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The bad economy: the victims and the victors

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The $700-plus billion bailout was supposed to ease investors’ fears. Many Americans are still jittery about the ailing economy; and apparently a lot of players in the financial markets around the world are feeling the same way.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones plunged 800 points — the most ever in one day— before recovering somewhat,  closing down 370 points, but below 10,000 for the first time in four years. No telling what is going to happen today or the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, authorities are investigating an apparent murder/suicide case that involves a family of six in Porter Ranch. The father, who had been unemployed for months, reportedly shot to death his wife, mother-in-law, three sons, and then killed himself over the weekend. The tragic scene was discovered Monday morning.

Police say 45-year-old Karthik Rajaram left three notes in which he took responsibility for the shootings and blamed “extreme financial difficulties” for his fatal decision.

In contrast, Lehman Bros. CEO Richard Fuld was on the hot seat Monday at the first of a series of congressional hearings to try to determine what led to this financial mess. Even though the prominent investment bank went bankrupt last month, Fuld has admitted to getting “.. a bit less than $250 million”  in compensation from the company since 2000.

While ordinary citizens like that desperate Porter Ranch father struggle, Fuld has millions in reserve to help him weather the roller coaster economy in the weeks and months ahead. Clearly, Fuld’s one of the victors on Wall Street walking away from failed companies with their pockets bulging with money. That is so wrong.

 Many Americans feel like victims in this financial mess. So there is a lot sadness and empathy for that Porter Ranch family, but only anger and contempt for the greedy raiders in the financial sector.  

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