The Economy Is Booming, Just Ask A Hooker: CNBC

Make that a few hookers.
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Turney Duff is a former Galleon trader who, several years back, wrote a book called The Buyside, which included stories about the long period of his life in which he did copious amounts of blow and other assorted drugs, kept escorts on speed dial, and, at least once, "faked a mugging by rolling [around] on the pavement and into a puddle until he was bleeding and bruised in an effort to create an alibi for skipping work." Now he's a columnist for CNBC, filing stories on everything from client entertainment etiquette tips and how to comport yourself at the office. This week, he took the pulse of the market through a series of interviews with a couple of Canadian hookers and their friends.

When Chelsea moved to the city, the stock market was rising — but not all of her customers were. "I worked for an agency back then. Most of the calls were from coked-up traders. They couldn't get it up half the time, so I'd just sit there naked and do blow with them. It wasn't hard …" she laughed. Chelsea eventually got tired of giving part of her earnings to the agency and now works independently. At her rate, Chelsea only works about five times a week and brings in over $200,000 a year...During the financial collapse, things got a little slow for Chelsea and her friends, but since then, profits have been booming again. The markets have an indirect effect on the escort industry. "Business has been good," Chelsea said. "I can tell you firsthand that bonus season was great this year. Sometimes my guys like to talk about their jobs and stuff. They all got paid this January and February and then spent their money."

I also spoke with "Holly," an escort from Vancouver who flies into New York City for her clientele. "I'm here every couple of months," she said. She and I decided to meet for a quick dinner before one of her appointments when she was in town...After we ordered an appetizer I asked her about working with Wall Street guys. "I see them occasionally, but they're no better or worse than anyone else." Holly charges $1,000 an hour with a two-hour minimum for her services and spends countless hours flying from city to city. "Last time I was in town, a Wall Street guy canceled on me last minute and then next morning he showed up and paid me anyway."

And for those who've never employed the services of a woman of the night, Turney offers some helpful advice, gained from experience:

During my 15 years working on Wall Street, I saw my share of people partaking in this service. I wouldn't say it was commonplace, but it definitely wasn't uncommon place either. I copped to some of this behavior in my book. And, I can say it's a lot easier to make a call to an escort service with a wad of cash in one pocket and a bag of blow in the other.

Hope this helps. Next week: What does Duff's ex-dealer have to say about ETFs.

The escort indicator: Wall Street is booming again [CNBC]

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