Time for a little lifestyle arbitrage

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London may now have the weather of a warm place in the southern hemisphere, but it does not have trees full of mangos, beaches, or cheap beer. Nor does it have enough financial services jobs to accommodate everyone who lost theirs in the past 24 months.

Given this state of affairs, there's something to be said for moving somewhere cheap and warm for a while. As you may recollect, the head of HR at one respectable European bank recommended precisely this a few weeks ago.

As in so many things, however, US bankers appear to be ahead of the curve. An article in this month’s Playboy (brought to us via Clusterstock), says redundant Wall Street bankers have been retreating to Buenos Aires in search of cheap R&R for the past 11 months at least.

One economic migrant said his existence in the city went a little something like this:

"My average day was waking up at, let's say two—maybe three but let's say two—and going to lunch, which consisted of going to a nice restaurant and having a big steak. Then I would get back to my place at, say, four, 4:30 and spend the afternoon at the pool. I would maybe go for a short walk or most likely have some friend over to the pool.

And then I would meet up with friends at, like, 10ish to go to dinner, and you go to another one of the top restaurants. Dinner ends at midnight or one. Then you go to a bar for an hour, maybe two. Then you go to a nightclub. Usually the clubs start to empty out around six or seven in the morning."

The hedonism has since become too much for that particular refugee, who is now back in New York and storing surplus clothes at his parents'.

If you can’t hack Buenos Aires, there are alternatives. Mercer’s Cost of living survey suggests Eastern European cities are cheap (although maybe not exactly hot) and the Economist’s Big Mac Index suggests anyone with dollars to spend might want to contemplate hanging out in Bali.

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