Downsized Bonuses Have Bankers Whining About Clipping Coupons

Times are tough out there. Millions of people owe more on their homes than those buildings are worth. The job market is still weak with many Americans just happy to take work that will help them pay the bills. Bankers can’t afford to add square-footage to their million-dollar homes.

“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in NYC explains to Bloomberg, presumably blotting his tears with a handkerchief made out of plain old silk. “Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”

Things have gotten so bad for one Wall Street headhunter that he not only has to shop at only slightly luxurious Brooklyn grocery stores, but he and his family also — prepare yourself to weep — occasionally look at coupons: “They have a circular that they leave in front of the buildings in our neighborhood… We sit there, and I look through all of them to find out where it’s worth going.”

And it’s not just the money people at banks that are feeling the pinch. Even the most vital people at brokerage firms — the marketing directors — sound like extras from an off-Broadway production of Oliver!

“I’m not Zen at all,” gripes the marketing director for Euro Pacific Capital, who has had to delay plans to add bedrooms to his Brooklyn brownstone. “I can’t imagine what I’m going to do… I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand.”

Of course, he still sends his daughter to a $32,000/year prep school and plans to rent out a 3-bedroom summer house in Connecticut — but only for one month instead of his usual four.

“I feel stuck,” he adds. “The New York that I wanted to have is still just beyond my reach… All I want is the stuff that I always thought, growing up, that successful parents had.”

Bonus Drop Means Trading Aspen for Discount Cereal [Bloomberg]