the greatest depression

The Nouveau Poor

The saddest boy ever to wear a peacoat.

Lest we forget, it’s not just the rich who have been affected by the Wall Street crisis. The real victims are the twentysomethings who, laid off from their finance jobs, have been forced to live in reduced circumstances. This morning’s Times introduces us to three young men whose fortunes have so changed:

• Aidan Menzul, 22, has been living off the remnants of his $65,000 a year job in private equity and a $10 an hour job with a political action committee. He has been frequenting McDonald’s, and was forced to move to Sheepshead Bay instead of the East Village.
• Jared Trillhaase, 24, has been walking instead of taking the subway, and gave up his gym membership and smoking to save money.
• And Christopher Spooner, 24, has been shuttling between his friend’s futon in Queens and his parents’ house in Pennsylvania, with all of his earthly belongings — clothes, college textbooks, a printer — in his Volkswagen Jetta.

We don’t know what to say. This is simply tragic and wrong. Living in their cars! Eating fast food! Moving to the outer boroughs. These guys dreamed of careers in finance and now they are forced to live like actual poor people! Or, um, like everyone else in their early twenties.

Harsh Math for Wall Street’s Young: Stay or Go? [NYT]

The Nouveau Poor