WSJ: Wall Street Journal Trader Goes From 200K to 25K a Year

From Ordering Steak and Lobster, to Serving It

Carlos Araya used to order lobster, filet mignon and $200 bottles of red wine at the Palm Restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

Now, he seats customers at its Tribeca branch.

Mr. Araya, 38 years old, lost his job in 2007 as a crude oil trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After visiting dozens of headhunters with no luck, he applied in August 2008 to be a host at the Palm to support his wife, two young daughters and mortgage payments. His salary has plunged from $200,000 to $25,000.

If the financial crisis was the flood, then the Arayas are one of the families standing in the stagnant waters left behind. Some former Wall Street employees, highly trained and accustomed to comfortable salaries, are having trouble translating their specialized skills to other fields that pay well, and instead find themselves forced to accept low-wage work. Now, Mr. Araya is on the brink of losing it all and is doubtful that he will ever return to Wall Street.

And he isn’t alone. Nearly 25,000 jobs have been lost in New York City’s financial sector since August 2007, according to the New York State Department of Labor. The finance industry in New York is expected to lose 56,800 jobs from the end of 2007 to the beginning of 2012, according to projections from the Independent Budget Office, a publicly funded information agency.

John Carbonaro was let go as a floor clerk by Bank of America in January 2009, and despite his job-hunting efforts, remains a “Mr. Mom.” Joe Morrone, a laid-off trading clerk from Prudential, has been unemployed for two years and struggles to support his daughters and grandson. He has had stints as a deli worker, a doorman and a bouncer. “I used to have three cars,” Mr. Morrone says. “Now I share one.”

The result is an unlikely…

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6 thoughts on “WSJ: Wall Street Journal Trader Goes From 200K to 25K a Year

  1. The Mets are playing like the Baltimore Orioles. Their lack of power may be their downfall yet this season, but right now and have the fifth-best record in the National League. Now the Mets just need to work on their squeeze plays and be more patient. They’ve always been my favourite teams in MLB. Just read about them here:

    http://www.metsground.com

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