So it’s been said that 30% of the money that circulates throughout NYC originates from Wall Street bonuses, or at least it did before the hammer came down. It seemed like the public backlash related to the A.I.G. bonuses reached a fevered pitch while I was in the city visiting editors with a new portfolio book last week. I passed by a tabloid stand with headlines such as, “Not So Fast You Greedy Bastards!” and “A.I.G. – Awash In Greed.”
This morning I read a letter of resignation written by a former A.I.G. executive and published in the NY Times that added some much needed nuance to my understanding of the situation. In New York, out on the street, signs of the crunch seemed to be everywhere. A chalkboard sign in a novelty shop window read, “You are my economic stimulus.” My good friend Liz laughed when I asked her if there were any shoe sales that she knew about. “The whole city is 70% off these days.” She might be right, I found some sweet Adidas kicks for a little more than the price of a marvelous creme brulee doughnut.