3 Min Read
(Reuters) - Falling bonuses could not be coming at a worse time for investment bankers: It is going to make it that much harder to buy a $75,000 yurt for Christmas.
A luxury version of the tent more associated with Mongol nomads than Wall Street dealmakers is one of the fantasy gifts in the 2011 Neiman Marcus Christmas book.
At 18 feet in diameter, the hand-painted yurt is "the ideal simulation of a genie's posh bottle," the catalog says. The portable structure includes one-of-a-kind designer down-filled pillows and a crystal chandelier.
Not interested in nomadic outdoor living? How about a $125,000 custom-built library from luxury book publisher Assouline? It has custom-carpeting, objects d'art and framed prints, as well as 250 current or vintage books of the customer's choice.
For those with a bit more to spend, there is a $420,000 international flower show tour, arranged by JetWay private air. The tour, for 10 people, begins at the tulip festival in Merges, Switzerland, and makes stops at the Kifissia flower show in Athens, the Altera rose festival in Avignon, France, and the Chelsea flower show in London.
Neiman Marcus will also make contributions to charities like Firstbook, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The Christmas book, first published in 1926, has become an annual display of pricey fantasy gifts mixed in with more prosaic items such as $95 sterling silver earrings.
Neiman Marcus will donate $10,000 to Water.org, an organization that helps provide safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries, in return for the $1 million purchase of his-and-her dancing water fountains from Wet, which designed the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
This year's edition comes as the wealthy are facing assaults from various directions, including the Occupy Wall Street protest movement and its global offshoots, an expected drop of 20 percent or more in investment banking bonus pools, and a volatile stock market.
And if all that is getting bankers down, there is a less-expensive way for them to drown their sorrows -- a $5,000 Johnnie Walker scotch tasting, complete with an authentic Scottish bagpiper and master of whisky telling the history and attributes of the various spirits.
Reporting by Brad Dorfman in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn