The sudden collapse of Bear Stearns seems to have taken everybody by surprise. There's an article about it in today's New York Times.
Just like that, some people’s stakes of $100 million or more in Bear were ravaged, and senior executives ... were furious. Entering the weekend, Bear executives felt confident that the firm could be sold for several billion dollars, if not more.
Apparently the firm encouraged employees to buy shares in the firm. Uh oh.
“My life has been flushed down the drain,” said one person. There was talk Monday that with their life savings nearly depleted, some executives had moved quickly, putting their weekend homes on the market.
Not the weekend home...
Bear also told employees that grief counselors were standing by.
"The stability of your world is shattered,” said Ari Kiev, a psychiatrist who counsels financial executives. “You are angry at the firm for failing you. But it’s more than money. It’s the shame and embarrassment. Now the question is, can you pay for the house and do you give up the second car?”
Not the second car too...
I can't tell you how sorry I feel for the executives. No, I really can't.