You may not have heard of the Killers, a music group from Las Vegas that’s been variously called the next U2 and the best Mormon rock band of all time. They are playing tonight at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
Tickets, at $45, sold out in a few minutes when they went on sale in late September, and have been reselling for 10 times that amount on the secondary market. That’s where Craigslist, and a former hedge fund associate, come in.
A Reuters reporter was not willing to pay the $350 asking price per ticket to see the show, and emailed the seller, pointing out a recession is under way. The former hedge fund associate emailed back: “I’m not a scalper. I’m a ticket arbitrageur.” So we called him up.
“I really like this band. I can play some of their songs,” he said. “New York is an expensive place and I don’t have a paycheck coming in today.” He did not want to be identified since he is looking for work.
The Ivy League-educated 25-year-old, a Killers fan, bought tickets to Friday’s show a few days before his Park Avenue hedge fund laid him off, along with several others. The fund paid out unused sick days and vacation time, but no severance. He’s received inquiries about tickets from across New York’s financial industry, but mostly from its higher strata.