Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bonfire Of The Vanity Table

Wall Street’s Socialist Jet-Setters
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: January 27, 2009

Maureen Dowd must have checked her 401(k) because she is going Biblical on the moneychangers.

As President Obama spreads his New Testament balm over the capital, I’m longing for a bit of Old Testament wrath.

Couldn’t he throw down his BlackBerry tablet and smash it in anger over the feckless financiers, the gods of gold and their idols — in this case not a gilt calf but an $87,000 area rug, a cache of diamond Tiffany and Cartier watches and a French-made luxury corporate jet?
Normally Dowd leaves the finance stuff to Krugman and the guys that understand numbers, but luxury goods she understands. The entire column is a Robb Report of umbrage full of outrageous prices. From corporate jets:
How could Citigroup be so dumb as to go ahead with plans to get a new $50 million corporate jet, the exclusive Dassault Falcon 7X seating 12, after losing $28.5 billion in the past 15 months and receiving $345 billion in government investments and guarantees?
To furniture:
Bartiromo also asked Thain to explain, when jobs and salaries were being cut at his firm, how he could justify spending $1 million to renovate his office. As The Daily Beast and CNBC reported, big-ticket items included curtains for $28,000, a pair of chairs for $87,000, fabric for a “Roman Shade” for $11,000, Regency chairs for $24,000, six wall sconces for $2,700, a $13,000 chandelier in the private dining room and six dining chairs for $37,000, a “custom coffee table” for $16,000, an antique commode “on legs” for $35,000, and a $1,400 “parchment waste can.”
She even borrows a RudeName from the Post for the collectively clueless leadership of the country’s biggest bank.
The “Citiboobs” — as The New York Post, which broke the news, calls them — watched as the car chieftains got in trouble for flying their private jets to Washington to ask for bailouts, and the A.I.G. moguls got dragged before Congress for spending their bailout on California spa treatments. But the boobs still didn’t get the message.
We get one Wolfe-ian reference that is pretty slim, but since it can count as both a Movies With Maureen® (especially since Tom Hanks was the most famous of the shut-outs at her now infamous Georgetown kegger) and a Dowdversion®, so it will have to do.
The former masters of the universe don’t seem to fully comprehend that their universe has crumbled and, thanks to them, so has ours.
She is so outraged, she is ready to storm the castle with pitchforks.
Bring on the shackles. Let the show trials begin.
Let this be a lesson to the titans of finance. If you want to raise the ire of Maureen Dowd to the level she usually reserves for the Clintons, just go buy some office furnishings that would look better in her 2.5 million dollar townhome.

2 comments:

Grace Nearing said...

(Now I get why a $400 payment I recently sent to pay off my Citibank Visa was mistakenly applied to my sister-in-law’s Citibank Mastercard account.)

Something tells me that Dowd will soon be getting a better interest rate on her Citibank Visa card. Sometimes a NYT op/ed column is a handy thing to have.

yellojkt said...

I just want to know what pair of shoes she had bought that month.