The Coming Depression
Monday, Feb 2, 2009
Pushed past their breaking points, people are robbing banks to pay the rent, setting homes on fire — even taking their own lives.
The body count is still rising. For months on end, marked by bankruptcies, foreclosures, evictions, and layoffs, the economic meltdown has taken a heavy toll on Americans. In response, a range of extreme acts including suicide, self-inflicted injury, murder, and arson have hit the local news. By October 2008, an analysis Here of press reports nationwide indicated that an epidemic of tragedies spurred by the financial crisis had already spread from Pasadena, California, to Taunton, Massachusetts, from Roseville, Minnesota, to Ocala, Florida.
In the three months since, the pain has been migrating upwards. A growing number of the world’s rich have garnered headlines for high profile, financially-motivated suicides. Take the New Zealand-born “millionaire financier” who leapt in front of an express train in Great Britain or the “German tycoon” who did much the same in his homeland. These have, with increasing regularity, hit front pages around the world. An example would be New York-based money manager RenÃ©-Thierry Magnon de la Villehuchet, who slashed his wrists after he “lost more than $1 billion of client money, including much, if not all, of his own family’s fortune.” In the end, he was yet another victim of financial swindler Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
(Article continues below)
WISN-TV uncovered a host of similar tragedies including:
* A 21-year-old Milwaukee man who shot himself in the face after “he ran out of unemployment [insurance].”
* A 43-year-old West Allis man who hanged himself in his basement with a belt. “[T]he mortgage payments are behind,” his girlfriend told the police. “There are astronomical medical bills.”
* A 40-year-old Milwaukee woman who overdosed after having “financial problems.”
* A 24-year-old Milwaukee man, “fired from his job three weeks before,” who suffocated himself with Saran Wrap.
* And a 38-year-old Milwaukee man who shot himself in the head. He’d lost his job six weeks earlier.
This article was posted: Monday, February 2, 2009 at 4:47 am