noun (German): A malicious satisfaction
obtained from the misfortunes of others.
Forgive me, God. I thought I was above all this. I thought my heart was filled with nothing but compassion. Last Friday I watched The McLaughlin Group (like I always do), and the pugnacious host John McLaughlin ticked off the declining fortunes of some famous billionaires and fallen CEO’s. I could not help but chuckle with guilt-free glee.
From the transcript:
Henry Paulson, former CEO, Goldman Sachs, current secretary of the Treasury, from $809 million to $523 million.
Daniel Mudd, former CEO, Fannie Mae, $26 million to $476,000.
Richard Syron, former CEO, Freddie Mac, $11 million to
Martin Sullivan, AIG, $3.2 million to $173,000.
John Thain, Merrill Lynch, $28 million to $16 million.
Richard Fuld Jr., Lehman Brothers, $827 million to $2.3
John Mack, Morgan Stanley, $225 million to $80 million.
Charles Prince, Citigroup, $89 million to $33 million.
And get this -- James Cayne, Bear Stearns, $1.1 billion --
that's "b" as in "boy," billion -- to $61 million.
And get this -- Maurice Greenberg, AIG, $1.25 billion -- that's
"b" as in "boy," billion -- to $50 million.
How ticklishly delicious to imagine the misfortune of those greedy assholes! How fun it is to type "greedy assholes" without moral misgivings!
As the German proverb goes:
“To feel envy is human;
to savor schadenfreude is devilish!”
Cartoons courtesy of The New Yorker