Former Investment Banker's Mail-Order Bride Business Is Booming

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Are you looking for love? A wife? A maid you can have sex with? Joseph Weiner is here to help! It's been fourteen years since the 73 year-old former investment banker and Wharton grad started Hand-in-Hand, a "matchmaking agency" which asks male customers to fork over $2,000 and in exchange offers a "supervised courtship" with a young Eastern European lady of their choice. Has the financial crisis hurt H-in-H's bottom line? On the contrary- according to Joe (a New Yorker living in London where he manages the "multinational operation"), it's been great for business.

"[Things] are booming," he says. "Financial problems are the biggest cause of divorce. There are more financial problems now. There are more people available!" A colleague in the field of "matchmaking" concurs, telling BusinessWeek, "Men evaluate their lives a little more closely when the economy becomes more difficult. They look at what's really important to them and try to find that one person they want to spend the rest of their lives with." Like, just as an example, a woman from the Ukraine who speaks no English but has heard great things about America.

Confident that we've advanced enough as a society that you won't be judged for ordering a wife online (one who may be part of a sex trade or not a woman at all-- some agencies "impersonate women") but still feeling a little skittish about the 2 g's (plus monthly membership, airfare to bring your lady stateside, and fees associated with translating emails and text messages)? Let Joe break the economics down for you businessman to businessman.

First off, this is a lot less than you'd be laying out for one of those traditional courtships that involves dinner and movies and that kind of stuff. Secondly, let's look at this long-term-- it's going to save you big money down the road.

For some companies, such submissiveness is a selling point. Hand-In-Hand's website trumpets the fact that its females are "unspoiled by feminism." Company founder Weiner argues this form of chauvinism—like the mail-order bride business itself—is economically motivated. "You take a beautiful woman from the Czech Republic and you bring her into your home, she does all your cooking and cleaning and ironing," he says. "At the end of the day, the service is free." Hand-In-Hand estimates the potential savings of a homemaking wife at $150 per week.

Basically, it's a no-brainer.

The Mail-Order Bride Trade Is Flourishing [BW]

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