Yes, It’s This Bad

Barry Ritholtz over at his newly redesigned (like ours, hope you noticed) site, does a good deed posting the information of a man he saw near Grand Central Terminal in a Great Depression-style sandwich board reading “Almost homeless. Looking for Employment.”

BusinessWeek saw the post and went and interviewed the man, Paul Nawrocki. His situation isn’t good. He’s 59 and was a middle manager at a toy company that went bankrupt. His wife is disabled and on fifteen medicines.

There are a lot of Americans like Nawrocki, either constantly on the edge or pushed over it. And there’s going to be a lot more of this before things get better.

Nawrocki has some thoughts on the bailout:

Then there will be huge bonuses for executives who mismanaged their companies, requiring taxpayers to bail them out. I don’t know about you, but none of the companies I have ever worked for gave bonuses to people who screwed up.

Does anyone realize that $700 billion is seven hundred thousand million dollars? Wouldn’t it have been a great stimulus package if they just gave the money to us? Families could pay off their debt and maybe make ends meet again. But that’s not going to happen any time soon because then too many people would be freed from control of the banks.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.