Millionaires are very concerned about their money,” says the psychic Frank Andrews, offering a breakdown of his new and unexpected clientele. “The billionaires, on the other hand—they come just for fun.” Such is the insecurity of the average Wall Street baron as the market roller-coasters and protesters mass at their door: Bankers are turning to the spirit world for guidance—the clairvoyant reading as an algorithm of last resort.
“They want me to predict fluctuations in the market,” says Georgia Jean, who does readings at Quest Bookshop in midtown. “It’s a heavy responsibility.”
“They’re afraid,” says Lower East Side psychic Sorina Adivinadora. She adds, “I tell them to be careful.”
“Buy bonds” is what Andrews divines. “Or gold stock.” Known for his celebrity clients—Andrews advised Perry Ellis to become a designer, had his tarot deck shuffled by John Lennon, and once was a guest at the Dalai Lama’s birthday party—he now fields questions on what’s next for the European economy.
“How’s it looking?” I ask.
“What’s happened to us in America is going to happen to them. Except in Poland. I have a good feeling about Poland.”
Rosanna Schaffer-Shaw, a former belly dancer turned tarot-card reader and psychic who goes by “Fahrusha,” sees her Wall Street clients in her Alphabet City apartment. (Concerned with discretion, bankers are perhaps more likely to visit psychics who practice at home than they are to walk past a neon psychic sign and go into a glass-faced storefront.) Her reading room is very pink. The walls, curtains, and tie-dyed tablecloth are all pink. Her shirt, low-cut with wide bell-shaped sleeves, is pink. The color seemed appropriate when she decorated the space, when her clients were mostly women interested in matters of the heart; she used to counsel few men, much less the kind of alpha males who populate a trading desk.
Figuring that what’s good for the Series 7–certified is good for the clueless lay investor, I request a session. Studying my palm, Fahrusha smiles, flips her long red hair over her shoulder, and says, “Rest assured that there is some money in your future. In fact, a reasonable amount.”
Fahrusha has a message for policy-makers in Washington. “If there was a better energy policy,” she says, “if there could be more investment in alternative energy … it would be fabulous. The economy could improve if people would look at green solutions.”
I ask her if that’s her professional psychic analysis or just her opinion.
“You know?” She thinks for a second and shrugs. “It’s so hard to separate the two.”
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