Brown Bag Lunch on the Private Jet

December 14, 2010, 8:41 AM ET

Two years after the financial meltdown and the government rescue of major financial institutions, Wall Street is in cutback mode. Sort of.

This is what austerity looks like in the rarified world of Manhattan private schools and chauffeured cars, as Deal Journal colleague Robert Frank detailed today.

• Wall Street types are flying commercial airplanes to winter getaways such as St. Barts or Aspen, or if they’re taking a private plane they are jet-pooling or skipping the pricey catered meals on board. “They’re telling me, ‘We’ll just bring our own lunch,‘” Ricky Sitomer, chief executive of private-jet company Blue Star Jets, told Frank.

• Less splurging on Bentleys and other big-ticket items with those year-end bonuses. “We haven’t seen them come in yet,” said Jeff Drajin of Manhattan Motorcars, which sells Lamborghinis, Bentleys and Lotuses.

• Demand for chartered yachts this winter in the Caribbean – which fetch up to $1 million a week — have been “quite poor,” according to Jonathan Beckett, CEO of yacht brokerage firm Burgess

• Amid some signs Wall Street is sowing its oats like it’s 2007, there also has been a lot of talk in recent months about Wall Street paring back bonus pay, particularly to hard hit trading desks. One Citigroup banker said colleagues who have been coming out of compensation meetings “look like they’ve been hit by a truck,” according to Frank’s story.


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