MELTDOWN

Down and Out on Wall Street

In the wake of the AIG bonus debacle—and in the face of Obama’s tax increases for the rich--there’s a collective wail echoing through the marble halls on Wall Street. In New York magazine, Gabriel Sherman reports on how financiers are adjusting to this fast-mutating culture of compensation—and the answer is simple: not well. “In a witch hunt,” he writes, “the witches have feelings, too.” One financier complained that the government is “taking Wall Street and throwing it in the East River.” While it was easy for Wall Streeters to overlook Obama’s populist message during the campaign, nothing compares to the pain they’re feeling now. “Bankers have expressions for disastrous losses: clusterfuck, Chernobyl, blowing up... But no one was prepared to lose money this way,” Sherman writes. “This felt like getting mugged.”