Friday, November 28, 2008

A Wee Bit o' the Creature for Wall Street

Dark times may have fallen on the best and the brightest, that is in out time, the wealthiest, because after all, wealth is a virtue. And being wealthy is proof of intellect and competence.

It must be terribly confusing, terribly vexing, for the Gods to find that their Power is questioned, not just be The People but by Nature herself. The Boardrooms of Wall Street, like the Halls of Congress, are populated by people utterly convinced of their own superiority. So now is a time of schism. How to reconcile the facts of recent events with the dogma of superiority?

Well, if reconciliation is difficult, it can always be greased with the oil of alcohol. A bit of dutch courage. So reports The Financial Times:

The titans of Wall Street have taken a battering in the financial markets recently, but they are eating well and drinking more, according to the people who run Manhattan’s “power” dining spots.

At the 21 Club, a longtime redoubt of corporate chieftains and big names, alcohol sales are up 9 per cent from last year, and businessmen can be seen drinking $14-a-glass cocktails as early as 3pm on a weekday.

“Where people used to have one vodka on the rocks, now it’s a second one or maybe a third,” says Roger Rice, the floor manager. “I don’t know what to attribute it to. Maybe it’s the last year of the expense account.”

Others say their customers are drinking more to drown their sorrows. “People want to feel a little numb because it’s numbing out there,” says Steve Millington, general manager at Michael’s, the restaurant of choice for publishing and media executives.

Yes, they feel numb. They are also confronting the bitter truth of their own inadequacy.

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