Richard Fuld, CEO of bankrupt Wall Street Investment firm Lehman Brothers, attempted suicide in his $60M luxury yacht today off the coast of Miami, FL. According to the US Coast Guard who arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of receiving a call from another yacht owner sailing close by, ex-WAMU CEO, Alan Fishman, Fuld had shot himself twice in his upper body.
With the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Fuld has lost millions in stock and had fallen back on his yacht loan payments. Repeated attempts by Wachovia Bank who owns the loan, and the Miami Police Department over the past couple of months had been unsuccessful. Fuld owns a 20-bedroom vacation home on the Intercoastal in Miami.
Neighbors said that they have seen mail and packages disappear from the front door and believe that Fuld does indeed inhabit the house from time to time and has been coming out in the dead of the night to clear the mail.
At the time of posting this blog, the news from Miami-Dade County Hospital was that Fuld was recovering well after surgery and had reportedly asked for a bottle of his favorite wine from his vacation home, a 1787 Chateau Lafite. In an extraordinary show of solidarity and bipartisanship, Congress today passed unanimously the Millionaire Yacht Bailout Bill. The bill is designed to ensure that all loans on luxury yachts bought by CEOs/CFOs of troubled Wall Street Firms are forgiven by using taxpayer money to pay them off.
In justifying the loan forgiveness, President Bush explained at a White House Press Conference that this was a great example of trickle-down economics working. Govt. bails out Wall Street and Wall Street bails out their CEOs and CFOs. He added, "What could be a better example of Reaganomical success?".
Meanwhile, Addie Polk, the 90yr old Ohio woman who had her own mortgage forgiven by Fannie Mae after she shot herself in an attempt to commit suicide because of impending foreclosure of her house, is contemplating suicide again as she realized after regaining consciousness that her insurance company had canceled her health insurance and that she'd be left to pay the $234,000 hospital bill herself. Incidentally, the hospital bill was more that 5 times the mortgage payoff, which was $45,000.
Asked by reporters what other homeowners facing foreclosure of their homes would have to do in order to obtain loan forgiveness from Fannie Mae, republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said that he empathized with them and that he and his wife have had to put one of their 12 houses, a 13bdr ranch in Sedona, AZ on sale themselves because of a dip in beer sales, but told the American people not to worry and that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. In responding to the same question, his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said, "Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.". While most reporters left the room scratching their heads, Fox News commentators Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity were all in praise of Palin's answer, critizing those that questioned her of "gotcha journalism".
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