Let Them Eat Steak: How the Economic Downturn Impacts You

Today’s New York Times reports that 81 percent of respondents in a Times/CBS News poll believe that "things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track" in the U.S.

According to The Times‘ David Leonhardt and Marjorie Connelly, "two in three people said they believed the economy was in recession today." Twenty-eight percent answered that they’ve been falling behind financially in the past couple of years.

But if you enjoy the occasional steak at Palm Too, you already knew the economy was in trouble.

In a Fortune magazine column penned by Dealbreaker founder Elizabeth Spiers this week, the writer cites a friend, "a former real estate investment banker who got out of investment banking comfortably before subprime mortgages hit the fan," who contends that the price of filet mignon at Palm Too is a serious indicator of inflation.

The former banker, who’s named only Dana, but whose description bears a passing resemblance to Mergers and Acquisitions author and reported Spiers "B.B.F. (best blog friend)" Dana Vachon, insists that if filet mignon at Palm Too goes from $36 to $38 "inflation is spinning out of control."

Dana discovered this upon returning to New York after a month in Paris—hey, maybe he hung out with Wes Anderson, whom our Transom colleagues tell us is doing "great" in the city of lights!—and finding "himself ‘aghast’ that everything’s so expensive" back home. Laugh if you must, but according to a 2007 Observer profile of the banker-turned-writer by Lizzy Ratner, the poor chap can’t even afford socks to weather this wintry economic climate. Let Them Eat Steak: How the Economic Downturn Impacts You