By and larger Wall Street's movers and shakers have always been insufferable, out-of-touch husks of human beings driven solely by greed. Of course, during the great recession of 2008 in which they were cast, deservedly so, as the villains they were forced to reign in some of their more exuberant spending. In reality, that was bad news for Miami's tourism industry, because we all known when douchebags really want to douche out they came to South Beach.
Susanne Craig and Kevin Roose report on a number of recent exuberant shindigs thrown by Wall Street's high rollers including a Halloween party featuring performance by Lil' Kim, a birthday party in which a bank president cast himself as Hugh Hefner complete with a bevy of "bunnies," and up-ticks in spending on everything from fancy meals to cosmetic surgery.
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Though one tale really took the cake, and it of course took place in Miami:
A Morgan Stanley trader recently tried to hire a dwarf for a bachelor party in Miami, asking the dwarf to meet him at the airport in a "Men in Black" style suit, according to e-mail exchanges. The trader, who wanted to handcuff the dwarf to the bachelor, was recently fired.
This is of course is all very sickening on a human level, but Miami's tourism is built on exuberance and fantasy. Following the recession, numerous firms canceled "corporate retreats" and other business travel to Miami which put a dent in our fragile economy. While that corporate level exuberance may not be back just yet, the people behind the corporations seem to be having a grand old time splurging.
Just as an example, after two years of relatively dour Art Basel weeks, which attracts no shortage of banker types (the main fair is sponsored by UBS after all), we expect things this year to move back towards their pre-recession excess.