Things are so bad The New York Financial Writers’ Association had to charge for drinks at its annual black-tie gala. Previously The Financial Follies (Actual name. Formerly funny.) dinner featured a pre-meal open bar. This year the association could not get a corporate sponsor to pick up the $25,000 tab. (Guesstimate: $500 of alcohol per journalist. Guesstimate based on extensive knowledge of the drinking patterns of reporters.) The bright side of this is that the media is now taking the “economic slowdown” very, very seriously.