September 17th, 2008
10:12 AM GMT
LONDON, England – Our inbox has filled in recent days with e-mails telling us where our viewers feel that the blame lies for the collapse of Lehman Brothers and this week's market turmoil. A few examples ...
"The banks & insurance companies of the world have caused their own demise."
"The crisis on Wall Street is the result of fat cats who should be investigated on gross mismanagement."
"They've had it coming. There is simply too much speculative money being generated by unfettered financial institutions, money for which there is no real equivalent in goods and/or services."
"Good that the smug finance professionals who were on the gravy train will get a real jolt with this and hopefully many pink slips."
It's clear that there's little sympathy for the bank staff that have suddenly found themselves among the ranks of the unemployed.
But while the "smug, overpaid" investment bankers and "professional gambler" traders represent the public perception of the banking industry, the vast bulk of Lehman and Merrill employees are more modestly paid backroom staff.
There are thousands of sales people, secretaries, researchers, clerks, human resources and catering staff caught up in this, who had no involvement whatsoever with the complex financial dealings that led their employers into so much trouble.
With food, utilities, general living costs and unemployment all on the rise, and with Christmas and all of its associated expense just around the corner, perhaps we should spare a though for these "ordinary" guys and their families who are likely to find it tough going as they search for a new job in these uncertain economic times?
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