New book: The Recessionistas, by Alexandra Lebenthal ’86 (Grand Central Publishing)
The author: In her first novel, Lebenthal taps her financial know-how and her own socially prominent life as she tells the story of how the economic crisis of 2008 affected the wives and female executives of Wall Street. Lebenthal is the president and CEO of Lebenthal & Co., and its wealth management division, Alexandra & James, Inc.
The plot: In this chick-lit story about economic reversals for New York’s Upper East Side, hedge fund owner John Cutter is on the verge of financial disaster and in the process of an ugly divorce. When he concocts a scheme to redeem himself, he enlists the help of Lehman Brothers investment banker Blake Somerset, also on the edge of ruin. Somerset’s wife, Grigsby, is unaware of her husband’s tenuous situation until her fairy-tale life starts to unwind. Meanwhile, Cutter’s new executive assistant tries to get to the bottom of the men’s scheme.
Review: “New York investment specialist and socialite Lebenthal is fluent in luxury brands and conveys a delicious sense of irony, and she is her absolute best when clearly explaining how various investment vehicles worked and failed. The rich surely are different from you and me, but oh so entertaining,” wrote Booklist.