Fun Coupons! How Five Finance Execs Are Spending Their Bonuses
"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." – Gordon Gecko
It’s that time of year! When finance firms throw caution to the wind and reward their top performers with bonuses rivaling the GDP of a small Caribbean nation. Watch brands salivate at the very notion of these financial fat cats walking into a boutique and blowing MSRP on a lingering novelty. We decided to [fictionally] sit down with a few brave souls who share how they’ll spend their bonus checks.
Greg Smith – Senior Trader, large bank
Despite having helped Jho Low swindle the Malaysian people of a couple of billion dollars, my firm rewarded me with a pretty nice bonus this year, ensuring that I keep my mouth shut and not take any of my bosses down with me when the Feds come knocking.
My first order of business will be to hit the Richard Mille store on 57th street, where I will be told that nothing is available for purchase except if it has diamonds on it. I will then walk across the street to Audemars Piguet where they will say the exact same thing to me, offering me a pastel-colored diver for my troubles. The Patek salon at Tiffany will be next, where they will say, "No, we don't have any," before I even open my mouth to ask.
With all this blood money burning a hole in my pocket, I meander over to Cellini on Park Avenue and plunk down $140K on an independent watch that I can’t pronounce, and that will lose 60% of its value the minute I wear it. Tax write off for the year now complete, I head over to the Garden with my high-end escort in tow, and watch the shittiest team in sports, the New York Knicks, from my expensed courtside seats. Guess I'll be maxing out my 401K contribution again this year.
Duff Worthington – Managing Director, investment bank
Well, hookers of course – that pretty much goes without saying but thought I might as well be clear about it.
Things are going great right now, but you can never tell when the Apocalypse might be at hand. And as it’s pretty well established that the only things that will survive a nuclear holocaust are cockroaches and Goldman Sachs, I’m going to be prepared. As a start, I think something like a Soviet-era T54 Main Battle Tank should come in pretty handy for getting Uptown.
It looks like science hasn't solved the crucial challenge of long-term preservation of caviar and truffles, so we'll have to go with a big supply of emergency rations – the ones with the 25-year shelf life.
And hookers. I mentioned them, right? Ok, well, moving on.
As for portable stores of wealth, I'm thinking that even after most of the inhabitants of the Earth have been blown away, there will be a shortage of steel Rolexes, so I'm going to buy several steel Daytonas and Pepsis – and maybe even a few of the new Batgirls. Of course, I'm fully prepared to pay double retail.
And just in case everything continues to go great, I’d better pick up a Greubel-Forsey Double Tourbillon Technique bi-metal to wear to the clubs. Because, you know, hookers love 'em.
Maxine Gimdmony – Finance Advisor, private equity firm
It’s that time of the year again where birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and I start feeling like Scrooge McDuck as my yearly bonus finally hits my private bank account (that my husband doesn’t know about).
Somehow, my husband still believes that we are in an imaginary recession and my private equity firm had to tighten its belt. Yet another year where I need to find a clever little lie for my husband so I can tell him that we can't afford that ridiculous sports car he’s been dreaming about. After all, I’m the one wearing the pants, and I need to finance my lifestyle with parties at hotels, supposedly “working late” while he takes care of the kids and their constant need for attention.
Unlike my colleagues that will probably spend it in luxury escorts so they will look appealing and "cool," I'd rather give the green bills for a good bottle of Dom Perignon and treat myself to a luxury watch. That is all part of my attire when I'm "working late," gotta look the part. Judging by what I’ve seen on the news and specialized blogs, I probably won't have any luck with a popular Rolex or Patek unless I buy four gold ones, trade a few favors, and wait a couple of years. I’ll be luckier to head straight to the infamous 47th street in my black Prada jacket and get my hands on a Rainbow Daytona. My husband wouldn’t notice it, would he? I don’t think so! It doesn’t matter, and I’ll never tell him how much it costs anyway.
Dirk McCallister III – Senior Analyst, quant firm
My $25,000 bonus was a complete joke this year. Sure, my firm lost almost a billion dollars due to an impressive amount of new regulations from the SEC, but that’s no excuse for this peasant change. What would I buy? I’m not even sure I could book a weekend in Miami with this paltry B.S.
I'm looking at the genuine possibility of going into 2020 without purchasing a new watch. Just last year, I was living in the glory days. I got a $175,000 bonus, blew a large chunk of it on a Patek Philippe ref. 5711. Which apparently are hard to get, but my guy on 47th Street made me a sick deal at $52,000 (retail was $22,000). Whatever, I wanted the watch, and I couldn't stand to see all these so-called "influencers" posting it to Instagram.
So, after the government takes their half, I'm stuck with $13,500. My wife says much of this pocket change is already allocated to a new Goyard bag, which leaves me just enough for a G-Shock, some barbiturates, a decent steak dinner, and a low-key night at Sapphire. I’ll drown my tears with a nice bottle of 1991 Chateau Latour. Last year, I was drinking a pristine 1982 Mouton Rothschild. But I guess I’ll have to settle for peasant juice and update my LinkedIn profile.
Jay WongDoe – Hedge fund owner, Hong-Kong
Green is good. All kinds of green. Vegetables? Sure. Dollars bills? What else. But the best is greenwashing. The trend is so strong this year that I have tripled year-end bonuses of everyone in my firm. I multiplied mine by 5x though. After all, there's only one letter difference between green and greed.
This year, I’m gonna start my top-notch watch collection. I saw it made people look good on IG. I went downtown to some of those stores where displays are just piles and piles of Rolexes, AP, Blancpain, Breguet and so forth. The guy realized fast I had serious cash to spend, he gave me an extra 50% discount (on top of the 30% available as soon as you walk in the shop) after I selected my 20th timekeeper. What a great deal.
I immediately wore my Rolex "Hulk" to the spa. Don’t know what happened, but the bracelet fell apart and got sucked into the vents. Whatever, it's my cheapest watch. At least I still have my Hublot.
(NOTE: The above is entirely fictional, Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.)