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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 11:19 GMT
R.I.P. Conspicuous Consumption
CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION appears to have died, meeting its end in a central London restaurant. Fittingly enough, it passed on supping the finest wines with its best friends - the gentlemen investors of the City of London.

It will be some consolation to its admirers that the meal for five cost 44,000, with one bottle of vintage Chateau Petrus costing 12,300.

The end came swiftly when the diners parted company with their employer - Barclay's Capital - when their association with Conspicuous Consumption came to light.

A trader
Just the house white?
Foul play has not been ruled out in its death - some blame its estranged brothers Sobriety and Austerity Chic. The twins have already moved into its ancestral seat.

Though it suffered a period of prolonged ill-health in the early 1990s - precipitated by a decade of excess - previous reports of its demise proved to be exaggerated.

Even in recent months, sales of Porsches - a tested barometer for gauging its well-being - have been putting the German company in profit despite the global economic slump.

But friends may wonder if its fate had been somehow foreseen in the collapse of multinational energy company Enron.

Enron - the corporate equivalent of the 44,000 diners - had long been splashing out on lavish trappings, buying 50 plasma TV screens for its London office alone.

Conspicuous Consumption will be remembered as a child of happier times. "Conspicuous consumption is looking very September 10," read an obituary in the Times.

No flowers.

Some of your tributes so far:

Let us not lament the past, but look to the future. Here's to "Conspicuous Generosity" becoming fashionable instead.
Phil, Yorkshire

As far as those on moderate or low incomes - or those in the developing world - are concerned, the demise of conspicuous consumption could not come too soon. May its corpse rot publicly.
James, UK

Ahhh, such happy times and fond memories - blowing student loans on lavish skiing hoildays, buying a new BMW on HP at graduation. CC will be sorely missed, leaving only a legacy of student debt and repossession...

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25 Feb 02 | Business
Bankers 'sacked' over 44,000 meal
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