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Hedge Fund Wives Forced To (Sort Of But Not Really) Go Slumming

Jill Kargman, author of books like The Right Address and Momzilla, has a new tome out called The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund. Despite the "Ex" in the title, the book isn't about wives leaving or being left by their husbands. Rather, it's a look at the end of a much more serious relationship-- the relationship between these women and their husband's money, which, due to unprecedented market volatility, has been taking something of a hit. Surely the majority of you pre-ordered it on Amazon (now marked down to $17.13 from $25.95), but for the few still debating whether or not you want to buy a hardcover from the same genre as Holly Peterson's The Manny (Bored rich wives! Facing fake struggles! Which can be squarely blamed on their husbands!), Kargman offers a quick teaser in this month's Bazaar.
Not surprisingly, it appears that none of the "Ex-Mrs. Hedge Funds" we wanted to hear from were inclined to speak with Kargman on the record (how is Anne Griffin dealing with the pain? What has Alex Cohen been cutting back on? Has Mrs. ESL been forced to actually start shopping at Sears)* because (choose one) a. Despite their husbands making this year's Biggest Loser list, the effect on their lifestyles has been negligible b. they'd be thrown out on their asses faster than you can say "stretchhigh-water marks." c. The phone at the Gendell residence was cut off a few months back due to delinquent payments. (Full disclosure, we've yet to read the book, but we're pretty sure if you got her to talk, you'd want to shout "Mrs. Stevie agreed to be interviewed on the matter of having to run the Zamboni machine herself after the driver was fired!" from the rooftops of your preview). So we're not certain we're dealing with the wives of actual "prominent" hedge funders, so much, perhaps, hedge funders whose AUM maxes out at a unit, hedge fund employees, or just straight up glorified day traders.
Nevertheless, the following are a bunch ways a few self-described "Ex-Mrs. Hedges" are being forced to demean themselves due to cruel-hearted market. You'll want to mentally jot down the adversities they're facing, and then show up to the book party being held tonight, armed with a shoulder to cry on:
*Ladies! If you want a safe space to talk about this stuff, don't hesitate to give us a call. I'm a good listener.

- Hair Care

One hedgie wife on a spending freeze attested to swapping full-on highlights for single-process hair color: "It's just too expensive to be a butter blonde these days," she says.

- Ass specialists, private planes, etc.

A woman based in the New York suburbs whose husband works with a prominent fund said her friends are bidding adieu to their personal trainers and choosing commercial flights over "wheels up," and, she says, "I know several people who are not renewing their country-club memberships for the summer."

- Toes

One thing my sources agree on, though, is that looking good is not an expendable line item. "I'll never stop getting pedis, obviously," said one wife. "I just won't get the full spa version for 90 bucks!"

- Buying the same outfit twice.

"I will not buy multiples of clothing, as I used to. And I won't buy a screaming trendy item of any kind. I still want luxury, but it has to have and keep value, like a black Carolina Herrera gown, a bouclé Chanel suit, or an Hermès handbag."

- I don't even want to say it.

There is another line the banker spouses I know would rather not cross. And that's the one to buy a subway pass. "No matter how bad things get, my husband and I would never take the subway," one wife told me. "We would rather limit our social life to walking distance from our apartment than rely on going underground." When I bumped into an oft-photographed socialite on public transportation, she seemed beyond horrified to be "caught" by the tracks. "Oh, hi," she said sheepishly. "I've never been down here! This train goes so fast," she marveled.


Having George Soros As A Dad Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be (Well, It Sort Of Is, But Still, It Can Be Tough Sometimes, But Not Usually)

Are there many advantages to being born the son or daughter of a billionaire many times over? Sure. Financial security. Unparalleled opportunities. World is your oyster type stuff. But there's also a dark side that few people ever see or talk about, which can make being astonishingly wealthy by virtue of birth all the more isolating and hard. Today, however, in an effort to show kids born into immense privilege that YOU ARE NOT ALONE, the Times has run a profile of Alexander Soros, son of George, which examines the struggles he faced in coming to terms with being rich. They included: Never getting to live in a McMansion. Alex Soros spent his youth padding around a Charles A. Platt-designed 14-room house on a sprawling country estate in Katonah, N.Y. His mother, Susan Weber Soros, now divorced from his father, founded the Bard Graduate Center for the decorative arts and adorned the house with Sargents and Cassatts. Their place in the city was a duplex at 1060 Fifth Avenue. While his parents worked, he spent much of his time with his younger brother, Gregory, now 23 and pursuing a career as an artist; his nanny, Ping, from China; and the staff...Mr. Soros was acutely aware that he lived in a privileged bubble, and sometimes dreamed of living in a subdivision, where he could play football in the street with other boys. “As a kid, all you want to be is normal,” he said. “When all you’re being fed is vichyssoise, you want to eat Big Macs like everyone else.” Gaining weight. After King Low Heywood Thomas, a prep school in Stamford, Conn., he attended New York University, where he tried to come to grips with expectations that came with his last name. For a period, he brooded, and gained weight. Not being seen as an intellectual. “Alex sought anonymity,” said Adam Braun, a former roommate. “He wanted to be known as the intellectual, not the son of the financier.” Alex hated small talk, Mr. Braun added, and he would ditch parties early to go home and curl up with his Baudrillard. Being seen as a "party-boy" who posted pictures on Facebook with captions like “chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes," after posting pictures on Facebook with captions like “chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes.” ...after graduation, he came out of his shell and started to socialize. He made new friends, some of whom were nightclub habitués looking to trade on his name, he said. It was around that time that Facebook pictures [“chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes"] of him popped up. He was shocked to be portrayed as another helium-weight Hamptons party boy swilling away his trust fund. “I became this caricature,” he said. Ultimately, after "wrestling with his moneyed upbringing," Soros came to grips with who he is and what he's worth, monetarily-speaking. He was born rich and he's OK with that. Mr. Soros, now 26, is taking the stage on his own terms, though in a direction his father clearly approves: philanthropy. Last fall, while pursing his Ph.D. in history at Berkeley, the younger Mr. Soros started the Alexander Soros Foundation. Its stated mission is to promote social justice and human rights...These days, he divides the bulk of his time between Berkeley and New York. Alex admits that his lifestyle is wildly at odds with that of most graduate students. He has a house in North Berkeley, a two-bedroom apartment near Astor Place in Manhattan and a place in South Kensington, London. He collects art by Otto Dix and George Grosz, and has “a couple of Magrittes,” he said. He has also given up on the idea that he can escape public scrutiny. His trip to Florianópolis, a Brazilian island getaway, with buddies a couple of years ago somehow landed on Page Six, which had him partying alongside the actor Stephen Dorff (“I’ve never even met Stephen Dorff,” he said). “I live well,” he told the Times. “I try to stay reasonable, but it’s very hard to say what is reasonable. There’s not a how-to book. In a way, if you try to live quote-unquote normal, you’re being disingenuous.” Making Good On The Family Name [NYT]