Upper East Sider Has Heard Of Pre-Nups That Include No Fatties Clauses But Wife Bonuses? Get Out Of Town

"Wife bonuses" = crazy talk of an author desperate to sell books. "Weight limitations" = totally commonplace.

Last week, following the press for Wednesday Martin's Primates of Park Avenue, which introduced the world to the concept of a "wife bonus," we heard from an advocate of the WB, who told critics to "STFU." While most people were horrified by the idea of a husband paying his wife a portion of his annual take-home as though she was his employee, Polly Phillips professed to love living with a man who can be viewed as both her spouse and boss. This week, Vanity Fair spoke with a bunch of Upper East Siders about the financial arrangement; almost all of their takes fell under dubious that the wife bonus is an actual thing, with one woman claiming stipulations about how much weight a woman can gain are much more prevalent than the supposed WB...

“I’ve heard of allowances [from husband to wife] on a few rare occasions, but I’ve never heard of ‘wife bonuses’ and tend to think that specific term was made up by the author,” sniffs the beautiful (and well-educated) philanthropist, who resides on the Upper East Side with her finance hubby. “I’ve also heard of pre-nups and post-nups with some stranger clauses included—certain weight limitations, etcetera—but who hasn’t heard of that, and it certainly exists in areas other than the Upper East Side.”

...and another who was downright disgusted by the idea, chalking it up to something that must be de rigueur among the poor people of the UES, or rather people who were once (relatively) poor and recently came into some money.

Another distinguished and well-known Upper East Sider, an older S.A.H.M. of three grown children, who passed through 11 private schools between them, recoiled at the concept. “It sounds so nouveau riche,” she said. “Whom in the world was this woman hanging out with? The third wives of old dirty men? No one I know would ever do something like that or put up with it, for that matter.”

We Asked 10 Real U.E.S. Mommas (and One Husband) About the Primates of Park Avenue [Vanity Fair]

Earlier: Bonus Watch ’15: Upper East Side Wives; Wife Bonus Advocate Tells Detractors To “STFU” As She Explains The Core Metrics Of Her Compensation Package


Bonus Watch '12: Jefferies Has Got Your Cold Hard Cash Right Here

Back in the day, as in pre-crisis, bonus season on Wall Street was a happy time. Sure, you still had your miserable pricks who would bitch and moan about the fact that they hadn't gotten as much as the guy who sat next to them, even they the guy who sat next to them was a "non-contributing zero who wouldn't recognize alpha if it bit him in the ass," but prior to to fall 2008, anyone who was unhappy about his or her bonus was a) quibbling over receiving a huge sum of money instead of an imperial fuck-ton of money and b) in a position to actually make good on a threat to jump ship, since firms were hiring. Now, with a few exceptions, bonus season makes people feel sad. Angry. Impotent. Like the world is out to get them. Not only has the total amount of one's bonus come down, but many companies have decreased the cash portion, while increasing the deferral period on stock to, in some cases, almost half a decade. Then you have Jefferies. Last year it let employees decide between an all stock bonus or an all cash bonus with 25% lopped off.  This year the investment bank-cum-butcher shop isn't even forcing anyone to choose, instead dumping a bag of cash on everyone's desk and reminding them who loves 'em.

MF Global Trustee Was Just Kidding About Paying Out Bonuses To Upper Echelons Of MF Global Management

Last month, it was reported that Louis Freeh, the trustee unwinding the remains of MF Global, would be asking a judge to "approve performance-related payouts for the chief operating officer, finance chief and general counsel at MF Global," as well as twenty other MF Global employees who stayed on after the firm bit the big one. According to one of Freeh's advisers, the bonuses were the only way they could retain the talent necessary to deal with this thing and would actually "quite honestly save a considerable amount of the estate's resources," as losing the team would mean hiring a bunch of consultants who wouldn't have the first clue about where the bodies were buried. Unfortunately for those who went out and blew the money they thought they had coming to them, Freeh wasn't actually serious about paying bonuses. “It was never my intention” to pay out bonus money to executives from the firm, Freeh told members of the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing today. Freeh committed to lawmakers that he would not distribute bonus money to current or former MF Global employees...Freeh, in his prepared remarks, said his team employs 15 non-executives, most of whom were former MF Global employees, along with the senior executives. Freeh said he has considered “a retention program” for them and added that “no formal program was ever created for senior executives, nor was any motion ever filed with the court for approval in connection with any retention program for senior executives.” MF Global Executives Will Not Receive Bonus Money, Trustee Says [Bloomberg]