09/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tom Wolfe: The Rich Have Feelings Too - Vanity Fair

Do the rich have feelings too? In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Tom Wolfe, who famously chronicled the buyout kings of the 1980s in The Bonfire Of The Vanities, seems to suggest the rich do, in fact feel emotions -- but only after they've been forced to fly coach.

Wolfe assumes the voice of a commodities trader who laments the loss of his company's prized private jets. Rhapsodizing about pre-Bailout era, the narrator salutes his CEO Robert J. McCorkle ("Corky"), who led offsites that were, well, memorable:

"One of the sweetest sounds in the world was Corky making the rounds up here on the executive floor, saying in his laid-back voice, "I feel like boffing some bimbos in the Caribbean. Anybody like to come along?"

In typical Wolfeian fashion, the narrator's prone to wide-ranging references. Nietzsche's "tarantulas" make an appearance, as do the former CEOs of the Big Three automakers. Here's more from Wolfe:

"At the risk of sounding condescending, we should point out that ordinary people haven't the faintest conception of the strain we had to endure daily. How many ordinary people have ever done anything remotely like betting $7.4 billion--bango!--just so!--that the price of energy will rise sharply 14 months from a certain date?"

It almost tugs on your heart strings. But not quite...Read the entire piece at Vanity Fair.

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