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Down the rabbit hole….

Greed kills.

I just saw three “unrelated” stories in CNN’s news tonight.

The first was a California story of tragedy. Kartik Rajaram, 45, a man with an MBA in Finance who had worked for major accounting firms such as Price Waterhouse, and who had been unemployed for several months and could not find work, shot and killed his mother-in-law, wife, his three sons, and himself in a gated community in Porter Ranch, about 20 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Rajaram’s 19-year-old son was home from college and was a Fulbright Scholar and honor student at UCLA.

Rajaram had left three letters: one to police (acknowledging responsibility for the killings), one to friends and relatives, and one that appears to be his will.

Deputy Chief of Police, Michael Moore, was quoted as saying of the incident, “This is a perfect American family behind me that has absolutely been destroyed, apparently because of a man who just got stuck in a rabbit hole, if you will, of absolute despair, somehow working his way into believing this to be an acceptable exit.”

All people react to such financial stress differently, and there must be many, many families in the United States enduring such stress right now, given the huge numbers of people who find themselves unemployed for extended periods this year, as the result of cutbacks, layoffs, offshoring, outsourcing, and various forms of discrimination.

The second story was about the Dow Jones industrial average dropping 369 points today, ending below 10,000. At one time today, the Dow had dropped 800 points. Europe is scrambling to support faltering banks, and news of the Asian markets crashing was on the TV when I woke up this morning. These events affect the life savings of millions and also affect their day-to-day survival. (Note added October 7, 2008: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 508 points today, closing at the lowest point since Sept. 30, 2003.)

The third story took the form of a CNN video in which a reporter questioned Lehman CEO Richard Fuld about his several homes and the millions in executive compensation that he received while his corporation was headed toward bankruptcy. (Note added October 14, 2008: For the “Karmic twist” see this!)

Although not everyone would agree, I think that the three stories are related and that the greed on the “Wall Streets” of the world reaches out to inflict damage on the “Main Streets” of the world, like the family tragedy in the San Fernando Valley of California.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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