In The New Yorker this week, Nick Paumgarten writes a piece titled "The Death of Kings -- Notes from a meltdown." The story is online, though you need to be a registered New Yorker user for access.
"As for the co-op classes, the Wall Street set, it can seem that the loss they fear most is the loss of face. No one seems to want anyone to know. In one sense, there is less shame in failure now, because it is widespread and undiscerning. Still, it smarts. There are successful circles in which success (to say nothing of money) isn't everything, but without it you'd better bring something else. Charm, wit, talent, kindness and generosity certainly help, but only if they complement characteristics that could be more readily converted into social or professional capital. Without the fancy job or the big nut, it gets harder to hang around."