The Cost of Living in Manhattan

by: Stephen Hsu

I just returned from NYC. The mood there is pretty bleak :-(

It looks like people are deserting the city in droves. Entire areas of finance and banking are gone and won't return for many years. I heard some very detailed estimates of the carrying cost of supporting a family in Manhattan (see Times analysis here):

$500k per year (pre tax) for minimal high end lifestyle (2 kids in private school, nanny, 2000 square feet of living space; not counting big vacations or Hamptons rental)

$150-200k per year (pre tax) for minimal non-Manhattan life: kids in public schools, long commute to and from the city.

The problem is that $500k is the compensation cap figure, and $150-200k is the base salary number, which is all most people are getting these days. The phrase I heard several times is "I'm effectively paying to work here -- no f#%king way!"

The cost of living in Manhattan is going to drop precipitously in a nasty 1-2 year equilibration.

I also heard serious apocalyptic predictions about US hyper-inflation starting in a year or two.

This is what the money men have to look forward to -- the post 1920s finance bust will probably repeat: