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Craigslist Gold Digger Meets Her Match

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Self-described 'spectacularly beautiful' woman posts an online personals ad stating her wish to pair off with a marriageable 'rich guy' in New York City.  Wall Street banker replies: 'Your offer... is plain and simple a crappy business deal.'

Description: Viral text / Forwarded email
Circulating since: Sept. 2007
Status: Authenticity unknown (see details below)


Example:
Email contributed by Gregory D., Oct. 11, 2007:

THIS APPEARED ON CRAIG'S LIST

What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 100 - 150. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 150,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

-Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics - bars, restaurants, gyms

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?

-Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?

-Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

-How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

--------------------

THE ANSWER

Dear Pers-:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity...in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way.

Classic "pump and dump."

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.
____________
Rob Campbell
J.P.Morgan
Diversified Industrials Investment Banking
277 Park Avenue, 16/F, New York , NY 10172



Analysis: Craigslist is a classified ad website which also attracts its fair share of pranksters, so the authenticity of the above exchange — which began on September 25, 2007 with the post entitled "What am I doing wrong?" — has been questioned by some people right along.

"It does look as if the post was made sincerely," a Craigslist spokesperson told the New York Times two weeks after it first appeared. But reporters' queries to the anonymous poster's mailbox have gone unanswered, and — to no one's surprise, really — she(?) has not stepped forward to claim authorship.

The Wall Street banker's response bears the signature line of Rob Campbell, an actual employee of J.P. Morgan Chase & Company's investment banking division, but the company denies he authored it, stating that Campbell merely forwarded the message as received, whereupon his email program automatically appended his signature line. This is perfectly plausible given that the same thing happens to "frequent forwarders" all the time. What's more, the exchange was already making the rounds before Rob Campbell's name became attached to it.

A well-known Craigslist prankster has also denied authoring the reply.

Hoax or not, the complementary postings function well together as a humorous commentary on the current state of the "Battle of the Sexes," which, as folklorists Dundes and Pagter noted in their 1991 collection Never Try to Teach a Pig to Sing: Still More Urban Folklore from the Paperwork Empire, remains fraught with tensions "as old as humankind itself."


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Sources and further reading:

Acquisitive Craigslist Post Reddens Faces All Around
NY Times, 8 October 2007

Rob Campbell, Accidental Sexist
New York Magazine, 8 October 2007

The Economics of Gold-Digging
Freakonomics, 9 October 2007


Last updated: 10/11/07

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