The XX Factor

Trolling Article on Bankers’ Thrifty Tips Reveals What’s Wrong with Humanity

Can I please keep the Spanish seaside resort?

Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

Gather round, readers, to hear tell of a story written by a real-life troll. This troll comes in the form of an author who goes by the name Sarah Butcher, who wrote a post from eFinancial Careers on “Twenty money-saving tips from bankers and their wives.”

The troll begins by observing that even investment bankers are pinching their pennies in this brave new economy. For the troll, there are only male bankers, who invariably have profligate, non-working wives. So a few of the tips involve making sure your wife is doing the ironing and the cooking, rather than going to the dry cleaner’s or dining out. If she complains, tell her to get a job. Really: “[Put] your spouse to work,” reads hint number 16. But don’t hire a nanny to take over the childcare: “I can work when the children are at school,” explains “Adele,” banker’s wife extraordinaire.

Tough but fair, right? The veneer of reason chips a bit when you get to tip number 9, which urges you to winter at a slightly less pricey ski resort. Then again, that sacrifice pales in comparison to number 11, “Sell the second home,” presumably including the horses and helipad, and number 18, which basically instructs you to tell your wife to hawk her designer clothes once the season changes and they’re no longer fashionable.

The advice accelerates into a stream of painful losses—No more business class! Dump your premium cable service!—that will leave you weeping on behalf of these nearly destitute investment bankers and their unfashionably shod families. And yet nothing will melt your heart so much as a suggestion from a supposed ex-Goldman Sachs employee: “Stop carrying a wedge of cash around with you. It reduces the temptation to tip people so much.”