Nobody Promised Fair, But This Is Ridiculous

Granted, there are those at Bear who deserve some of the blame for the greed-induced rise and catastrophic fall of the subprime housing market, which set off the mess we're all in now. After all, the firm jumped feet first into the glassy-eyed frenzy that created the bubble, before the spectacular collapse of two of its hedge funds kick-started the credit crunch last June. And many have pointed to Bear's general arrogance and penchant for making enemies, exemplified by its refusal to participate in the bailout of Long-Term Capital Management a decade ago, as justification for not shedding any tears for the firm.

But I'm not talking about the firm, or those who run it. I'm talking about the guy who has spent most of his working life there, in some department far from the mortgage group, who is now nearing 60 and has just seen a good portion of his retirement wiped out. Or the 52-year-old secretary, who has not only lost what to her is a bundle on the $2 a share takeover, but who must now compete with people half her age for jobs as the country enters a recession

"For the regular Joes and Janes-staff, secretaries, the janitor-this deal stinks," Anthony Sabino, a lawyer with Sabino & Sabino and a professor at St. John's University, told the Birmingham Post. "The blue-collar folks have a right to be hopping mad at the big boys for putting them in this predicament." The company's top people "were cowboys who took huge risks, gambled and lost."

I couldn't have said it better myself. -CJC

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