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."
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.