Certain middle-class New Yorkers we know, after a drink or three, will confide that they’re hoping for a Wall Street meltdown. Beyond simple schadenfreude, they hope that if bankers, hedge funders, etc have less money to spend, then they’ll finally be able to afford their dream condo, or get a table at Babbo, etc.
Of course, that’s preposterous: New York depends on those oversized Wall Street dollars to keep its entire economy humming, and the ripple effects of a collapse will be devastating.
The NY Post offers up the first warning signs: Bear bankers’ wives cutting back their interior design budgets, and forlorn club owners who can’t find people willing to drop $1,200 or more on a night’s worth of Grey Goose:
Less than 48 hours after news broke that Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. would be bought for a fire-sale price, the wives of two of the firm’s senior investment bankers called their high-end interior designer to cancel their contracts…
“We only had about $50,000 worth of final touches [to go], and the wife called me last week and said stop,” said interior designer Darren Henault, whose work has been featured in Vanity Fair and Elle Decor. “She said they’re not poor, and are never going to be poor,” Henault said, “but their capacity for discretionary income for things like window valances just went out the window.”….
Tom Martignetti, who owns the brasserie Bar Martignetti and a nightclub downtown, said sales of champagne and vodka bottles had tumbled about 25 per cent since last year. To secure a table, a New York clubber must buy three or four bottles at $300 to $550 each.
The financial sector accounts for about 90 per cent of these sales, which make up the bulk of a nightclub’s revenue, Martignetti said. “The nightlife and restaurant industry is based on celebrating,” Martignetti said. “And a lot of my customer base has lost their jobs or are worried about losing their jobs, so nobody is celebrating.”