Friday, November 7, 2008

A financial casulaty

A sad story. A casualty of the financial meltdown. A man who worked for Bear Stearns, learning he would not be hired by JP Morgan Chase, chose to end his life.

Barry Fox, a research supervisor who worked for nine years at the brokerage firm, took a drug overdose and then jumped from his 29th-floor apartment the evening in May after he learned he wouldn't be hired by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which was about to buy his firm. A coroner recently confirmed in an autopsy report that the death was a suicide.

Part one
| Part two

Mr. Fox, who was 51 years old when he died and had for years struggled with physical and mental disabilities, joined Bear Stearns in 1999 after stints at several other firms. He excelled in Bear Stearns's close-knit culture, associates say. Shortly after arriving, he began working as a “supervisory analyst,” vetting and approving research reports before they were disseminated to the public. In 2002, Mr. Fox was named managing director, a senior position. Mr. Fox's pay soon swelled to as much as $250,000 per year, says the 66-year-old Mr. Philippi.

Fred Phillipi was his partner. When Bear went under, the pressure intensified.

It was a grueling 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.”

The pressure can be unbearable; I've been through similar circumstances. He was not hired.

Despite years of hard work, he says, without adequate savings, Mr. Fox “still felt he had nothing to show for it as he went into his 50s.”

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