At Bear, A Wall Street Suicide

Stories of Wall Street suicide have been blissfully rare throughout the financial crisis. But where there’s an intense toll on humans, it’s bound to happen. The Wall Street Journal has a depressing account of one Bear Stearns employee, Barry Fox, who took is life back in May, upon learning he would net get a job offer from JP Morgan

Mr. Fox soon began to panic about his financial future, Mr. Philippi says. The two were on vacation in Rome this past March when word of Bear Stearns’s own cash crisis broke. In the evenings, Mr. Fox logged in to from their hotel room for updates, recalls Mr. Philippi. They were still in Italy on March 16, when Bear Stearns announced its sale to J.P. Morgan. The bank began screening Bear Stearns employees for hire.

It was a gruelling time for Mr. Fox, say associates. On May 1, he emailed Joanna Barouch, a childhood friend. “I’ve been in my own world over the past month or so since Bear Stearns went under,” he wrote. “I should know in a few days or a week or two whether I’ll be going over to J.P. Morgan Chase. I have a chance but not a great chance — there are many applicants and few openings.”

On the morning of May 22, he was at his desk at Bear Stearns when a J.P. Morgan manager called to tell him that he wouldn’t be hired. Mr. Fox called Mr. Philippi. “I’ve been severed,” he told Mr. Philippi in a calm voice.

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