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The Age of Austerity

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We're seeing a seismic shift in social mood.

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"You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people." Billy Ray Valentine, Trading Places

Have you ever had vuja de? It's the feeling you get when you experience the same thing and wish you never had the feeling in the first place.

As September turns to October, perception catches up to reality and social mood turns for the worse, we find ourselves back at an all-too-familiar table.

On the one side is government intervention.

On the other is the "free" market.

We spoke about this dynamic in September but the stakes have risen exponentially. It's not just about profit and loss, it's about right or wrong.

It's about faith in the system and credibility on a global stage.

It's about our name and our word and our core belief systems.

It is, in many ways, about survival.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Through that lens-and as a function of pure exhaustion-I share the following fare for the benefit of ye faithful:


Stomping Grounds

I'm a creature of habit that enjoys creature comforts. Living in New York City -and working the incessant hours I do-one of my few indulgences is the consumption of food and beverage.

I like what I know and I know what I like. There's comfort in familiarity and I tend to frequent the same spots.

Serendipity 3, for a Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Raouls, at a cozy corner table in the back.

BLT Steak, for a hot popover with buttah.

And the Four Seas Hotel Bar.

Given the Age of Austerity
, the mere mention of luxury properties is considered bad taste in some circles.

We have entered class war-Wall Street vs. Main Street, the "Have's" vs. the "Have Not's," the fortunate vs. the slighted-as societal acrimony continues to build.

Old School Minyans know my story-I appreciate the little things in life-and they know the Seas is my haunt. I've been going there for 15 years, I'm friendly with the staff and they always circle the corner for me.

It's the little things that make me happy-consistent smiles, familiar faces, table treats. Or that's my post-rationalization every time I drop $17 for a Grey Goose martini (up, stirred, olives).

Last night, after another day in the stressful fray, Billy Meehan and I popped into the Seas for a quick schnitzel (just like his dad and I used to do). Rather than sit in a spot of our own, we pulled up to a table with some friends.

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Position in WFT

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at todd@minyanville.com.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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