Displays of Wealth Sort of Return to Wall Street

Never mind FBI raids on major hedge funds; Wall Street’s got its swagger back! The spending is ramping up, according to a front-page story in today’s New York Times. Just look at this breathtaking display of excess at a recent Halloween shindig:

The open bar was sponsored by Russian Standard vodka, and Mr. Koplewicz, an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs, was able to snag a big headliner: the hip-hop star Lil’ Kim, who performed dressed in a black cat costume.

That’s right, folks. Wall Street spending is so out-of-control that an analyst threw a party sponsored by a middle-shelf vodka brand, and Lil’ Kim — who’s now known as much for her reality-TV appearances as for her rap career — took the stage! (Maybe if Koplewicz had gotten Nicki Minaj, “a younger, more-relevant Kim” to perform, maybe then we’d have something.) If the economy picks up any more, Gordon’s Gin will be sponsoring a New Year’s party — with a special appearance by Scott Stapp!

Also, this:

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.

Is that even very expensive? The main obstacle to pulling a stunt like that for most people would probably be a combination of shame and human decency, not an undersized bonus check. No need to dress this up, New York Times! We’d still read this story if you called it what it was: “Some Wall Streeters Still Acting Like Entitled Idiots.”

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor Displays of Wealth Sort of Return to Wall Street