The many stresses and financial difficulties are leading to crimes, suicides and general chaos.  Most people cope with difficulties but the higher up society’s ladder we climb, the harder it is to cope with loss of power or financial comforts.  Here in NY, we have several recent examples.  One of the saddest parts of all this is how children are being viciously abused or murdered by frustrated parents.

This first story had tongues clicking in NYC:



picture-104Primoff was driving the kids home to the family’s $2 million spread in Scarsdale Sunday evening when they started acting up. But instead of threatening to dump them at the side of the road and then biting her lip, Primoff actually went through with the unthinkable — dropping them off in downtown White Plains, three miles from home, and driving off, cops said.

It was unknown if either of the girls had their cellphones with them. According to the police report, the 12-year-old managed to catch up with the car, and Primoff let her back in, but left the 10-year-old behind.

A good Samaritan found the girl, who was visibly upset about losing her mom, bought her an ice cream, and called cops. Shortly afterward, Primoff called the Scarsdale police from home to report that her daughter was missing. Cops told her to go to the White Plains Police Headquarters, where she was arrested….

Madlyn Primoff — who specializes in reorganizing troubled companies — graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University and got her law degree from Columbia. Richard, 47, is an attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission and got his law degree from Harvard.

The mother probably didn’t realized how badly unhinged she has become.  Her job is to interact with frantic people who are going bankrupt.  Reorganizing troubled companies usually means destroying select lives by downsizing and firing people all over the place.  It is not accidental that the word ‘executive’ and ‘execute’ means both carrying out or giving orders and killing people.


Who knows what dreams Primoff had when she was a young student!  I’m sure there was a lot of idealism.  But then, the money is in the ‘execute’ side of the ledger and she moved into that field so she could live in a $2 million mansion.  There is a barrier between being motherly and being despotic.  If one chooses the despot role at work, it is hard to shed it at home and replace it with a loving and forgiving mother role. 


Traditionally, men left the mothering role to mothers but today, we are all asked to both mother and be the father at work.   And it is possible to be both and to switch gears.  But it is hard to do.  And if one is overworked or stressed out by work, keeping this out of the domestic side is harder.  Men who are unable to cope with failure can’t keep it out.  Nor can mothers.


Ms. Primoff now has to make some life changes.  This was a warning to her, the mothering side is collapsing.  She can’t be a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan and a mother in Scarsdale at the same time.  Also notice how she is married to an SEC lawyer while she works the other side of the street just like the Madoff daughter managed to do.  I would suggest there is some conflict of interests here.



picture-117A Long Island man beat and choked his wife and two daughters – then committed suicide – following a violent afternoon at a Maryland hotel, authorities said today. Baltimore County police said that 59-year-old William Parente of Garden City, killed his wife, 58-year-old Betty, and their daughters, 19-year-old Stephanie and 11-year-old Catherine, in their room at the Sheraton Baltimore North on Sunday….

The revelations about the manner in which the Parente family died came as the FBI said that it has begun an investigation of William Parente’s investment dealings, Newsday reported today on its Web site. The feds said the probe was launched following numerous complaints from investors to police.

Another financier goes totally insane.  This guy probably couldn’t believe his great fortune during the boom years as he ran in and out of the Cave of Wealth and Death and got richer this way.  But when things went bad, he wasn’t honest about losses. Instead, he tried to float his business by breaking the law.  


Like Madoff, he thought, if only he could shift money in clever ways, none of his clients would figure out, he was a cheat.  But now, everyone is very, very understandably suspicious and demanding an accounting.  This is normal in all downturns.  Credulity shifts instantly into suspicion.  There are some types like Donald Trump who can lie without blinking an eye.  But most people collapse when confronted with their own messes.


Some bite the bullet and pay the price honestly which means, going to court, paying restitution and confessing one’s crimes in public.  After doing this, people are often given a second chance in life.  I have worked with cons who had to go through this process and it isn’t half as painful as anticipated.


Executive at Freddie Mac Is Found Dead

Regulators with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department have been interviewing Freddie Mac officials about possible accounting violations and other topics, the company disclosed in March, though it is not known if Mr. Kellermann was one of those interviewed.

The company recently disclosed in a public filing that in September it received a federal grand jury subpoena seeking documents concerning the company’s accounting, disclosure and corporate-governance practices. The investigation is being overseen by the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which declined to comment on the case. Freddie Mac has said it was “cooperating fully in these matters.” A spokesman said the company knew of no connection between the death and regulatory inquiries.


One of the problems with being in charge of something is being in charge of something.  Before this happens, people think, this is a piece of cake and they collect pay checks that are bigger and bigger and they live in nicer and nicer homes and feel all good.  But the need for vigilance grows.  


We see all the time how people who foresee these things, get shoved out the door. This has happened to me twice in my life.  People hate bad news, want good news. When bad news has to be dealt with, the first impulse is to ignore it.  The second, to pass it off to someone else.  This game of hot potato can get quite nasty.  What seems to be a promotion might be really a push off a cliff.  What looks like a new opportunity ends up being an opportunity to be a scape goat.


Already, conspiracy people want to think of all sorts of things to explain all this but the simple fact is, some people are pushed into positions they can’t handle and this is rather deliberate because organizations seeking to not be accounted properly or to not be organized correctly will promote ONLY people who are incompetent or spineless.  Anyone who marches into a meeting with a sheath of papers, graphs, charts and a written agenda to push for major changes is….as I VERY WELL KNOW, out the door, fast!


This man was not a changer or a pushy person who was going to pry open all treasure chests and all systems.  Instead, he was the designated scapegoat who would be grilled by others.  Poor man, I feel kind of sorry for him but—-NOT TOO SORRY.  This is because I know why he was promoted up and up and up and why people like myself are kicked to the curb.  This is, in a way, our revenge.


Second family murder-suicide in week – world |


Maryland was already dealing with a similar tragedy when word of the Parentes’ deaths began to spread. Sometime late Thursday night or Friday morning, a father in the northwestern Maryland city of Frederick fatally shot his wife and their three young children, police said.

The father, Christopher A. Wood, 34, then shot himself. Police revealed Tuesday that the family was having extreme financial problems.

An analysis by the Violence Policy Center in Washington, found an average of nine or 10 murder-suicides a week. But familicides – in which both parents and all their children are killed – generally happen only happen two or three times every six months, said Kristen Rand, legislative director for the center, a nonprofit gun-control advocacy group.

“They were so rare that we didn’t really bother to count them as a separate category,” Rand said. But in the last few months, she said, “there’s a clear rash” of such killings.

They can be tied to the recession, said Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.


I had to hospitalize my husband today which is why this story is very late.  He is brain damaged from work due to the incompetence of his bosses.  He won his court cases but this is no joy, he would far, far rather be normal and be working.  Most people prefer to work, it gives meaning to life, shape to one’s day and has rhythm.  For the first 6 years of my husband’s illness, we had to have him on suicide watch. I had to quit working and if I went anywhere, I had to find someone to sit with him.  Still do, actually.


But he is, after 15 years, still very much alive!  Tomorrow is the anniversary of him nearly dying at work and he can’t tolerate this at home so he goes to the hospital.  But most people don’t look enough for help and they can’t get help, anyway, because they think they are sane, not crazy.  The very first step towards mental balance is to admit, one is insane.  I think everyone is insane.  We just try to muck along as best we can.


But during hard times, people who are crazy go crazier.  Since we are all crazy to begin with, this leads to total meltdown in many people who can’t cope with the concept of being unable to cope.  Some go into total despair and kill not only themselves but everyone.  Beating their children to death, shooting them, drowning them, etc.  The psychotic need to torment loved ones is due to the death wish being in bed with love.  They come from the same place in the brain.


Typhoon from the West: Suicides on the Rise as Japan’s Economy Falters – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

The man was lying fully clothed on the bed in his apartment in Osaka. He looked peaceful, as if asleep. His skin was dark gray. He’d been lying there for about a month, but no one had missed him. The doctors who performed the autopsy were astonished to find that his stomach was almost empty. The man had starved to death.

The refrigerator in his apartment was also empty. There were a few coins in a tin can, not even enough to pay for a meal. Job search magazines were scattered on the floor, as well as an application form on which the man had entered his work experience.

The news about this unemployed man who had starved to death in Osaka came as a shock to the world’s second-largest industrialized nation. His extreme case made the Japanese realize how poorly equipped their social welfare system is for the consequences of the global financial crisis.

What made the starving case so shocking is that he was not a lonely old man, but a 49-year-old computer specialist with an apparent will to work. Until the spring of 2007 he’d worked in a bank as a dispatcher. He was forced to quit his job for health reasons, but when he was able to return to work, he could no longer find a job….

Otherwise, Japan clings to the rituals of daily life, as armies of commuters, patient as ever, crowd into overfilled subways. Many of these corporate samurai no longer have jobs. They leave their apartments in the morning, pretending to go about their routines, hoping to hide the shame of unemployment from families and neighbors.

Internet cafés across Japan are filled with job seekers, many out-of-work former contract workers. They were the first to go when the crisis erupted; they were dismissed by the thousands. In many cases, losing their jobs meant losing the rooms they occupied in company-owned apartment buildings.

Takayuki Umeshita, 41, lost his job as a welder a few months ago. Now he camps out at an Internet café in Tokyo, looking for a new job, and even sleeping in a rented cubicle. The café resembles a homeless shelter, complete with shower and hot water to make instant noodles. Umeshita, who keeps his few belongings in a blue bag, is willing to accept almost any job. But without a permanent address, he says, his prospects are dim. “It’s a vicious circle.”


Suicide is a huge force in Japan.  Few kill entire families.  Most do it to themselves.  They do have a social suicidal force, too, where people do it in groups.  Depressed societies tend towards suicide.  Suicide is trained into people, it is a cultural trait.  For example, in the Muslim world, people who are angry and depressed are suicide bombers.  


One man, in the US, shot his dying mother and then went on a rampage, shooting a number of total strangers and then shot himself.  In NY, an immigrant went crazy and shot other immigrants and then, himself.  Going out in a blaze of ignominy has been celebrated in the movies and things in movies always end up intruding on real life.  Just like we see many movies where the hero tortures a ‘bad guy’ and gets really valuable information which he then uses to be an even bigger hero.  So we endorse torture.


We can’t escape ‘entertainment’ and put it in a box.  It becomes part of us and expresses itself in our own actions, unconsciously or deliberately.


Daily Express | UK News :: Sir Fred could lose his knighthood

One of Westminster’s most senior backbench MPs said he believed Whitehall officials were considering whether to deprive the disgraced banker of his honour awarded in 2004.

Honours system officials refused to disclose whether the case was being considered by the Forfeiture Committee when they were grilled by the influential Public Administration Committee….

Almost 70 MPs have signed a Commons motion calling for Sir Fred – who refused to give up his £700,000-a-year pension from the failed Royal Bank of Scotland which he headed – to lose the right to call himself Sir.

He is fortunate.  In the old days, he would have had his head chopped off by the queen for mucking up the kingdom’s finances.





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  1. MikeM

    The very first step towards mental balance is to admit, one is insane. I think everyone is insane. We just try to muck along as best we can.
    I agree that that is certainly the appearance of our condition, however I feel it is more resultant of our living far outside of the environment we evolved from.
    One serious ‘hockey stick’ graph of exponential growth is that of technological development. We think we are advanced because the technology we developed and routinely use is advanced, but in evolutionary terms we have advanced nearly not at all, comparatively.
    You don’t see Amish people wigging out, huh? No small wonder.

  2. Re: Collateral Damage: Suicide and Economic Recession

    Yes there are, stories of businessmen jumping out of windows following the stock-market crash of 1929.” There is however little historical evidence to support this urban legend that begins this article on such a serious and important subject as suicide and its relation to economic downturns and the concomitant relationship to the rise in suicide in all countries in the world.

    I would like to add a perspective from Japan and so will limit my comments to what I know about here but would first like to suggest that western media reports on suicide rates in Asian countries should try harder to get away from the tendency to ‘orientalize’ the serious and preventable problem of increased suicide rates here over the last 10 years by reverting to stereotypical and much overused words and expressions.

    I am a psychologist and psychotherapist working in Japan for over 20 years. Mental health professionals in Japan have long known that the reason for the unnecessarily high suicide rate in Japan is due to unemployment, bankruptcies, and the increasing levels of stress on businessmen and other salaried workers who have suffered enormous hardship in Japan since the bursting of the stock market bubble here that peaked around 1997. Until that year Japan had an annual suicide of rate figures between 22,000 and 24,000 each year.

    Following the bursting of the stock market and the long term economic downturn that has followed here since the suicide rate in 1998 increased by around 35% and since 1998 the number of people killing themselves each year in Japan has consistently remained well over 30,000 each and every year to the present day.

    The current worldwide recession is of course impacting Japan too, so unless very proactive and well funded local and nation wide suicide prevention programs and initiatives are immediately it is very difficult to foresee the governments previously stated intention to reduce the suicide rate to around 23,000 by the year 2016 being achievable. On the contrary the numbers, and the human suffering and the depression and misery that the people who become part of these numbers, have to endure may well stay at the current levels that have persistently been the case here for the last ten years. It could even get worse unless even more is done to prevent this terrible loss of life.

    During these last ten years of these relentlessly high annual suicide rate numbers the western language media seems in the main to have done little more than have someone goes through the files and do a story on the so-called suicide forest or internet suicide clubs and copycat suicides (whether cheap heating fuel like charcoal brickettes or even cheaper household cleaning chemicals) without focusing on the bigger picture and need for effective action and solutions.

    Economic hardship, bankruptcies and unemployment have been the main cause of suicide in Japan over the last 10 years, as the well detailed reports behind the suicide rate numbers that have been issued every year until now by the National Police Agency in Japan show only to clearly if any journalist is prepared to learn Japanese or get a bilingual researcher to do the research to get to the real heart of the tragic story of the long term and unnecessarily high suicide rate problem in Japan.

    I would also like to suggest that as many Japanese and people have very high reading skills in English that any articles dealing with suicide in Japan could usefully provide contact details for hotlines and support services for people who are depressed and feeling suicidal.

    Useful telephone number for Japanese residents of Japan who speak Japanese and are feeling depressed or suicidal:

    Inochi no Denwa (Lifeline Telephone Service):
    Japan: 0120-738-556
    Tokyo: 3264 4343

    Andrew Grimes
    Tokyo Counseling Services

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