The Heartland Bar in the Roppongi Hills section of Toyko was an epicenter of foreign banker carousing, at least until Lehman and Bear Stearns imploded. The blow to the neighborhood has been seismic, particularly among the young Japanese women who used to come to the Heartland Bar looking to snag wealthy banker boytoys. “I've found three boyfriends in Heartland: two Lehman and one from Morgan Stanley,” Taeko Hiroguchi tells the Times of London. “I even lived with one of them for a while and helped him spend his 2005 bonus. These Bulgari earrings were a present from him. Even if we were still going out, there would be no bonus this year though, right?”The Times tells the sad tale of two other immaculately groomed women from the Tokyo suburbs who waited dispiritedly at Heartland's bar for some still-employed Goldman Sachs flunky to whisk them away. Much to their horror, the only men who hit on them were wearing polyester suits and were possibly IT consultants. But even a nice suit might not have sealed the deal: "They don't trust us any more," Noel, an American fund manager tells the Times. "We've still got the nice suits and the job in finance - just about - but these chicks are smart. They know we don't carry the financial guarantees we used to.” According to an article in the Mainichi Daily News, the result of this economic crash and burn is that the so-called "Roppongi Hills Tribe" may have to seek gainful employment. "In an age when it is no longer possible to associate sweet dreams with marriage, what will be necessary is the resolve to be self-reliant and to not have to depend on others," says the News. And that's what these former banker-baggers are doing, the Times of London concurs. “Maybe Lehman was the final victim,” says one of the women unsuccessfully trolling the Heartland for a wealthy mate. “I'll just go out in Kawasaki from now on. No rich princes to buy me champagne, but at least I can afford the first drink there on my own.” Japanese Say Goodbye To Western Playboys [Times of London] Women And Men Now Looking For Mates With Qualities To Sustain 'Survival Marriages' [Mainichi Daily News]
Dear Sally Struthers: I'm looking into adopting a young woman from Tokyo who is being denied a rich foreign banker. For just thousands a day I can ensure that my young woman has the ready cash for highlights, manicures and a bikini wax. My thousands will provide a luxury hotel suite, the finest champagne, and a steady stream of designer jewelry and clothing to this disadvantaged young woman. Please, won't you help, too?