As former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer learned this week—after being ousted for clandestine trysts with expensive call girls—prostitution is illegal. Spitzer was not the first (nor the last) high-profile person to enjoy expensive romps with ladies of the evening (clients one through eight have yet to be ferreted out).
While most of Wall Street toasted Spitzer’s demise, the financial industry is not impervious to succumbing to the attractions of women and chasing illegal tail. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal blog, Deal Journal, recalled a number of Wall Street sex scandals including prostitutes and strippers. Like the time in 2000, when Former Keefe Bruyette & Woods Chief Executive James McDermott was found guilty of insider trading and tipping off exotic dancer, Kathryn Gannon, a.k.a. “Marilyn Star,” on pending bank mergers. Or how about in 1987, when vice chairman of E.F. Hutton & Co., (now Wachovia Securities) was told by his client, Tesoro Petroleum Corp. to hire a blonde prostitute for the finance minister of Trinidad & Tobago.
Deplorable? Yes. Out of character? Maybe not. In fact, a “sizeable portion of the super wealthy use escorts,” says a survey by Russ Alan Prince, president of Connecticut-based wealth-research firm Prince and Associates. As found on the Wall Street Journal blog, The Wealth Report, of the 661 people surveyed who owned private jets, 34 percent of the males and 20 percent of the females had paid for sex. Why? Well, 71 percent cited “unique experiences,” and 57 percent said “higher quality experiences”.