Wall Streeters Scoff at ‘Manhattan Madam’ Prosecutor’s Prostitute Prices
Senior Editor, CNBC.com
Do not believe everything you read about the alleged high-end brothel run out of an apartment in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
According to The Daily News, the escort service offered clients a three-tiered pricing system that ranged from $1,000 to more than $2,000.
"Costs ranged from $1,000 for the 'Dream Model girls,' $1,500 for 'Calendar Girls, fashion models and budding actors,' and $2,000 and up for the 'Ultimate Elite Model' category," the The Daily News reports.
My Wall Street sources say that these prices are unrealistic.
"That's way over-market," one Wall Street trader told me. He insisted he knew only from what he's heard from his friends.
Another source, who admitted having patronized "escorts" and brothels in the past, agreed.
"Maybe this was true in 2006. No one is paying $2,000 these days. I'm not even sure anyone ever did. Not for one girl," said.
One reason those prices are unbelievable, he said, is that clients would have to pay with credit cards. Most Wall Streeters have become wary of using cards for illicit activities.
"No one is going to walk into a brothel with $2,000 cash," he said.
One source who recently retired from a big Wall Street firm told me that "nobody pays that much."
"At the top of the market, $700 was for the whole night. And recently nobody is paying those prices," he said.
What's more, falling bonuses on Wall Street and job uncertainty have led many who might have formerly patronized brothels to move to cheaper substitutes.
"The clients have bumped down a notch to the high-end [massage parlors]," he said, although his actual phrasing was more graphic than that.
He explained the benefits of the substitute.
"Eighty-dollar entry. Negotiated tip. One hour. Cash. No paper trail," he said.
In short, there's been some serious price deflation in the market for illicit sex.
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