Author Kevin Roose may have won over the Internet today with his look at how a secret society of the super rich people party.
The piece by the author of the new book Young Money appears on New York magazine’s website as “One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society.”
Roose, then a reporter for the New York Times, crashed the annual black-tie induction ceremony for a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi in 2012.
He says he found billionaires and millionaires from some of the nation’s biggest corporations and financial institutions dressed in drag and preforming skits, songs and off-colored comedy routines.
“What’s the biggest difference between Hillary Clinton and a catfish?” Paul Queally, a private-equity executive with Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, asked on a recording Roose secretly made. “One has whiskers and stinks, and the other is a fish.”
“What’s the biggest difference between Barney Frank and a Fenway Frank?” he later asked. “Barney Frank comes in different-size buns.”
Roose snapped photos and took audio. He was discovered as a reporter when he tried to video record a parody version of “I Believe” from the Broadway hit “The Book of Mormon.”
He said two attendees offered him info for his silence.
Roose writes: “I wasn’t going to be bribed off my story, but I understood their panic. Here, after all, was a group that included many of the executives whose firms had collectively wrecked the global economy in 2008 and 2009. And they were laughing off the entire disaster in private, as if it were a long-forgotten lark. (Or worse, sing about it — one of the last skits of the night was a self-congratulatory parody of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” called “Bailout King.”) These were activities that amounted to a gigantic middle finger to Main Street and that, if made public, could end careers and damage very public reputations.”