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Scheudenfraude is an ugly word--in any language

Now I've spent 15 years writing about technology and data on Wall Street and the City. I've met many people who do (or did) take home a fat wad of cash and others who get by on much smaller wallets.

But as the events of this week continue, I have been a bit disturbed by the level of bile floating around the blogs and even in mainstream news. All of it aimed at suited young men and women photographed walking from their offices with cardboard boxes--people who may have walked away with fat bonues in their savings accounts or may only just have redundant credits left on their canteen cards.

The amount of 20/20 hindsight commentary has also left me cold (as seen in last night's Question Time). If you are someone who two years ago predicted the decline of the mighty investment banks (or even six months ago) well good for you. But for the majority of the rest of us who are watching friends and stangers standing amongst this current rubble of global capitalism--step back from the sneering.

These are careers and this is our world and at the very least these are human beings.


Comments: (2)

Stanley Epstein
Stanley Epstein - Citadel Advantage Ltd - Modiin 21 September, 2008, 16:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

You are absolutely right Elizabeth! I had only one thought as I watched these poor folk walking from their offices with those cardboard boxes …. "There but for the grace of God go I”.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 22 September, 2008, 09:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This was certainly a very hard week, and must have worried everybody who understands a bit about economy. And we all know the trouble is not over yet. The 700 or so billions to be poured in by the US government will have to come from somewhere, probably it will be a combination of open or hidden tax increases, budget reductions more or less hurting everybody, and simply printing more money thus driving inflation.

So reasonable people will probably refrain from Schadenfreude (a pretty difficult German word) and continue to worry ...

But it may be appropriate to contemplate a bit about the role of Wallstreet. Many more hard working blue and white collar workers have lost their jobs in the past, sometimes just because some analysts wanted to see higher profits ...

Of course we need well functioning markets, also financial markets. But war is too important to leave it only to the generals, and economy is too important to leave it only to a bunch of traders.

Elizabeth Lumley

Elizabeth Lumley

Global FinTech Commentator

Girl, Disrupted

Member since

05 Nov 2007



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