There are few who emerged from the Great Recession unscathed. CEO and socialite Alexandra Lebenthal addresses the effects that the recent tough economy has had on four Upper East Side socialites in her debut novel, The Recessionistas.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Alexandra at last week’s Sex & the City 2 screening at the Paris Theater. As the president and CEO of Lebenthal & Co, and its wealth management division, Alexandra & James Inc., she is quite connected with the elite in NYC, and serves on several prominent boards, including the School of American Ballet, Business Council of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Capital Campaign for the Museum of the City of New York, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Botanical Garden. I was even more impressed when I found out that she worked with Judith Leiber on the cover design of The Recessionistas, which will be out on August 9, 2010 for $24.99.
The official summary of the book, from Grand Central Publishing, is as follows:
It’s the day after Labor Day, 2008, and the bottom is about to drop out of the economy. Hedge fund owner John Cutter is in the process of an ugly divorce and nearly in financial ruin, except for the assets he is hiding from his wife Mimi in the Cayman Islands. When he concocts a scheme to redeem himself, he enlists Lehman Brothers investment banker Blake Somerset as an accomplice. Blake is ripe for recruitment given that he, too, is on the verge of being in dire financial straits because of Lehman’s decline and imminent bankruptcy. Blake’s socialite wife Grigsby is barely aware of her changing world to begin with, and has no idea of the perilous situation her husband is about to enter. As autumn unfolds, Grigsby’s fairytale life starts to unwind. Meanwhile, John and Blake’s scheme comes to light when street-smart Renee Parker begins her new position as John’s executive assistant. Convinced something is amiss, she enlists her friend Sasha Silver, CEO of Silver Partners, to help her decipher what is happening. This story of expulsion from a modern-day Garden of Eden captures what happens when economic decline spells ruin for Manhattan’s pampered elite.
It may be a few months away, but I would still encourage you to mark September 10, 2010 on your calendars because Alexandra, Judith Leiber, and Molly Sims will host one of the Fashion’s Night Out events benefit one of Lebenthal’s causes, The Rita Hayworth Foundation.