It is clear from Vicky Ward’s book, The Devil’s Casino, that many of the wives of senior Lehman executives were spoiled-princesses.
Prostrating themselves at the high-altar of the firm, gilding every ageing lily and fighting like Cinderella’s fat sisters were the everyday obsessions of these icons of corporate triumphalism.
It’s not hard to feel a little envy, of course, when you read about the opulence (more Jimmy Choos than it is healthy to imagine) they surrounded themselves with, but outrage at the waste and self obsession follows soon afterwards.
And the saddest thing is that none of these wives seems to have been happy. Jealousy, status worry and fear about your husband’s future are not confined to the middle classes. They are sentiments no less keenly felt at a high-altitude corporate camp.
Of course an elevated sense of your own superiority, and plush surroundings must be a continuing compensation for them. One that all those billions, and all that risk was well worth, wasn’t it?
Vanity Fair had a good article about the Devil’s Casino: http://tinyurl.com/yhm6arq
Cost, as of end 2012, of the financial bail out in the U.S. alone:
* $29 billion for Bear Stearns
* $143.8 billion for AIG (this far)
* $100 billion for Fannie Mae
* $100 billion for Freddie Mac
* $700 billion for Wall Street, including Bank of America (Merrill Lynch),
Citigroup, JP Morgan (WaMu), Wells Fargo (Wachovia), Morgan Stanley, Goldman
Sachs, and a lot more
* $25 billion for The Big Three in Detroit
* $8 billion for IndyMac
* $150 billion stimulus package (from January ’09)
* $50 billion for money market funds
* $138 billion for Lehman Bros. (post bankruptcy) through JP Morgan
* $620 billion for general currency swaps from the Fed
ROUGH TOTAL: $2,063,800,000,000
Yes, over $2 trillion dollars. As of the end of 2012.
That’s about $6,800 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.A..
But there isn’t enough money available to balance the budget?