them to find out where it’s worth going."
- The Chores: "I can’t imagine what I’m going to do," says marketing director Andrew Schiff said. "I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand... I’m stuck like a rat in a trap on a highway with no way to get out, it’s very hard."
- The Loss of the Ability to Hear Your Own Voice: "I wouldn’t want to whine," Schiff also said.
Guys, take a deep breath and get it together! Imagine how your girlfriends feel? If all else fails you can always charge people $5 to kick you in the groin. And hey, if that doesn't pan out, you'll always have the dumpling business to fall back on.