http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/12/25/business/web.1225bonus.php It's a brisk Wednesday morning in the windy caverns of Wall Street and Sarah Clark's toes are cold. Dressed in a purple flight attendant outfit, Ms. Clark, a 26-year-old model, is trying to entice recent bonus recipients at Goldman Sachs into using a charter plane service, handing out $1,000 discount coupons to people in front of the investment bank's Broad Street headquarters. "Where am I going?" asks one man, heading toward the Goldman building. "It's your own private jet," says Ms. Clark with a smile. "You can go wherever you like." For Wall Street's elite, the sky may well be the limit. In recent weeks, immense riches have been rained upon the top bankers and traders. After a year of record profits, investment houses like Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley are awarding bonuses as high as $60 million. And a select group of hedge fund managers and private equity executives may be taking home even more. Miller Motorcars, in Greenwich, Conn., is fielding more requests for the $250,000 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano than it can possibly fill. One real estate broker laments a dearth of listings for two clients trying to spend $20 million on Manhattan properties. Financiers already comfortably settled in multimillion-dollar apartments and town houses are buying $5 million apartments for their children. Vacation homes, usually bought and sold in the spring, are now hot this winter, including ones in private resorts like the Yellowstone Club in Montana near Yellowstone National Park. "Last year, everybody bought Ducatis," said one investment banker, referring to the Italian motorcycle. "This year it's vacations. I'm on my way to St. Barts," he said, en route to the airport. Like most bankers, he spoke on the condition that he not be identified, because he was not authorized to talk to a reporter by his company. The 2006 bonus gold rush has re-energized some luxury markets. The Manhattan real estate market, for example, had softened; sales of apartments fell 17 percent in the third quarter this year compared with a year ago, according to the Corcoran Group. Then came bonus day. Last week, Michele Kleier, president of Gumley Haft Kleier, received a call from a hedge fund manager in his late 30s. He had spent $6 million on an apartment two years ago and, with his bonus, wanted to upgrade. His new price range? "Not more than $20 million." Ed Petrie, a broker at Sotheby's in East Hampton, N.Y., is now fielding two bids for $8 million to $10 million properties in exclusive Georgica Pond â properties that have been on the market since the spring. "The fall was relatively slow and then suddenly, with news on bonuses, there has been quite a bit of activity," he said. Many brokers noticed not just the bonus effect, but the bonus-anticipation effect. Buyers who sat on the sidelines in 2006, waiting for real estate prices to come down, saw news of outsized bonuses and started signing deals to pre-empt any price increase driven by new Wall Street payouts. "Part of our recent increase in sales activity has been buyers not in financial services trying to beat the bonus rush," said James Lansill, senior managing director at the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. Once the bonus rush started, Mr. Lansill witnessed a trend he had never seen in his 14 years in the business: people who had signed contracts for apartments under construction 5 to 6 months ago were doubling the size of the properties they were purchasing. In the last three weeks, the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing group sold the last four apartments in the Richard Meier apartments at 165 Charles Street in Greenwich Village. The last one to go: a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with 2,350 square feet that sold for just under $7 million. Patricia Warburg Cliff, senior vice president and director for European sales at the Corcoran Group, said that until recently, 2006 had been characterized by calmer, more informed buyers. "Now there's a feeling, 'I need to sign because I don't want it snatched away,' " she said. Adding to the spending spree is a rash of young hedge fund analysts, first big bonus checks in hand, scooping up the $2 million to $3 million starter apartments (most popular features: glass walls, marble bathrooms and kitchens â likely to go unused â with top-flight appliances). "We love hedge funds, they are our favorite people" Ms. Kleier said. "They don't feel like the money is real and they don't mind spending it â they don't mind going up by $500,000 or $1 million increments."